Fish tacos have become a regular weeknight meal for us. They’re easy, flavorful and healthy (at least compared to the Taco Bell-style ground beef tacos we sometimes make).
In the last year, we’ve tried any number of fish varieties and all sorts of toppings. There are so many tasty and interesting options, its hard to say there’s any “one” thing that makes this meal delicious. But there are a few things we’ve decided are must-haves at our house:
– A mild white fish, baked or grilled with cumin and chili powder. It can be breaded or not, but for us, a mild fish with light seasoning provides a tasty (but not overpowering) base for this dish. See the recipe below for something thats easy to prep, easy to clean up and a favorite with everyone at our house from little Lillian all the way to hearty-eating JiT (not to mention Zoey, if she can get a bite).
– Corn Tortillas heated directly over the gas burner: I drop store-bought tortillas right onto the hot burner so they can pick up some char from the gas flame. Just 20 to 30 seconds on each side is all it takes to add the right amount of char for that authentic taco-truck look (and taste).
– Pickled Jalapenos & Onions: The spice and zing that this condiment adds to the tacos is absolutely key. I’ve never been one to add raw onions or jalapeno slices to anything, but pickling them mellows the spice slightly and adds the most delightful vinegar tang. Preparing them takes a total of around ten minutes of prep and 30 minutes or so to sit and pickle, but its time well spent. And any leftovers will stay good in the fridge for about a week. My original recipe is a good starting point, but its an easy one to play around with. I’ve found this is just as delicious with white onions instead of red, regular vinegar instead of rice wine. Its also nice to add a clove of crushed garlic or some dried crushed oregano to the pickling mixture. We were lucky enough to have some fresh jalapeños from our garden this week and those were especially delicious to pickle. Yum!
– Avocado: The perfect creamy, cool, mellow counterpoint to the pickled ingredients.
– Thinly sliced cabbage: If you’ve not had cabbage on a taco before, give it a try. Its really, really good.
– Other things: Really good jarred salsa (I like salsa verde, JT prefers something hot, chunky and red). A squeeze of fresh lime juice.
Baked White Fish for Fish Tacos
Serves 2 to 4
4 filets of mild white fish such as hake, cod or flounder (tilapia works well if you’d like a slightly stronger taste)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chile powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 lime, quartered
6 to 8 fresh corn tortillas, warmed
Pickled Jalapeños & Onions (see below)
Thinly sliced cabbage
Avocado, flesh thinly sliced and scooped from skin
2 limes, quartered, for squeezing
Jarred salsas of your choice
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine cumin, chile powder, salt, garlic and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to make a paste. Set aside.
- Line a baking sheet with foil and drizzle the remaining Tablespoon of olive oil in an even layer over the foil. Arrange fish filets on foil and coat each filet evenly with the spice mixture.
- Place baking sheet on the center rack of the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until fish is opaque and flaky (baking time will vary depending on thickness of fish filets).
- To serve, use a fork to flake filets into bite sized pieces. Load fish chunks into warmed tortillas and top with toppings as desired.
Quick Pickled Onions & Jalapeños
Makes 1 Jar
1/2 of a large onion (white or red), halved and thinly sliced into half moons
1 fresh jalapeño pepper, halved, seeds removed and sliced into half moons
1 cup vinegar
Juice from half a lime
1/4 tsp kosher salt
- Combine onions and peppers in a clean glass jelly jar with a lid and set aside.
- In a small saucepan combine vinegar, lime juice and salt. Set over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt.
- Pour mixture over the onions and peppers, cover with lid and allow to steep for at least 1 hour.
- Serve with fish tacos or other Latin meals. Refrigerate leftovers and use as a condiment.