When I proposed fish tacos to David as a meal, he turned up his nose as if I had just suggested peanut butter and salami sandwiches or pasta with chocolate sauce. Why put fish on a taco when ground meat is just so good? Why break up a perfectly good duo with something that usually stinks up the house for a day or two afterward?
Because its fast. Because it's healthy. Because it's simple. Because people in coastal Mexico have been eating it forever. Because a taco topped with cabbage and a little sour cream doesn't weigh you down the way a meat-bean-and-cheese extravaganza does. And because its fast, did I mention that. Fish cooks in no time flat. A little chopping, a little grating, and you've got dinner in about ten.
serves two, takes less than 15 minutes
1 white fish fillet (we used haddock), cut into 5 or six strips
1 egg (or just the white), beaten
1/4 cup cornmeal
2 Tbsp flour, plus a little extra
1 tsp each of salt and cumin
pinch of black pepper
lime zest (if you have it)
1/2 cup red cabbage, sliced thin
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp honey
1 Tbsp cilantro
4-5 corn tortillas
monterey jack cheese
- Set a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and throw in 1-2 tsp oil. Meanwhile, mix the cornmeal, 2 T flour, salt, cumin, pepper, and zest (if using) in a shallow bowl. Dust your fix pieces with extra flour, dip them in beaten egg, then roll them in the cornmeal breading mixture. Lay them in the skillet (they should all fit) and cook 4 minutes; then flip, and cook 3 minutes more, until flaky. You can sacrifice one by breaking it open in the middle and making sure its opaque. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
- In a bowl, mix cider vinegar with honey, cilantro, and a pinch of S&P. Stir in cabbage.
- Warm the tortillas either in a bit of oil over the stove or in a wet paper towel in the microwave. Build tacos with a piece or two of fish, a sprinkle of cheese, a spoonfull of cabbage, a dollop of sour cream, and a squirt of lime. Serve with sliced radishes tossed in salt and more cilantro. We also had some corn relish, but you could go with rice and/or beans to round out the meal.