Store-bought fixin’s are for amateurs.
This is not a fish taco recipe. If you’re reading this, you almost definitely already know how to fry or grill fish. You probably already have a favorite way to prepare fish for tacos too; I like it lightly battered and fried, and if I had to pick a species of fish, it would be blackfish—but I’ve made them with striped bass and fluke with excellent results. You can bread or batter it…or not, you can use corn or flour tortillas, I like them both. But what I don’t like are fish tacos that don’t respect the fish.
If I’m going to harvest a fish, I’m going to make darn sure that it is worth it. I’m going treat it right, I’m going take care not to waste anything and I’m definitely going to give it the royal treatment when it comes to flavor. And taking the lazy approach to finishing your tacos, in my mind, is an egregious breach of the ethics of harvesting a fish. Honor its sacrifice by making it delicious!
Okay, I’m being a little dramatic here for effect, but I’m urging you to put some time into making this meal taste great. Invite the neighbors over and watch their eyes bug out when they take that first bite. The only thing more rewarding than enjoying delicious food you made and harvested yourself is sharing it with friends (and fielding the compliments!)
In my mind, a great fish taco has to have a cooling component, for that I use an avocado lime cream. It needs a citrus component and a good crunch, for which I utilize a citrus slaw. It needs a controlled spice component and interesting flavor, for this I use a kiwi and grapefruit salsa. Space is limited here so I’m going to stop blabbering and get to the recipes.
Avocado Lime Cream:
1 cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon Mayonnaise
1 ripe avocado, mashed
Juice and zest from one lime
Salt to taste
Combine all ingredients, blend until smooth, thin with milk if it’s too thick.
1 Cup red cabbage cut into ribbons
1 Cup green cabbage cut into ribbons
1 Cup green leaf lettuce cut into ribbons
2 green onions chopped
1 large carrot, julienned
¼ Cup apple cider vinegar
1-½ teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon onion powder
2 Tablespoons fresh-squeezed orange juice
1 lime, juiced
1/8 Cup vegetable oil
Combine vegetables and dressing, stir well, let sit for an hour, taste and re-season as needed.
2 Kiwis, peeled, ¼ Inch dice
Half a small red oinion diced
Half a grapefruit sectioned and diced
1 jalapeño pepper fine dice
1 large garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon ground cumin
To assemble, place your tortilla on a plate and arrange the fish in the middle, drizzle some of the avocado lime cream over the fish, spoon on some of the kiwi salsa and stack some slaw on there. You eat with your eyes first so garnish with some chopped cilantro and some crumbled cotija cheese.
We serve it with some lime rice on the side, you can accompany yours however you see fit. Take the extra time to crush the condiments and you’ll never look at fish tacos the same way again!