Pina Colada Tacos with Coconut Crusted Fish and Dairy Free Pineapple Coconut Crema
Updated: Mar 14
These tacos are a mini vacation to the tropics! Pineapple, coconut, and lime flavors all pair perfectly to make a bright tasting street taco. The crema is made with coconut cream and pineapple, making it dairy free. Get ready for summer with this tasty dish!
For the crema you will need coconut cream. I highly recommend Thai Kitchen brand if possible. I have tried others and they do not work the same. If you cannot find Thai Kitchen, make sure the ingredient list says "coconut" and not "coconut extract".
For the crema you will be adding a pineapple puree blended with lime juice and honey. You may use fresh or canned pineapple as long as it is drained. Blend these ingredients until smooth. Then use a fine mesh strainer to remove any chunks of pineapple that may have been missed.
The next step is very important. You will need to place your coconut cream in the fridge the night before or at least for a few hours. This allows the solids to separate and rise to the top then harden.
The next day you will need to take it out of the fridge and open the top of the can. Very carefully scoop off the top hardened cream and do your best not to get a lot of the liquid that is sitting below. Add all of the cream to a metal or glass bowl.
Then using a hand mixer, mix up the cream until it is smooth and has a little air in it. DO NOT ADD ANYTHING TOO IT BEFORE MIXING, THIS WILL MAKE IT CURDDLE. Once it is whipped and smooth, slowly add your pineapple puree to the mixture. Be sure to scrape the sides to incorporate everything. You should have a smooth mixture when you are done, it should not be separated and lumpy. I then like to add it to a condiment squeeze bottle but you can certainly just use a spoon.
For the breading, all you will need is plain panko and finely shredded, unsweetened coconut. Mix them together in a pie plate.
I like to use tilapia for my fish tacos, it is a great mild flavored fish and cooks up really well. Feel free to use any fish of your choice, or you could even try shrimp.
In order to make your breading stick to the fish you will need canned coconut milk and lime. You can also just use egg if you would like.
Dip your slightly thawed fish filets into your coconut milk mixture (or egg if you choose). Then dip it in your breading mixture and be sure to pack it on well.
Heat up a pan or electric skillet on medium-high heat with some coconut oil. When the pan is hot, add your fish carefully and allow each side to cook for several minutes or until golden in color. Fish needs to reach an internal temperature of 145°.
Chop up your cabbage (if you haven't already), slice a lime into a few wedges, make yourself a tasty Pina Colada and assemble your tacos when the fish is cooked. I love to used flour tortillas but feel free to use corn as well.
Enjoy your mini vacation!
6 tilapia filets partially thawed (or fish of your choice)
Tortillas of your choice, I used flour but corn or gluten free works as well
Red cabbage chopped
~2 Tbsp Coconut oil (for frying)
For Breading the Fish:
1/2 cup regular panko
1/2 cup finely shredded, unsweetened coconut
Salt to taste
1/2 cup canned coconut milk
1 lime juiced
1 egg whisked
1 - 13.6 oz can Thai Kitchen coconut cream*
1 cup fresh or drained, canned pineapple
2 Tbsp honey
1 lime juiced
Canned pineapple tidbits or small chunked fresh pineapple
*I highly recommend Thai Kitchen brand coconut cream if possible. I have tried others and they do not work the same. If you cannot find Thai Kitchen, make sure the ingredient list says "coconut" and not "coconut extract".
First you will need to place your coconut cream in the fridge overnight or at least for a few hours in order to let it separate and harden.
The next day you will want to first cut up your cabbage, I like to use red cabbage for the color. You can used a vegetable peeler for fine angel hair cabbage or chop it to your desired thickness. Set aside.
Now add your fish (if it is packaged in plastic) to room temperature water in order to thaw the fish just slightly to get it out of the package. Do not use hot water.
Next you will start on the crema. Make your puree first. Add your fresh or drained, canned pineapple to a blender, along with your honey and lime juice. Blend this until smooth (or as smooth as you can get it). Then using a fine mesh strainer, strain out any pineapple chunks that did not get blended. This will ensure a nice smooth crema sauce. Set aside.
Next, very carefully scoop off the top hardened cream and do your best not to get a lot of the liquid that is sitting below. Add all of the cream to a metal or glass bowl. You can save the liquid for another recipe or add to a blended Pina Colada or smoothie.
Then using a hand mixer, mix up the cream until it is smooth and has a little air in it. DO NOT ADD ANYTHING TOO IT BEFORE MIXING, THIS WILL MAKE IT CURDDLE.
Once it is whipped and smooth, slowly pour in your pineapple puree to the mixture while mixing slowly, you can use the hand mixer on low speed or fold in with a spatula. Be sure to scrape the sides to incorporate everything. You should have a smooth mixture when you are done, it should not be separated and lumpy. I then like to add it to a condiment squeeze bottle, but you can certainly just use a spoon.
Set your crema in the fridge to set it up more.
Now you will start the fish, it should be easier to get out of the plastic by this time. Remove them all from the plastic and pat the fish dry with paper towels and set them on a plate.
In a pie pan or shallow and wide dish, add your panko and coconut then mix it together.
In a separate pie pan, add 1/2 cup of canned coconut milk that has been mixed along with juice of one lime, mix everything together. You can also use just egg for this, the breading may even stick slightly better but you just won't have quite as much coconut flavor.
Heat a frying pan or electric skillet to medium-high heat with some coconut oil, enough that the breading can get saturated and crispy.
Once the pan is hot, dip your fish into the coconut milk followed by the breading mixture, add each filet to the pan. Season the first side with salt to taste.
After a few minutes, check to see the color of the breading on the bottom side. You want a nice golden color. Let it get golden and crispy before flipping to the other side to prevent losing some of the breading.
Once it is golden, flip your fish and season the other side with salt. Once the fish reaches an internal temperature of 145°, your fish is done.
Now time to assemble your tacos. Use your tortilla of choice and add your cabbage, fish, crema, and if you would like additional squeeze of lime juice and pineapple chunks (these are optional).
Enjoy your taste of summer in the tropics, maybe even with a Pina Colada to sip on too!