Cooking how-to: Fish tacos
This article was originally published in August 2014
Master the art of fish tacos at home using any one of these three simple techniques that are quick, easy and healthier than deep-frying. After cooking the fish, flake it into chunks and distribute evenly among tortillas. Then top with a little crunch and a little cream for a medley of textures and flavors that is fantastic for a weeknight meal or lively outdoor gathering.
This method uses just a single pan and it doesn’t require preheating so it cooks in no time at all. Start with one pound of flaky white fish, such as cod, sole, halibut or rockfish, with the skin and bones removed. Gently dry the fish with kitchen towels.
Create or choose a spice mixture — a simple combo is 2 teaspoons each chili powder and cumin and 1 teaspoon coriander.
Sprinkle the spice mixture over both sides of the fish fillet. Season it with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Place fish in the pan and cook until golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Carefully turn the fish over and cook until it flakes easily with a fork, another 5 to 7 minutes; let cool slightly.
Take advantage of summer (and keep a cooler kitchen) by cooking your fish outdoors on the grill. Start with one pound of firm fish, such as salmon, tuna or mahimahi. Place the fish in a shallow bowl.
Create a marinade by whisking together 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 minced garlic clove and 1 teaspoon cumin. Pour the marinade over the fish, refrigerate and let marinate at least 15 minutes.
Heat grill to medium-high; lightly oil grill grates. Remove fish from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Grill until the fish flakes easily with a fork, 5 to 7 minutes per side; let cool slightly.
Baking breaded fish is a healthier and less oily alternative to deep-frying, but it still creates that same crisp coating.
Preheat oven to 400° F. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet and spray the racks with cooking spray.
Start with one pound of flaky white fish, such as cod, sole, halibut or rockfish; cut into four portions. Gently dry the fish with kitchen towels. Season it with salt and pepper and dust with flour.
For the breading, mix together 1 cup panko breadcrumbs and 1 teaspoon each chili powder, cumin and dried oregano. Make an egg wash of 2 eggs beaten with 1 tablespoon milk or water.
Dip the fish pieces into the egg mixture to coat and then cover with the breadcrumb mixture on all sides. Place the fish on the rack. Spray each piece lightly with cooking spray. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the coating is golden brown and fish is cooked through.
Taco toppings and more
Pick up a pack of Food for Life Sprouted Corn Tortillas or Leona’s de Chimayo White Flour Tortillas. Feeling ambitious? Make your own tortillas. Check out our recipe for Handmade Flour Tortillas or make gluten-free corn tortillas.
Cabbage is classic and a handful of this nutritious veggie (shredded) is the perfect complement to fish. Mix it up by grabbing a bag of Taylor Farms Broccoli and Carrot Slaw, available in select stores near the prepackaged greens in our produce department. Or snag some of our Mango Pepita Slaw in the PCC Deli.
A fish taco isn’t complete without a cool, creamy sauce. Try our recipe for smooth Avocado Cream, made from rich avocados, fresh jalapenos and a touch of sour cream. Or find recipes for Chipotle Sauce, Lime Sauce and more.
Cilantro, lime or lemon wedges and avocado slices are exclamation points to an already great taco. Take it up a notch with your favorite hot sauce. We particularly like the hot sauce line from Bonache, locally made in Ballard.