Crispy Fried Lavash Tacos

Crispy Fried Lavash Tacos Recipe

Crispy fried tacos are traditionally made with deep-fried tortillas, but since I received a humongous package from our friends at California Lavash, I prepared the tacos with lavash flatbread and they turned out beautifully. I also used the same oil for the tacos for deep fried catfish sticks. I filled the tacos with brown rice, roasted red pepper and eggplant spread, fried fish, red oak leaves, Mexican crema and curly parsley. 

These do take a little of time to prepare but the result is well worth the labor. As appetizers, they're especially great if you're preparing them for a small crowd. I'm sure your guests will love these mix-and-mingle party bites. 

Ingredients

Yields: 30 appetizers

1 (6-sheet) package California Lavash flatbread
1½ pounds pan-fried catfish
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup red oak leaf lettuce
1½ cups cooked brown rice, fluffed with a fork
¾ cup roasted red pepper and eggplant spread, store-bought
2 tablespoons curly parsley (or cilantro), chopped
2 Palestine sweet limes (or regular limes)
1 teaspoon Bhut Jolokia Ghost Pepper Sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
¼ cup crema Mexicana sour cream


Directions

For the crispy fried tacos:

Note: For regular-sized tacos, use an 8-inch diameter circle cutter otherwise for these appetizers I used a 3-5/8 inch one.

Form 5 disks of lavash bread per sheet using the circle cutter.

Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan for about 2 minutes over high heat. There should be at least a 1½-inch-high level of oil. Wait until the oil is slightly bubbly (not too hot). Test the oil by dropping a small piece of lavash bread into the hot oil. It should float but not swell.

Once the oil is hot, sprinkle with salt (that way the tacos won't stick to the bottom of the pan). Place 4 disks at a time in the oil and cook for 1 minute until lightly golden. Once there is no more bubbly sound, lower the heat and flip the flatbread using tongs. Place a small amount of brown rice in the center of each disk and fold each disk in half, forming half moons. Flip and fry the other side for 30 seconds until crisped and lightly golden.

Transfer the tacos to 2 paper towel-lined loaf pans. Let them stand vertically, crosswise so they hold their shape and to drain as much oil out as possible. 

Repeat the same procedure with the rest of the lavash bread disks.

Frying the fish:

In the same frying pan, place the fish sticks in the hot oil. Jiggle the pan to make sure the fish does not stick to the bottom of the pan and is totally coated with oil. Cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Season with more salt and flip the fish; pan-fry the other side for another 3 minutes until crisp and lightly browned. Jiggle the pan again. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.

To check the "doneness", gently press the fish with your finger; it should feel springy in texture. The color of the meat should be white and opaque.  If it's still clear to translucent, return to the pan and cook for a minute or two more.

Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Cut into 3-inch pieces. 

Assembly time:

In a small bowl, combined the roasted red pepper and eggplant spread with the Bhut Jolokia Ghost pepper sauce. Stir well. 

Drizzle the inside of the crispy fried tacos with lime juice. Spoon in about 1 teaspoon of the red pepper spread mixture. Cover with red oak leaf lettuce, top with fried fish and cover with more lettuce. 

Place the crispy fried tacos onto a serving platter. Spoon on a little mound (about ½ teaspoon) of sour cream (as the glue for the topping) and sprinkle with parsley.

Repeat until all the tacos are filled. Place small wedges of lime on the side.

Serve immediately; otherwise the crispy taco shells will turn soggy.

Bon appétit!


Tips

For optimum results when heating the frying oil, the thermometer should register 345°F to 360°F. Heat the oil over medium to high heat (for a nice golden color).

I used Trader Joe's roasted red pepper and eggplant spread. 

You can find California Lavash products at Whole Foods Market, Safeway, Mollie Stone's, Sprouts, New Leaf and Nob Hill. 

You can find All Spice Cafe online and discover their wide variety of hot sauces. I also recommend their chipotle tapenade, which tastes amazing. 

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on August 28, 2013.


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