On the most basic level, it is nothing more than a folded tortilla filled with fresh seafood. However, the noble fish taco is so much more having expanded from its simple origins along the Pacific coast of the Baja peninsula. There are now many regional varieties and it even has a day of the week named in its honor.
Suitable for more than a Tuesday night treat and humble by basic design, fish tacos can be as trendy or mainstream as you like. Served throughout coastal beach shacks, trendy dining establishments, food trucks and more, fish tacos have never been more popular. Regardless if you prefer beer battered or blackened varieties, the best fish tacos start with the freshest ingredients. And whether you enjoy new wave toppings like mango chutney, sriracha aioli or more traditional smoky chipotle flavor, there are no rules to be broken here. For this quick and crunchy afternoon treat we’ve chosen tripletail as the base, though any white, flaky fish will suffice. Mahi, grouper, seatrout, cobia and snapper are great substitues. It’s more of a freeform recipe in my kitchen that changes with seasonal availability.
At home, I also prefer to keep it light in comparison to coating ingredients in oily coleslaw or heavy mayonnaise-based sauce. A corn and pear slaw adds to the freshness and while most fish taco recipes call for a flour tortilla shell, I prefer the crunchy corn variety.
- 1 cup green and red cabbage, shredded
- 2 ears grilled corn, kernels removed
- 1 pear, thin sliced
- 1 cup green and red pepper, thin sliced
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- 2 limes, juiced
- ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 jalapeño seeded and chopped
- In a medium mixing bowl, toss slaw ingredients and set aside in refrigerator for 20 minutes.
- 1 pound fresh tripletail
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon sumac
- ½ teaspoon tarragon
- ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper
- 2 limes, juiced
- 4 hard taco shells
- Dry rub fish with spices and heat oil in cast iron skillet on med-high.
- When oil shimmers, cook fish until opaque—two minutes per side should suffice.
- Remove from heat, squeeze lime wedge over fish and place a large chunk in the center of a hard shell taco.
- Top with a healthy serving of slaw, and all that’s left to do is grab a cold drink!