I called my husband at work yesterday afternoon and asked the age-old question: “What do you want for dinner?” The reply was quick: “Tacos.” This is sort of a fortnightly staple for us. Once every two weeks or so we rock a taco/fajita night—but after three years of run-of-the-mill tacos, I’m bored. Not to mention, I always feel so full after eating them. Meat, cheese, guacamole, refried beans. Delicious, for sure – but they leave me in a food coma on the couch for 45 minutes after. Generally not a problem, but tonight I have to work, which means I have to be on my feet for 3 hours pulling pints—my part-time grad-school job— for thirsty and impatient customers!
And then I have a genius moment…I have fish in the freezer, some lovely cod! I can make…FISH TACOS! I have never made fish tacos before, but vaguely recall getting them at a restaurant a few years ago and everyone ooh’ing and ahh’ing over my meal. So I pull the fish out of the freezer and go online to do some initial research. I get the basic principles of the fish taco. Keep it light—nothing overpowering and heavy—nothing to cover the flavour of the fish.
I have my ideas for base ingredients: fish, lime, cilantro, light yogurt, homemade guacamole and possibly some chopped tomato. It was all a bit of an experiment – but I can say with conviction that the fish taco is an unsung hero of the Mexican food world! The flavors are more subtle, but every bit as bold as a normal taco. You get all these rich and pure flavors (like lime and cilantro) with the soft and tender fish. Frankly, I’m converted! I will continue to perfect this recipe—and so can you! Here’s my recipe.
David and I made your fish tacos for lunch today. Since it was cool, sunny, and cloudless, we ate outside. And although we’re back at work now, we both agreed those plates of fish tacos made us feel for just a moment we were on a Caribbean vacation. (It didn’t hurt that we split a Red Stripe). It’s pretty amazing when a dish can make you feel that way.
The only thing I added was a little chopped red onion for crunch and punch, and I set out a bottle of hot red pepper sauce, which we both reached for.
Most cooks think they need a dinner party to try a new dish (and for most us, how often is that!?). I love that you created a sassy new entree on a simple weeknight.
Mags, this recipe sounds easy…and so delicious. I am absolutely going to give these a shot next week.
But as is typical in our fam—it’s probably genetic—my creative wheels are already turning. Although I know it’s not easy to grill fish, I’d like to give it a shot. That smoky flavor is a must for me.
I’m with Mom on the crunch factor–a touch of red onion will do, but once I had fish tacos with an out-of-this-world tangy, cabbage-jicama slaw. But let’s be serious—I’m probably not gonna mess with jicama slaw on a weeknight. But for a little roll-your-own taco party, it’d be killer.
And finally, corn tortillas would be non-negotiable. Before I started working at Fine Cooking, I didn’t want anything to do with them. They were small, weirdly textured, and well corn-y. But, I have seen the light! (I’ve also had fresh, homemade ones…and I will never be the same.) When heated to perfection, corn tortillas are pleasantly dense and pliable with incredibly rich corn flavor.
Nice work on pioneering a new weeknight fave. I hope I’m more like you when I grow up! I’m ashamed to describe my eating habits for the past two weeks or so…the word ramen would probably come up. I could name-drop more than a few cereals, and I might have to admit to owning controlling stock in Yoplait. I did make Chicken Caesar Salad Flatbreads, which were a-mazing, but I had people over, so I had to keep up appearances.
Fish tacos are a huge thing here in ATX. Obviously, you all should come visit, taste all the best ones, and figure out what makes them so great.
We make FIsh Tacos about once every other week.. The best fish we have found is Red Snapper!! Makes a great Fish Taco.