Traditionally, fry bread is served with ground meat and classic taco toppings. But this crispy and chewy bread can be topped with limitless combinations—from savory to sweet. For this recipe, I use fried crappie accompanied by a bright, acidic mango salsa that pairs perfectly with the fish.
Fry bread can be made to any size, but I prefer a larger version to accommodate extra fillings. Slathered in homemade refried beans and a lime crema, it’s the perfect meal for an outdoor get together with friends. Just make sure you have extra napkins.
Time to make
1 lb. crappie, cut into ½ inch chunks
1 cup seasoned flour
2, 15 oz. cans cannellini beans, with juices
¼ cup lard or rendered fat
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. garlic powder
1 cup sour cream
1 lime, juiced
1 mango, diced
½ cup roasted red peppers, diced
1 medium jalapeno, minced
½ cup red onion, diced
½ cup cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
Salt to taste
2 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup lukewarm water
Oil for frying
Also works with
Salsa & Crema
- Combine the salsa ingredients, mix and keep chilled in the refrigerator.
- Mix the lime juice into the sour cream until smooth and also place in the refrigerator to chill. Be sure to check for seasoning.
- Combine all of the refried bean ingredients into a small pot and bring to a strong simmer. Cook the beans for 15 minutes.
- Let cool slightly. Pour the beans into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Keep warm for serving. Alternatively, you could use a potato masher or use store-bought refried beans.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients for the dough and mix with a fork until combined. Slowly pour in the water and mix by hand until the dough comes together.
- Remove the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for three minutes.
- Cover the dough and let it rest for 15 minutes. Cut the dough into four equal portions, roll into balls, and with a rolling pin roll the dough into circles roughly 7-8 inches wide and no more than ¼ inch thick. Cover the dough and set it aside.
Fry and Assemble
- For the fry bread, add around one inch of oil into a large cast iron pan. Bring the oil to 375ºF. One at a time, fry the bread until golden brown and bubbly, about three minutes for one side. Flip and repeat the process. You may have to use a pair of tongs to hold the bread down into the oil. Make sure to maintain the oil temperature for each piece. Place the bread on a wire rack or plate to drip off excess oil.
- Toss the cut fish in your favorite breading. In the same skillet, add the fish and fry until golden brown. Pro tip: Keep the fry bread warm in the oven so it stays nice and crispy for serving.
- Spread refried beans onto each piece of fry bread. Add chunks of fried fish. Drizzle the fish with the citrus crema, and finish with the mango salsa. Serve with shredded iceberg lettuce, shredded cheese, and hot sauce if you’d like. Either fold and eat them like a regular taco or leave them flat like a tostada.