The first time I was introduced to fish tacos was my freshman year in culinary school. I was uncertain in my thoughts of whether to like this kind of taco or not. The fish we used wasn’t the best and who ever cooked it didn’t do an acceptable job. From that moment on every time I heard of fish tacos or read about it in a menu I was provoked to get something else. When I moved to Florida earlier this year I got stuck with seeing fish tacos everywhere. Without a doubt there is fresh seafood all over due to the fact that Florida is surrounded by water on all sides. I chose to give fish tacos one more shot. I figured if anything the fish here would be of better quality plus the menu descriptions had a way of making the dish sound captivating it was hard to turn down.
Most restaurants here in south Florida use Mahi-Mahi for the fish selection. The fish is almost always blackened meaning the it is coated in Cajun seasoning and can be marinated in oil and then grilled. There is usually sauce of some kind, lime wedges, and a fresh slaw to go along with the tacos. I’ve decided to come up with an enjoyable version of fish tacos. As far as cooking the fish Brandon recommended I baste the fish instead of straight up pan searing it. The flavor produced from caramelizing the fish topped with the seasoning and butter through the basting process keeps all the flavors intact. The final result is incredible with flavor. For this recipe I’ve included a sauce, slaw, and fish preparation. You don’t have to include the sauce or slaw however I do advise you to go along with using both.
-1 Small head cabbage (red or white doesn’t matter, for this recipe I used red)
-1 Each red and yellow sweet pepper, julienne
-1 Bunch cilantro, rough chop
-1 Each mango, peeled, and julienne
-1 Each small red onion, julienne
Chipotle lime sauce:
-1 8 0z container sour cream
-2 Each lime’s
-Zest from one of the above limes
-1/4 Teaspoon Cumin
-1/4 Teaspoon Old bay
-1/4 Teaspoon Chili powder
-1 oz Hot sauce
-1 small can chipotle peppers chopped up.
-2 Each Mahi-Mahi filets, cut in strips
-6 Each flour tortillas (Substitute corn tortillas for GF)
-1 Pack shredded cheddar
-1/2 Stick unsalted butter
-1/2 Cup Olive Oil
-1/4 Cup Cajun seasoning
-Do ahead: Place fish in large Ziploc freezer bag, add in Cajun seasoning and oil. Let marinate in refrigerator until ready to be cooked.
Method of prep:
-Cut cabbage, peppers, mango, cilantro, and onion as directed above.
-Place in small bowl and evenly mix by hand.
-Season with salt and juice from 1 lime (or orange juice if you have on hand)
-Cover with plastic wrap and set in refrigerator until ready to serve.
-Add sour cream and all seasonings into a small bowl.
-Squeeze juice from both limes into sour cream mixture. Add in zest from one of the limes and mix together with a spatula. Adjust seasonings if needed.
-Turn stove on Medium heat. In a medium skillet add in fish up to 3 at a time in the pan. Sear for about 3 minutes (possibly longer depending on size).
– Turn fish over using a metal spatula. Push fish up to the top of the pan with spatula, begin to add in 1 tablespoon of butter and allow it to melt.
-Tilt pan toward you, using a big metal spoon and start basting the fish with butter until a nice carmelization appears over the top of fish. Add more butter if needed.
-Baste for about 1 minute and cook for an additional minute after basting. Remove fish from pan and begin process over for next batch of fish.
-Once fish is ready, heat up tortillas in microwave for 20 seconds.
-Spread sauce on shells, add cheese, then fish and top with slaw.
If you are inexperienced with basting fish you can also bake in the oven or just pan sear on the stove.