fish tacos! crunchy slaw! let’s eat!
I think fish tacos need to be a weekly thing. They’re so incredibly easy to make, they taste absolutely delicious, and they are relatively healthy! (If you swapped a lettuce wrap for the tortilla, you’d really be in business.) Every time I make fish tacos, I seriously wonder why I don’t have them more often.
Honestly, these fish tacos aren’t complete without the crunchy slaw. It’s super easy to throw together: red cabbage*, onion, sour cream, cilantro, chipotles in adobo, lime juice / zest, and some salt and pepper pretty much cover it. You can make the crunchy slaw a few hours in advance, too. The extra time gives everything a chance to meet & greet, and form a harmoniously balanced blend of flavors.
*(Grocery note : if you don’t need the entire head of red cabbage, just fill a small to-go container with pre-shredded red cabbage from the salad bar at the grocery store.)
The fish is super easy to prepare, too! Rinse and thoroughly dry* one fish filet per taco, then season with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and cumin. Lightly fry them in a cast iron skillet, juice some fresh lime over them, then flake them apart before building your fish tacos.
*(Kitchen note : drying your fish is essential to cooking it properly. Excess water results in steam, which causes oil splatters. The steam also doesn’t allow your fish to heat to the proper temperature, thus resulting in sub-par texture and flavor. For a crispy exterior and less mess, definitely dry the fish first.)
I like to throw my tortillas in the cast iron pan to warm them up before I build the tacos, too. You can do this as the pan is warming up, or once it’s starting to cool down (post-fish-cooking.) The tortillas may absorb some spices and oil if you do it after, but it’s just more flavor, right? Warm tortillas + warm fish + cool and crunchy slaw = textural joy. It’s worth it, trust me! The tortillas soften as they warm, and gently shape themselves around the fish and slaw this way, too.
Now, if you close your eyes and dive far enough into your head, you can pretend you’re on the beach in California. Turn on some ocean sounds through your phone, and sit outside in the sunshine. See? It’s the mini break you needed after your long day / week. I’ll brb with a grilled pineapple and jalapeño margarita for you, too.
You totally deserve to enjoy every little bit of summer that you can. I think some fish tacos + margaritas will definitely start you off right. Before you know it, you’ll be shopping for scarves and reminiscing of your evenings on the patio with a fish taco in hand.
Let me know if you get a chance to make these by tagging #aflavorjournal on Instagram, and be sure to tag me in your photos! Find me at @aflavorjournal! <3 And summer’s here. It’s time to eat like it. I hope you enjoy!
simple fish tacos with crunchy cabbage slaw
for crunchy cabbage slaw :
- 2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
- 1 Tbsp. finely chopped red onion
- 1 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1 Tbsp. finely chopped chipotles in adobo plus a little sauce
- 1 tsp. fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp. lime zest
for fish :
- 4 filets sustainable white fish (I use Atlantic cod) (4 oz. each)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 4 taco-sized tortillas
for slaw :
- Combine sour cream, chipotles in adobo, lime juice, lime zest, and apple cider vinegar in a medium mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Add dry ingredients, and toss with a fork until everything is evenly mixed.
for fish :
- Heat a cast iron pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil to the pan, and turn to coat.
- Season each fish filet with salt and pepper (about a pinch per side on each filet). Set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine cumin, smoked paprika, and garlic powder. Divide combined seasonings evenly over each filet; both sides.
- Cook the fish filets about 3 minutes per side, or until cooked through.
- Remove the fish from the pan, and lightly squeeze fresh lime juice over them. Flake the filets apart, and evenly divide between four warmed tortillas.
- Top with crunchy slaw, and desired toppings. Serve immediately!