One of the things I miss most since transplanting from Florida to Tennessee is the readily available fresh Gulf seafood I found in the Florida panhandle. I’ve learned to live with frozen filets, and these fish tacos are a great way to use them.
I don’t remember exactly when I first ran into fish tacos, but it was a random moment online. And while it’s not a common meal in our home, I always enjoy occasions when it’s made.
You can use any white fish (think cod, tilapia, amberjack, Mahi Mahi, flounder). I often use flounder or Mahi Mahi. Fresh is best, but frozen will work. When weather permits, dear sweet husband likes to grill the fish. Otherwise, it’s pan fried. Because we grilled out, I opted for onion powder to add to a dry rub of the seasonings for the fish. It worked very well.
A baja style slaw is traditional. I put a little twist on it with my Royal Cabbage Slaw. If you don’t want to buy or make a slaw, you can finely slice cabbage or lettuce and add radish bits to it.
You can use pre-made flour tortillas or make your own. Since I usually have Artisan Bread Dough on hand, I often follow my Naan recipe to make tortillas; I just make them smaller. You can also make authentic flour tortillas, like I did, following Mely Martinez’s recipe. Instead of rolling them out, I use my tortillado (tortilla press): it makes a beautifully even tortilla.
Spread Knock-out Guacamole on your tortilla, add the cabbage slaw and and then the fish. Top with red onion and a little cotija cheese if you like—so delicious! This also works well with shrimp. Serve with your favorite Mexican sides, like Mexican Rice, refried beans or street corn. Add a healthy salad or some salsa and chips, and you’ve got a fiesta for your mouth. (Margarita and cerveza totally optional.)
3-4 pcs of a white fish fillet (abt 1 lb)
1/4 C clarified butter
1 TBSP onion
1/2 to 1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cilantro
1/2 tsp basil
juice of 1/2 lemon or lime, freshly squeezed (about 2 TBSP)
For taco filling:
Red onion, finely sliced
3-4 flour tortillas (soft taco style)
Cotija cheese (powdered)
lemon or lime wedges
chopped and whole sprigs of fresh cilantro for garnish
TIP: If you don’t want to make slaw, buy a pre-made Baja style or finely slice cabbage or lettuce and add radish bits
Prep time: 30 to 40 minutes
Yields: 3-4 tacos (or more, depending upon amount of fish placed in taco)
If using Royal Slaw, finely slice red onion.
If not using Royal Slaw or other pre-prepared Baja style slaw: finely slice onion and dice radish. Finely slice desired filling (cabbage or lettuce).
Set filling aside.
Heat pan on medium. Add clarified butter.
Sprinkle seasonings on fish and pan fry until outer edge begins to turn solid white.
Turn and cook on other side until internal temperature reaches recommended temperature (generally, 145 degrees). The meat should appear opaque and flake away from a fork easily.
TIP: this recipe also works well with grilled fish.
Remove from heat.
Take tortillas and spread guacamole on them. Add slaw, then place fish meat on top of slaw bed. Place a few red onion slices on top and squeeze lime or lemon over taco. If desired, sprinkle some cotija powdered cheese and cilantro garnish on taco.
Serve warm. Add lemon or lime wedges and cilantro sprig to plate for garnish if desired.
Serve with desired combination of Mexican Rice, street corn, or refried beans along with tortilla chips, guacamole and salsa.