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Fish “Tacos” with a Fridge Surprise Slaw

Made with homemade fish fingers, these Fish Tacos are a much healthier alternative to their store-bought counterparts. The fish here is baked, meaning less fat and no smell! And, when served in lettuce leaves instead of tortillas with a Fridge Surprise Slaw, they are super-fuss-free and packed with nutrients. (gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free)

Fish Tacos with a Fridge Surprise Slaw It’s been a whirlwind of a few weeks over at Wholesome Cook.

A house move, a little construction here and there, study, impending wedding, honeymoon planning and general family commitments have meant everything and everyone needed a slice of my time. Pronto. Every day I’d wished I had just a few minutes more to share some of the tasty recipes I’ve been creating for you… Then at the beginning of June, things just got crazier. Exciting crazier. I was invited to work on TWO super-exciting projects that required plenty of outside-the-box recipe ideas and some photography too. The catch still is that while I am loving every day spent in the kitchen and we are all eating much, much healthier for it – enter these Fish and Fridge Surprise Slaw “Tacos” made with all matter of leftovers, I can’t quite share anything about the projects with you as yet… 

Back to the “Tacos”… while we haven’t quite gone Paleo, most days we don’t feel like stuffing our faces with bread, or wraps, or grains in general and this is where the lettuce taco idea came from. Leftover fried fish goes well in this recipe, but I actually like this gluten-free and dairy-free remake of my original healthy fish fingers.

A simplified, 5 ingredient baked number that’s tasty, smell-free, oil-free fish. In the meantime, you make a scrappy fridge surprise veggie slaw from all your fresh veg leftovers. I must add here, that brined pickles make the perfect addition to this as well. Once ready, serve the lot in lettuce leaves and you’re done. A nifty way to minimise food waste, too.

Fish Tacos with a Fridge Surprise Slaw

Fish Tacos with a Fridge Surprise Slaw
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Fish "Tacos" with a Fridge Surprise Slaw | Some News and an Update

A simplified, 5 ingredient baked fish finger recipe that produces tasty baked fish that's both smell-free and oil-free. You can also shallow-fry the fingers in some olive oil if you like, about 4 minutes on each side but the fishy smell may linger. The fridge surprise veggie slaw is perfect for using up all your fresh veg leftovers - below are some suggestions, and with the addition of brined pickles make the perfect base for the fish. If you prefer to use tortillas or wraps instead of the lettuce, please feel free to do so.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time50 minutes


For the Fish Fingers:

  • 500 g skinless bream fillets or other sustainable white fish
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp finely ground black pepper
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs of choice

For the Fridge Surprise Slaw - suggest about 1 cup per person:

  • 1 cup mixed undressed slaw from packet is ok
  • 1/2 cup red cabbage or wombok
  • 1/2 grated carrot
  • 1/2 cucumber sliced
  • a few snow peas sliced
  • 2 broccolini stalks sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1-2 brined pickles sliced
  • 1/2 tbspapple cider vinegar or to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp macadamia oil or to taste
  • 1 tsp fish sauce or to taste
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped herbs such as parsley dill or coriander

To serve:

  • 1 leaves baby cos separated and washed
  • optional: a little tartare sauce


To make the Fish Fingers:

  • Preheat oven to 200C (180C fan-forced, 400F, gas mark 6). Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper.
  • Cut fish into rough chunks. In a food processor or chopper attachment of your stick blender, process fish chunks until minced, in batches if necessary. Transfer to a bowl. Add egg, pepper and salt. Mix well to combine.
  • Using your hands (feel free to wear some food-safe gloves), form 8-10 logs out of the fish mince. Roll each log in brown rice crumbs until coated well and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn over and bake for a further 15 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through. Keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.

To make the Fridge Surprise Slaw:

  • Mix all our sliced and grated veggies in a big bowl together with the herbs, fish sauce, oil and vinegar to taste. Leave in the fridge to marinade until ready to serve.

To serve:

  • Serve baby cos leaves topped with a generous amount of slaw, a little dollop of tartare sauce, if using, and top with a fish finger each. Roll up and eat with your hands or use cutlery.
Tried this recipe?Mention @wholesomecook or tag #wholesomecook


Mel @ The cook's notebook July 9, 2013 at 9:06 am

yum! Fish tacos are a favourite here, but I’ve not thought of coating the fish in a crumb. Normally I cook it on the BBQ and serve it with a slaw, guacamole,a yogurt/sour cream and chipotle sauce, a tomato salsa, and home made tortilla. I think I’m going to have to make it again soon…

Steph July 9, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Congratulations Martyna! You truly deserve to be in the finals, you cetainly have inspired us to eat healthier and read labels. Good luck! PS These fish fingers are proof of what I just said. YUM!

Martyna @ Wholesome Cook July 9, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Thanks Steph – I am so pleased to hear I have inspired you to, well, find a healthier you – BUPA’s own slogan seems so fitting!

Jayne July 9, 2013 at 12:54 pm

I feel like your site has made quite a layout and design change. Am I seeing things? Love in either way! :-) Fish tacos are right up my lunch alley.

Martyna @ Wholesome Cook July 9, 2013 at 1:47 pm

It did a little while back but yesterday I added my Instagram feed to the sidebar. This might be what’s making the site look different? And yes, these are yummy and fine for the lunchbox too.

lateraleating July 9, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Congrats on the nomination Martyna!

Martyna @ Wholesome Cook July 9, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Thank you so much Gaby :-)

Amanda O'Neill July 9, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Yummo – I’m definitely making these on Friday night. Congrats you clever girl xx

Martyna @ Wholesome Cook July 11, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Thanks Amanda!

Eha July 9, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Congratulations on your BUPA nomination – they are doing some really worthwhile preventive health care work. I was for quite awhile on one of their panels and was impressed. Hope you go well!!! This is a terrific recipe: actually most of us would have most of this in our fridges most of the time :} ! Have to try the pickles and the fish sauce together in the slaw: sounds exciting! [Kind’of E Europe and Fusion Australian melded ;) !]

Martyna @ Wholesome Cook July 11, 2013 at 6:47 pm

Thank you Eha, it is always a pleasure to hear from you as I hold your opinion and knowledge of all things health quite high. And yes, salt-pickles in the slaw are from my Polish roots, while the fish sauce is something I’ve grown to love in Australia from the amazing Asian influences we have here. Together, they lift the slaw beyond the ordinary :-)

Bam's Kitchen July 23, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Congratulations Martyna! Your pickle slaw sounds fantastic. A little something sassy for the top of your fun fish tacos.

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