Monday, July 16, 2018

Fish Tacos with Cod

Tacos have been part of Mexico's culinary heritage for well over a hundred years. These folded tortillas can be stuffed with any number of fillings—with each Mexican state claiming stake to their own. Fish tacos are said to come from Baja California, Mexico's northernmost state. While the original fish taco was made with deep-fried fish, this recipe—made with sautéed fish—is a delicious and fresh version. This recipe is easily doubled, which makes it a great dish to make when entertaining a crowd.


1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
About 1 1/2 cups red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons ancho chile powder  **
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish
1 jalapeño, stemmed and chopped
1 pound flaky white fish (such as mahi mahi or cod), cut into 4 pieces
8 fresh corn tortillas
Mexican crema, *** (Substitute a big dollop of sour cream with 1-2 Tablespoons of buttermilk)
Fresh Tomato Salsa
2 limes, cut into quarters

** Ancho chili powder is not very spicy, so you don't need much crushed red pepper to match the heat. For a recipe that calls for 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder, substitute 1 teaspoon regular chili powder AND 1/8-1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper.

*** Homemade Mexican Crema by Patrick Calhoun / Mexican Please

This is an easy way to make a homemade batch of delicious, tangy Mexican Crema. 

1 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon buttermilk
1/2 lime
pinch of salt
Slightly warm 1 cup heavy cream to room temperature in a saucepan
Add 1 Tablespoon buttermilk to the pan and mix well
Add mixture to a jar and lightly cover
Keep jar on counter (or in warm place) for the next 12-24 hours.
Fasten lid tightly and refrigerate
In a few hours it will thicken even more
Add the juice of 1/2 lime and a generous pinch of salt to the jar and mix well
Taste for seasoning
Serve immediately or store in the fridge


  1. Marinate the Onion
    Put the onion in a small bowl and pour in enough red wine vinegar to cover well. Set aside for at least 30 minutes or up to several weeks.
  2. Marinate the Fish
    Pour the olive oil into a small bowl and add the ancho chile powder, oregano, cumin, chopped cilantro, and jalapeño. Mix well. Place the fish on a dish and pour the marinade over it, making sure to coat the fish well on both sides. Allow to marinate for 20 minutes.
  3. Cook the Fish
    Heat a nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Remove the fish from the marinade and place in the hot pan (there is no need to add more oil). Season the fish with salt. Cook the fish for 4 minutes undisturbed, then turn over, and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and flake the fish into the pan with a fork, making sure to mix in all the marinade that has stuck to the bottom of the pan. Check for seasoning and add more salt if necessary. Set aside.
  4. Heat the Tortillas
    Place four of the tortillas on a plate and sandwich them between two slightly dampened sheets of paper towel. Microwave on high for 45 seconds. Place the warm tortillas in a towel-lined basket or plate and cover. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
  5. Assemble and Serve
    To assemble the tacos, place a heaping spoonful of the marinated flaked fish onto the center of a tortilla. Top with the marinated onions. Serve accompanied by Mexican crema and salsa.

    Garnish with lime wedges and cilantro sprigs.



You can use any fish you like so long as you can flake the flesh when it is cooked. Most white fish fall under this category. 
Marinated Onions
Once you make this very simple condiment, you will find yourself keeping a container of these onions in your refrigerator to add to all of your dishes.
Don't be alarmed by the amount of vinegar needed to cover the onions completely. Since you will most likely have onions leftover, keep them submerged in the vinegar in a refrigerated airtight container. You can then use the vinegar for your other cooking needs. The onions will keep for several weeks.

The onions and fish can be made up to a day in advance. When reheating the fish, you may want to add about 1 tablespoon of water to make sure the fish does not dry out.

Reprinted from Simply Mexican by Lourdes Castro

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