Chef Grayson Schmitz's fish tacos

June 19, 2012 (CHICAGO)

Fish tacos with pickled carrots, jalapenos, cabbage, radish & cilantro Makes 8 portions


  • 2 T. Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 T. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 T. Sugar
  • 2 T. Fine Kosher Salt
  • 1 t. Black Peppercorns
  • 1 t. Coriander Seed
  • 2 c. Water
  • 2 T. Shallot, Rough Chopped 2 medium Carrots, Cut into Sm. Batons
  • 2 Jalapeños, Sliced Very Thin
  • 2 c. Ice

  • 32 oz. Walleye Fillets, Skinned Deboned & Cut into Approx. 1 oz. Strips
  • 4 Eggs, Beaten
  • 2 packs Saltine Crackers, About 70 Crackers
  • 8 T. Butter

  • 1/2 c. + 2 T. Mayo
  • 1 T. Siracha
  • 2 t. White Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 t. Fine Kosher Salt

  • 16- 8 inch Flour Tortillas
  • 2 c. White Cabbage, Shaved
  • 4 Radishes, Julienne
  • 1/2 c. Cilantro, Picked
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges



1. In a medium sauce pan bring the rice wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, black peppercorns, coriander seed, water and shallot to a boil. Then strain over the carrots. Steep for 4 minutes then add the thinly sliced jalapeno, mix in with the carrot. After about 1 minute add the ice and let sit in the liquid for 15 minutes. Strain, discard the liquid and reserve the pickled carrots and jalapenos.


Make sure the Walleye Fillets are skinned and deboned, then cut the fillets into 1 oz. strips.

1. To prepare for the breading process beat 4 eggs with a fork. Place the saltine crackers in a large Ziploc bag, then using a rolling pin, crush the crackers into a fine crumble.

2. Season the fish with salt and pepper then dip each piece into the beaten eggs. Place a few pieces of egg washed fish into the bag of crushed cracker. Toss to coat the fish, then remove and repeat this process until all the fish is breaded.

3. Meanwhile, using a large non-stick sauté pan over medium low heat up 4 table spoons of butter.

4. Place the fish strips into the hot butter and cook until golden brown, then flip and cook the other side of the fish. When both sides are golden brown, remove from the pan and reserve for the tacos.

5. Repeat this process. About half way through the batches, clean the pan and use 4 more tablespoons of butter.


1. Combine the mayo, sriracha, white wine vinegar and salt. Reserve.


Quickly toast each tortilla in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Place 2 fish strips in the center of each tortilla, then place a dollop of sauce over the fish. Garnish the tacos with the pickled carrots and jalapeños, shaved white cabbage, radish and cilantro. Place a wedge of lime on each plate to be squeezed on top of the tacos.


Grayson recently relocated to the Windy City from New York to reconnect with her roots. Grayson is known for her sassy commentary and saucy cooking on Bravo's Top Chef: Texas (Season 9). She hails from the small town of New Holstein, Wisconsin and is proud to be a "Sconnie" girl. She credits her straight-talking swagger to her family and mid-western values. Like her personality, Grayson's food is inspiring, but not pretentious. She prides herself on complex flavors with rustic preparation. From cheese curds and beer to foie and Burgundy, Grayson loves food and how it brings people together.

Grayson began working in professional kitchens at age 15. After high school, she migrated to the East coast to pursue schooling in culinary arts. Upon graduation from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), she spent her formative years training under the best chefs in New York City, including Jean Georges Vongerichten, Fabbio Trabocchi, and Kurt Gutenbrunner. Most recently, Grayson headed recipe development at Olivier Cheng, New York's premier events catering company.

Twitter: @graysonschmitz

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