Fish taco’s became very popular in Ensenada, Mexico in the late 60’s. Being from San Diego, CA, fish tacos became one of my favorite things to eat. I will admit at first I thought they sounded a bit strange, but I was a teenager, what did I know? I knew I loved tacos I just wasn’t real sure about the fish part of the equation. When a friend of mine told me how much she loved them, I broke down and gave them a try. Boy was I HAPPY I did (This was the same friend that talked me into trying sushi…..she had great taste I am so glad I listened!)!
Fish tacos bring back a lot of memories for me. Growing up in a coastal community I spent quite a bit of my time at the beach. They have since built up the area that used to be my old stomping grounds, but the little taco shop on the corner is still there. It was so fun to spend the day swimming and sunning with friends and then be able to just walk over to the taco shop in our bathing suits and get our lunch. Beach towns are the greatest!
The original fish tacos are fried fish fillets with a white sauce, cabbage and cheese and of course hot sauce if you wanted it. The sauce in this recipe gives you a little bit of that hot sauce kick without making things super hot. Like I have said in the past, we love heat in this house, well 3/4’s of us love heat at least. Jessi, Miss Picky, loved, Loved, LOVED, these tacos. She even saved the left over sauce because SHE said it was too good to waste…WOW color me shocked! I actually ran out of fish because everyone wanted to eat so many. Next time I will make sure to buy extra.
For anyone that hasn’t tried fish tacos let me say this. If you love fish, and a bit of Mexican flavors, you will love these tacos.
After about 3 to four minutes (you will see the fish beginning to turn opaque) I flipped them with a metal spatula. Be careful that the fish doesn’t come apart on you. I slid the spatula under very slowly kind of scraping the pan as I went. You don’t want to lose that yummy spiced crust!
This picture could have been better. This one was my boyfriends and he loved the sauce so much you really can’t see the fish. But trust me, it looked good and tasted GREAT!
Fantastic Fish Tacos
For the fish you will need:
1 heaping tablespoon ground cumin
a good pinch of coarse salt
1 heaping tablespoon ground coriander
1 heaping tablespoon chili powder (preferably a Mexican chili powder if you can find it)
4 – 6 oz firm white fish fillets (I used halibut but cod can be used as well)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil ( a couple turns around the pan)
12 corn tortillas
6 oz Queso Fresco cheese or Cotija crumbled (or as much as you like, we like LOTS of cheese here)
shredded cabbage ( I used cabbage for coleslaw with the carrots but you can buy a small green cabbage and slice it thinly)
2 vine ripened tomatoes, diced
For the sauce:
1/3 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
1 lime, juiced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
coarse salt to taste
2 oz canned diced green chiles
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
(to reduce calories you can use light mayo and sour cream)
Into a food processor place the mayo, sour cream, lime juice, and cumin, puree. Once the sauce is smooth add the cilantro leaves and blend until combined. Set aside.
Set oven on the lowest setting and wrap the corn tortillas in foil. Place them in the oven
Remove fish from the refrigerator and pat dry on both sides. In a bowl combine the cumin, salt, coriander, and chili powder. Rub the spice mixture on both sides of the fish making sure to coat evenly.
Heat a large skillet or grill pan over high heat. Add the fish and cook on both sides until the fish is opaque approx 3 to 4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish fillet.
Remove fish to a platter or plate and flake it into nice large “planks” of meat.
Remove tortillas from the oven and fill them with the fish, cabbage, sauce, cheese, and tomatoes.
Makes 12 tacos
based on a recipe by Cookin’ Canuck