Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos

By
From
Citrus
Serves
4
Photographer
Mowie Kay

This looks like a lot of work, but really it takes minutes to make the salsas while the fish gets a brief marinating. I prefer to make my own tortillas, and usually use a heavy frying pan to squash them flat as I don’t have a tortilla press, but you don’t have to do this yourself – it is possible to buy very good ones.

You can experiment with the flavours in the salsa – I like something quite tart against savoury fish and sweet avocado, so in place of grapefruit I might use blood orange or physalis.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 firm, thick white fish fillets, skinned and cut in half
olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the marinade

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lime, finely grated zest and juice
1 mandarin, finely grated zest and juice, (optional)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt

For the tomatillo, grapefruit and chilli salsa

Quantity Ingredient
4 tomatillos, diced, (or green tomatoes, or failing that, just use red)
1/2 red onion, or the same amount of
or 1/2 Lime-pickled red onions
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 large pink or red grapefruit, segmented and diced, see recipe note
1 red chilli, finely chopped
A pinch ground cumin
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped coriander

For the avocado salsa

Quantity Ingredient
1 large avocado, diced
1 lime, Finely grated zest and juice
2 tablespoons coconut cream
2 tablespoons chopped coriander

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
fresh corn tortillas, homemade or use shop bought
shredded lettuce
250g masa harina
330ml just-boiled water
3 tablespoons just-boiled water

Method

  1. First prepare the fish. In a bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients, pour over the fish fillets and leave to marinate for at least an hour.
  2. Meanwhile, make the salsas. Mix the ingredients for each in 2 separate bowls and season well with salt and pepper. Leave to stand – these are best at room temperature. (You can purée the avocado if you like a crema – I prefer it chunky.)
  3. Heat a frying pan until very hot, then add a little olive oil. Add the fish fillets and cook until they are almost completely done (i.e. the flesh will be turning opaque up the sides), then flip for another minute. Remove from the pan.
  4. Pile the fillets onto the tortillas and top with shredded lettuce and the salsas.

Corn Tortillas

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

  1. Put the masa harina in a bowl and pour in the water. Start mixing with a spoon, then when it starts to come together, turn out onto a work surface and knead until the dough is smooth. Make sure it isn’t too dry – if it looks as though cracks are appearing or may appear, incorporate a little more hot water by wetting your hands and continuing to knead. Divide the mixture into 8 pieces and roll each piece into a ball.
  2. If you own a tortilla press, place plastic wrap over the bottom, place a ball of dough in the centre of the press, then cover with more plastic wrap. Press down as firmly as you can then lift up. Carefully peel away the top layer of plastic wrap and lift off the second, taking the tortilla with it – you should have a tortilla around 15cm/6-in in diameter. Don’t worry if it is slightly rough around the edges, this just makes them look more rustic. If you don’t have a tortilla press, use a heavy-based saucepan or frying pan instead, making sure it is placed centrally over the dough before you press down. Keep the uncooked tortillas to one side, divided by layers of plastic wrap, until you are ready to cook them.
  3. To cook the tortillas, heat a heavy-based frying pan or griddle pan to medium–hot. Cook each tortilla for a minimum of 15 seconds on one side then try to lift off – if it doesn’t come cleanly away, you need to cook it for slightly longer. Flip over and cook for a further 30 seconds, and again, don’t remove until it will come cleanly away. Flip one last time and cook for another 15 seconds. Keep warm while you make the remaining tortillas.

How to cut

  • Unless I specify that the skin should be left on, all the recipes in this book require you to prepare citrus so that the skin and at the very least the outer membrane is cut away. The way to do this is to top and tail the citrus and sit it firmly on your chopping board. Then cut from top to bottom, following the contour of the fruit, making sure you are cutting away the pith and outer membrane as you go. When you have cut all the way around, trim off any other bits of white pith you can see. You can then slice or dice the fruit as it is, flicking out pips as you go. For membrane-less segments, take the fruit in one hand and cut along one side of each segment – you can then either cut down the other side to release the segment or you can carefully scrape the flesh in one movement from the centre to the edge – this will ensure you remove every bit of flesh from that side. You should always do this over a bowl to catch any juice, and I always squeeze out the discarded peel and membranes too.
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