Grilled fish tacos in corn tortillas
An easy, simple, and good-for-you meal.
One of the first recipes I ever posted way back in 2007 was for Baja-style fish tacos. The fish is beer battered and then fried and served on corn tortillas with finely shredded cabbage, salsa, and a host of delicious sides and condiments. They. Are. Simply. To. Die. For.Skip to next paragraph
Eve is the creator of The Garden of Eating, a blog about food--cooking it, eating it, and growing it. She has a legendary love of aprons and can often be found salivating over the fruits and veggies at one of the many farmers’ markets near her home in Woodstock, NY. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
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But they are also a lot of work to make, thanks to the beer battering and frying aspect of the recipe. And a lot has changed at our house since 2007, namely that we now have a very cute, very demanding 3-year-old and another baby on the way this fall. Also, it's been roughly 98 degrees F. a lot of the time lately which makes the idea of standing over a skillet of boiling oil for 20 minutes even less appealing than I'd usually find it. (What I really excel at lately is lying down in an air-conditioned room, reading – I find I'm quite good at it.)
But we still have to eat! And I still want everything to taste really good, in spite of the heat and our limited time and energy. So I've adapted a new, much easier, equally delicious, and far healthier version of fish tacos that we now make all the time.
The key is that the fish is grilled, instead of battered and fried. And in addition to being quick and easy, it's so light and flavorful and delicious this way, that I don't think I will ever go back to Baja unless I am at a restaurant or maybe when both my kids have gone off to college in about a million years from now.
You can use any kind of meaty white fish – tilapia, halibut, Mahi Mahi, etc. I used tilapia for this batch. You marinate the fillets in citrus juice (lemon, lime, orange or any combo thereof is good), olive oil, salt and pepper, some cilantro or other herbs and either a little thinly sliced onion or shallot or a pressed clove of garlic.
Then prep your sauces and sides. One of the most important is finely shredded cabbage – it gives the tacos a nice, fresh crunch that is mildly sweet and nutty. I usually use red cabbage as I love the color it lends but had green on hand from our CSA for this meal. I use my little hand-held Kyocera mandoline to make quick, fine work of it – it only takes about 40 seconds to get a big pile (the mandoline is magic!).
Then the mayonesa sauce which is just mayo, lime juice, and salt but somehow transforms the whole taco into a mouthful of deliciousness. Do not skip the mayo sauce! Even people who do not like mayo usually love this sauce (though you may have to gently prod them to try it the first time).
Then salsa. You can make your own salsa fresh or use bottled. I usually use salsa we've canned – here's my recipe. Tomato season is almost upon us and it's a great way to line your shelves with delicious homemade salsa for the entire year to come.
Then some fresh cilantro. Just wash, dry and remove the stems.Then some finely sliced red onion – it's nice if you can almost see through the slices. That way people can get the flavor of the onion on their tacos without becoming a fire breathing onion monster in the process.