Tonight’s lettuce wraps are inspired by crispy fish tacos and one of our favorite cookout dishes: corn salad. After turning extra crunchy and golden brown in the pan—thanks to a coating of rice flour—tilapia is piled high over lettuce wraps and topped with lime crema and a sprinkling of crispy quinoa. Bright tomato and corn salad rounds out this terrific summer meal.
1 plum tomato
1 head butter lettuce
.125 ounce cilantro
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 cup corn
.5 teaspoon garlic powder
.5 teaspoon chili powder
.5 teaspoon onion powder
.5 cup rice flour
10 ounces tilapia
2 tablespoons crisped quinoa (optional)
Rinse all produce. Roughly chop tomatoes and add to a large bowl. Halve lime. Pull off 6-8 large butter lettuce leaves, snacking on remainder. Pick cilantro leaves, discarding stems and add to bowl with tomato.
Prepare Avocado and Make Crema
Halve avocado and discard pit. Using a spoon, carefully scoop out flesh, discarding skin. Thinly slice half of avocado, and cut remainder into small dice. In a small bowl stir together mayonnaise, juice of .5 lime, and .125 teaspoon salt for crema. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add corn and cook until bright yellow, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and transfer corn to bowl with tomato. Squeeze over juice of remaining lime and season with .25 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Toss to coat and set aside.
Add spice mix, .25 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired to bag with rice flour, shake to combine, then pour onto a large plate. Pat tilapia very dry with paper towel, then cut crosswise into 1-inch strips. Season with .5 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Dredge tilapia pieces in seasoned flour, pressing to adhere.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick pan over medium high. When oil is shimmering, add tilapia—you should hear it sizzle! (If not, let the oil get a little hotter.) Fry, working in batches as needed, until crust is crisp and fish is opaque, 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, and sprinkle over .25 teaspoon salt.
Plate Lettuce Wraps
Add diced avocado to salad and toss to combine. Divide crispy fish among lettuce cups then top with crema, sliced avocado, and crisp quinoa if using. Serve with corn salad.