Anti-Al Dente, Pro-Fish Taco

June 6, 2018

Anti-Al Dente, Pro-Fish Taco

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A larger portion (than I care to admit) of my cooking inspiration comes from mindlessly scrolling through my Instagram feed. That save feature on IG? Mine is 95% food and 5% random posts I accidentally clicked. Yesterday was Tuesday, also known by the internet as #TacoTuesday, so I was seeing tacos all over the damn place. I decided it was a good time to participate in this hashtag.

For the longest time I was super anti-fish tacos. I don’t like fried fish and the fish tacos I had experience with were all fried. Not for me. My bad attitude towards fish tacos changed last year at a little marina restaurant in Key West called The Hogfish Bar & Grill. First of all, don’t do a google image search for hogfish. They are as ugly as they sound. HOWEVER, they ARE delicious. I ordered the namesake tacos, grilled & blackened and my opinion on fish tacos was changed forever. I still don’t mess with fried fish, but grilled is where it’s at.

I started craving those, and knowing I’m not going to find hogfish in Columbia, MD, I decided Mahi Mahi was the move. Mahi Mahi isn’t a fishy tasting fish. It’s got a light flavor while having a heartier texture than fish like tilapia or cod. More similar to salmon, but not as strong tasting. I’m super into this McCormick jerk spice blend so I seasoned the fish with that and seared them a few minutes in a skillet on each side. Look, I’m not above using a spice blend. I love homemade things but sometimes you find something you like and it feels a little like cheating but if it makes your life easier, then GO FOR IT.

Since the fish was easy, I decided to complicate things for myself by making corn salsa, purple cabbage slaw, and a chipotle crema. “You aren’t fancy unless you use the word crema” -my friend Vanessa. It’s a fact.

The tacos turned out great! I was kinda proud because I totally freestyled this one. Not a recipe in sight. Aimlessly walking through Wegmans picking up ingredients that would hopefully make sense.

Here’s the recipe, if you’re interested!

Ingredients:

For the fish tacos:

  • 2 Mahi Mahi filets (about 6-7oz each)
  • Flour or corn tortillas, depending on your preference
  • 2 tbsp Jerk seasoning
  • 1/4c canola oil
  • 1tbsp butter

For the corn salsa:

  • 1 cup corn (fresh is best, but frozen is fine!)
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped finely
  • 1/2 lime, squeezed
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

For the purple cabbage slaw:

  • 1 cup purple cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped finely
  • 1/2 lime, squeezed
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the chipotle crema:

  • 8oz greek yogurt (or sour cream if you don’t care about health)
  • 1 tbsp adobo sauce from canned chipotles in adobo
  • 1/2 adobo pepper (or more, for extra spice)

Extra garnishes:

  • Crumbled cotija cheese
  • Cilantro
  • Lime wedges

Directions:

  1. Pat the fish dry and season with jerk seasoning. Set aside.
  2. Prep your sides. For the salsa, chop & mix everything together in a bowl. Repeat for cabbage slaw. For the crema, add ingredients to a food processor, blend until totally pureed. Sit in the fridge until ready for use.
  3. Cook the fish! Heat 1/4c vegetable oil & 1tbsp of butter in a skillet until hot but not screaming hot. Place the fish flesh side down and sear for 3-4 minutes. Flip onto the skin side and sear for another 3-4 minutes, or until the inside of the fish is white.
  4. When the fish is done, place on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Cut the filets in half, length wise.
  5. Assemble the tacos! Heat both sides of your tortillas in a skillet. Remove from the heat and add your toppings. I did mine in the following order: cabbage, fish, corn salsa, cotija, crema, cilantro, fresh squeezed lime juice.
  6. ENJOY! Throw in a margarita if you wish.

Cheers, and happy #TacoWednesday 🐟


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