Tortilla-Crusted Tilapia with Citrus Slaw and Chipotle Tartar Sauce Recipe

Tortilla-Crusted Tilapia with Citrus Slaw and Chipotle Tartar Sauce
Stephen DeVries
30 Minutes
40 Minutes


Serves 4 (serving size: 1 tilapia fillet)

Crushed corn tortilla chips make the crispiest, crunchiest coating for pan-fried fish filets. Serve with cole slaw. Fry up a batch of your own chips or use your favorite store-bought brand—both will produce delicious results. You can use any firm, white fish in this recipe, such as flounder, grouper, or snapper. You’ll love this spicy tartar sauce, which has a nice blend of mayonnaise, dill pickles smoky chipotle peppers, and lime juice.



  • 4 (6-oz.) tilapia fillets
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups crushed corn tortilla chips
  • 1/4 cup canola oil, divided


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest plus 2 Tbsp. fresh juice (from 1 orange)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cups thinly sliced purple cabbage (1 head cabbage)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions (about 4 scallions)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup drained dill pickle relish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

How to Make

  1. Prepare the Tilapia: Sprinkle both sides of tilapia fillets with salt and black pepper. Combine flour, cumin, and coriander in a shallow dish. Place beaten eggs in a second shallow dish; place crushed tortilla chips in a third shallow dish. Dredge fillets in flour mixture, dip in eggs, and dredge in tortilla chips, pressing to adhere.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Place 2 fillets in hot oil; cook until golden brown on bottom, about 4 minutes. Turn fillets, add 1 tablespoon of the oil, and cook until fish flakes easily with a fork, about 4 minutes. Transfer fillets to a wire rack over a baking sheet. Keep warm in a 200°F oven. Repeat process with remaining 2 tablespoons canola oil and 2 fillets.
  3. Prepare the Citrus Slaw: Stir together olive oil, vinegar, orange zest, orange juice, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add cabbage, scallions, and parsley; toss to coat. Let stand 10 minutes.
  4. Prepare the Sauce: Stir together all Sauce ingredients.
  5. Serve tilapia with Citrus Slaw and Chipotle Tartar Sauce.