"The best fish tacos require good fresh fish, good tortillas, and good salsa." - David Tanis
I promise you won't be reading a million taco recipes here, but as you know, I have quite a few tortillas to get through, thanks to Tortilla Land.
I've been wanting to make fish tacos for a while, as part of my personal goal to cook fish more often and use interesting fish recipes. I think I've seen versions of fish tacos on almost all of my favorite blogs now, so I looked through those recipes and my cookbooks and finally decided on one to try. The recipe I chose comes from David Tanis' A Platter of Figs, and I chose it for its simplicity. (I've mentioned this book in the past and how I love it for its simplicity.) Many of the other recipes I saw called for frying the fish or making fancy sour cream-based sauces. In Tanis' recipe, the fish is rubbed with spices and then broiled. There are a number of basic, fresh accompaniments, and I choose to take inspiration from Tanis' avocado salad and shredded cabbage with lime. Then I also made pico de gallo (for Jeff) and mango salsa (for me).
I loved the colorful salsas, crunchy cabbage, chewy tortillas, and spicy fish. Even Jeff, who said he didn't think he'd like fish tacos, really enjoyed these -- though not as much as the steak tacos. I think it's a tossup for me. I love both recipes for different reasons.
Fish Tacos (adapted from A Platter of Figs)
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Makes 4 to 6 tacos
3/4 to 1 pound halibut steaks
Salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
4 to 6 Tortilla Land flour tortillas
Mango salsa (recipe below) (optional)
Pico de gallo (recipe below) (optional)
Avocado salad (recipe below) (optional)
Cabbage with lime (recipe below) (optional)
Season the fish with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the chili powder, garlic, and oregano on top, and then drizzle the olive oil over the fish.
Rub the seasoning into the fish, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. (This is the perfect time to make your salsas.) Bring the fish to room temperature before cooking.
When ready to cook and serve, transfer the fish to a foil-lined sheet pan, and place under the broiler for about 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until fish is cooked through.
Transfer to a serving platter, and cut or break into smaller pieces.
While fish is cooking, preheat griddle to 400 degrees. Once fish comes out of the oven, cook the tortillas on the griddle for 30 to 60 seconds per side, or until they brown in spots.
Serve with mango salsa, pico de gallo, avocado salad, and cabbage with lime, if desired.
Mango Salsa And Pico De Gallo (my recipes)
It's easiest to make both salsas at the same time since the only difference is mangos in one and tomatoes in the other.
1/2 of an orange pepper, diced
1/4 of a red onion, diced
1/2 of a jalapeno, diced
2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
1/2 lime, cut in half
1/2 mango, diced
2 to 4 Campari tomatoes (or other small, ripe tomatoes), cored, seeded, and diced
Divide the pepper, onion, jalapeno, and cilantro evenly between two serving bowls.
Squeeze one lime wedge over each bowl.
Add the diced mango to one bowl and the diced tomato to the other.
Stir both salsas, and leave them out at room temp for an hour or so (as long as it takes the fish to marinate and cook), and serve them with the fish tacos.
Avocado Salad (adapted from A Platter of Figs)
This doesn't end up being a salad but more like guacamole.
1 ripe avocado
1 scallion, thinly sliced
Scoop the avocado into a serving bowl. Stir in the scallion, and season with salt. Squeeze the lime wedge into the avocado mixture, and give it another stir. (Make this about a half an hour before serving the fish tacos. If you make it too early, it could start to brown.)
Cabbage With Lime (adapted from A Platter of Figs)
1/4 of a small red cabbage, sliced
Place the cabbage in a serving dish. Season with salt. Squeeze lime juice on top, and toss cabbage to coat. (Make this just before putting the fish in the oven, about 10 minutes before serving the fish tacos.)
The tacos and all their toppings were just incredible. It felt like we were eating such a light, healthy dinner too. And I just kept thinking about all the vitamins and nutrients I must have been getting from so many colorful veggies and fruit.
Have you ever made fish tacos?