Fried avocado tacos with lime crema and pickled red onion
May is a month of many exciting things for our little family. Lulu is turning two. Our families are reuniting in Mexico. I’m traveling to Mormon country to see one of my best friends from college and (hopefully) meet new friends. K and I are planning a solo getaway to somewhere warm and sandy. And I’m jumping into some fun video projects. Stay tuned for that.
Right now the sun is shining through our kitchen window and I’m so grateful that we’re getting a taste of warm weather for a change. It’s like San Francisco is trying hard to make it seem like it can provide a real summer, though we all know the warmth won’t last.
Since Mexico is on my mind all month, and Cinco de Drinko (official name) is right around the corner, I figured a taco Tuesday post was in order here. I don’t need to tell you that tacos are the best vehicle for virtually anything. And while I do have a lot of amazing and simple taco recipes in my repertoire, I wanted to share something that felt a little more celebratory.
If you’ve never had a fried avocado taco, you’re missing out on one of life’s greatest pleasures. I first tried the fried avo taco at Lolo’s, one of my favorite San Francisco Mexican restaurants. There they make it simply with some lime crema and all the usual taco fixin’s.
My version has pickled red onion for a necessary crunch and a simple lime crema for, well, creaminess. I recommended putting on all the optional toppings (including the Legendary Orange Sauce), but you can also keep it simple, if you wish. It’s the fried avocado you’re going for, anyway.
Shallow frying food isn’t as intimidating as it sounds, I promise. The hardest part is getting your oil temperature right so that the breading doesn’t burn. But keep your heat on medium-low and that shouldn’t be an issue. If you have a thermometer, use it. The ideal frying temperature is 350°F. You can also test to see if the oil is ready by tossing in a few breadcrumbs — if they immediately start to bubble then it’s hot enough.
MAKES 8 TACOS
For the pickled red onion
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoons Kosher salt
For the lime crema
4 ounces sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
For the fried avocado
2 medium avocados, slightly firm
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup canola or sunflower oil
8 Sonoma-style tortillas (or whatever type of tortilla you prefer)
¼ cup queso fresco
Small bunch cilantro
1 lime, cut into wedges
½ cup legendary orange sauce
Make the pickled red onion. In a large jar, add the vinegar, water, sugar and salt. Cover and shake to combine. Add the sliced onion and let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make the lime crema.
In a medium bowl, add the sour cream, lime juice cilantro and whisk to combine. Add salt, to taste. Set aside.
Now you’re finally ready to fry that avocado. Cut each avocado in half lengthwise, then carefully peel the shell and cut each half into four wedges.
In a shallow bowl or a plate with a rim, lightly beat the egg with the buttermilk. Spread the flour in another bowl or plate. Spread the panko breadcrumbs in a third plate and sprinkle with the salt.
Toss the avocado wedges in the flour first. Then toss the floured pieces in the wet mix. Make sure they’re fully covered in the egg mixture and there are no white spots from the flour. Finally, place each wedge in the panko. Again, make sure they are completely covered. Let the avocado rest in the refrigerator for 30 min before frying.
In a frying pan, warm the oil on medium heat until it reaches about 350°F. If you don’t have a thermometer, that’s okay. Just test the heat of the oil. Fry the avocados for 30 seconds or until they turn golden brown. Remove from the heat and set over paper towels to drain.
To assemble, heat the tortillas on a pan or directly over a burner (if you’re familiar doing so). Add an avocado slice or two. Drizzle with the lime crema, top with the pickled onions, cheese and cilantro. Squeeze on a little more lime, if you'd like. Devour and enjoy!