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I was so amazed by the Cap'n Crunch tilapia burrito at the Cucina Zapata food truck in Philadelphia that I had to try to re-create it myself. Cap'n Crunch cereal creates the perfect slightly sweet and crunchy coating for fish tacos served with 2 kinds of salsa. Vijay, Recipe Hunter

Vijay Nathan, NoshOnIt Recipe Hunter and Chef

THE RECIPE

Cap’n Crunch Fish Tacos

Crunchtastic tacos inspired by a Philly food truck

Cap'n Crunch Fish Tacos with Sriracha Crema and Green Salsa

For the full story on how these tacos came to be, see our post here. Sometimes, eating food out of a truck just makes it taste better, doesn’t it? A few months ago, we had the chance to try the famed Cap’n Crunch Tilapia Burrito at the Thai taco truck Cucina Zapata on Drexel University’s campus in Philadelphia and all we can say is that our minds were blown. Sure, we’ve heard of cooking with cereal before, but never with Cap’n Crunch, which usually gets relegated to our cereal bowl or on top of frozen yogurt. The cereal created a slightly sweet, uber-crunchy exterior on perfectly cooked, flaky tilapia. It was nestled inside a big burrito with a few kinds of spicy salsa, crunchy cabbage and a few other secret ingredients. We knew we had to try to re-create these at home so for this edition of #TacoTuesday, we’re bringing you Cap’n Crunch Fish Tacos! To create the coating, simply dip the fish into flour then egg wash then ground up Cap’n Crunch (mixed with some panko to cut the sweetness). As the fish fries, the cereal crisps into a light yet crunchy coating. In lieu of a burrito, we put these inside of fresh corn tortillas and topped them with two kinds of sauce – a spicy Sriracha crema and a cooling avocado tomatillo salsa.

Cap’n Crunch Fish Tacos with Sriracha Crema and Green Salsa

Prep Time:30 minutes Cook Time:30 minutes Yield: 4 servings Ingredients:

  • 2 filets tilapia or other mild, firm white fish (about 1 pound)
  • Vegetable oil

For the Cap’n Crunch Coating

  • 2 cups Cap’n Crunch cereal
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs

For serving:

  • Corn tortillas
  • Sriracha Crema (recipe below)
  • Avocado Tomatillo Green Salsa (recipe below
  • Shredded red or green cabbage
  • Cilantro
  • Yellow onions, finely diced
  • Lime wedges

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, combine the Cap’n Crunch, panko, salt, pepper, and cumin. Pulse 4-5 times until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Transfer to a pie plate or other container with shallow sides.
  2. Set up a standard breading station. In one shallow pan, add the all purpose flour. In a second pan or bowl, add the eggs and a splash of water, whisk to combine. The third pan will be the Cap’n Crunch breadcrumbs.
  3. Cut the tilapia into long strips, about 1 inch wide and 3-4 inches long. You want them to be sized to fit perfectly inside your tortillas.
  4. Fill a large deep pan with 1″ of vegetable oil. Heat over medium-high heat until just shimmering then turn the heat to medium to maintain.
  5. Bread the tilapia. First, have a wire rack ready to hold the breaded pieces. Dredge the tilapia in the flour until coated. Dust off the excess flour and transfer to the egg wash, using a fork to turn the pieces until coated. Transfer to the Cap’n Crunch breadcrumbs and press the coating into the fish on all sides. Transfer to the wire rack and continue the process until all the pieces are breaded.
  6. Test the heat of the oil by carefully placing one piece of tilapia in. It should sizzle immediately. Add the pieces in, making sure not to crowd the pan (you might need to do 2 or 3 batches). Fry for 2 minutes, then turn and fry for another 2 minutes until golden brown. Remove to another wire rack set over paper towels. Season with a sprinkle of kosher salt right after it comes out of the oil. Fry the rest of the pieces.
  7. Serve in warmed corn tortillas with Sriracha Crema, Green Salsa, shredded cabbage, cilantro, onion, and lime.

Sriracha Crema

Prep time:5 minutes Yield: 1/4 cup Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Mexican crema, sour cream, or mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce

Instructions

  1. Mix the crema and Sriracha in a small bowl until combined. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

Avocado Tomatillo Green Salsa

Prep time:10 minutes Cook time:20 minutes Yield: 2 cups Ingredients:

  • 3 tomatillos, husk removed and washed thoroughly
  • 1/2 jalapeño
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (about 2 large limes)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 small avocado
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Mexican crema or sour cream

Instructions

  1. Fill a small pan with high sides halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add the tomatillos, jalapeño, and garlic cloves. Simmer for 15 minutes until tomatillos have softened. Strain and allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. In a blender, add the cooled tomatillos, jalapeño, and garlic along with the rest of the ingredients except the crema. Puree until smooth. Add the crema and pulse a few times to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, and lime juice if needed.
  3. Transfer to a jar and cool in the fridge for 1-2 hours until ready to serve.

THE CHEF

Vijay Nathan, NoshOnIt Recipe Hunter and Chef

I’m a former chef so my cooking is aggressive, big-flavored, and unapologetic. I incorporate inspiration from around the world into my food, using bold spices and seasonal ingredients to make hearty, satisfying dishes.

In addition to being the “Chief Nosher” at NoshOn.It, Vijay is a “recovering” professional chef who has been in the restaurant and food world for over a decade. His food is always hearty, satisfying, and flavorful – a style influenced by his Texan upbringing and Indian heritage. This dish is one of his staples and, luckily, something that the NoshOn.It team has enjoyed on many occasions!

Make sure to say hello to Vijay on Twitter.

THE TIP

Technique 101: The Standard Breading Procedure

The standard breading procedure is a basic 3-step culinary technique that is used when coating and frying items for a crispy exterior and tender interior.

Read the full tip >

  • http://theviewfromthegreatisland.blogspot.com/ theviewfromGreatIsland

    I love this! I sometimes use cornflakes as a crumb crust for fish, so I can make the leap of faith to Cap’n Crunch!

    • http://www.noshon.it/ Vijay – Editor @ NoshOn.It

      Thanks Sue! It’s an unexpectedly great match!