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Bushbuck Bites: Coconut Panko Fish Tacos with Papaya Salsa

Bushbuck Bites: Coconut Panko Fish Tacos with Papaya Salsa


Looking for a new way to cook up your fresh catch this summer? This recipe from Kaelah James (aka Kaelah's Wild Kai Kitchen) is sure to do the trick. White fish in a crispy coconut coating with tangy papaya salsa and a spicy Siracha crema delivers a flavour combination that'll leave your tastebuds singing for more. This recipe will give your fish a fresh, tropical makeover that's perfect for summer. Who would've guessed that fish and fruit go so well together?



Coconut Fish Bites

  • 500g White Fish, diced into large cubes

  • 2 cups shredded coconut

  • 1 1/2 cups panko cruma

  • 3 eggs

  • 1 cup plain flour

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • Salt and pepper

Papaya Salsa

  • 1 Papaya, diced into small cubes (if papaya isn't available you could use a ripe mango)

  • 1 red capsicum, diced small

  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced

  • Handful coriander leaves, chopped

  • 1 large lime, juiced

  • Salt to taste 

Sriracha Crema

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 1/2 cup mayo

  • 3-4 Tbsp Sriracha

  • Juice of one lime 


  • Oil for frying

  • Stand N Stuff Taco Shells (Old El Paso)



I recommend preparing the salsa and crema first so that everything's ready to go once the coconut fish bites are cooked. Even though there are three separate parts to this recipe, they're all really quick and easy - anyone can do it. Also, you can use any white fish with this recipe, I just happened to have some blue cod leftover from a recent fishing mission.  Papaya Salsa Recipe

  1. Place all of the chopped salsa ingredients (see above) into a bowl.

  2. Squeeze over lime juice.

  3. Mix gently and set aside.

Siracha Crema Recipe

  1. Simply combine the sriracha crema ingredients (see above), mix well, cover and refrigerate until ready to use. 

Coconut Panko Fish Bites Recipe

  1. Crack eggs into a bowl, use a fork to whisk, add a little water and whisk again to combine.

  2. In a separate bowl, add flour, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir to mix together.

  3. In another bowl, mix together shredded coconut and panko breadcrumbs.

  4. cocofish1

  5. Line a tray with baking paper and place next to bowls.

  6. Dip fish into the flour mix, shake off excess flour, then into the egg wash, then into the coconut panko mix.

  7. Press the coconut mix into the fish using your hands to make sure it’s coated well. Repeat for remaining fish.

  8. Place on your lined tray and put into the fridge for at least 30 mins.

  9. Pour oil into wok or heavy based pot and turn to a medium heat.

  10. Once bubbles start to form and heat can be felt when holding hand above wok, begin to fry the fish bites in batches. Use a slotted spoon to remove fish as soon as the coating is a nice golden light brown colour. Transfer to a draining rack and repeat with remaining fish.

  11. cocofish3
  12. To assemble place some of the salsa on the base of the Stand N Stuff taco shells, place a few of the coconut fish bites on top and spoon over a little more salsa. Drizzle over sriracha sauce and eat immediately.

Note: This recipe makes 8 tacos so adjust the ingredients accordingly.

These Coconut Panko Fish Bites with Papaya Salsa and Sriracha Crema are a great option for the warmer months. They're fresh, light, full of flavour and were devoured by our whanau. Enjoy! 

Kaelah James
Kaelah James

Kaelah James, aka Kaelah's Wild Kai Kitchen, is a New Zealand speafisher, huntress and incredible wild food cook. She's built up a following on Instagram by sharing her delicious recipes and she's now come on board as a Bushbuck ambassador and contributor to The Campfire blog. She will be sharing wild food and catch-and-cook recipes, as well as the stories behind hunting and gathering the kai. 

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