There I was, driving through the Fenway on my way to work, when this billboard enters my view: FISH TACOS. “Yuck! Fish in tacos?! Really? Gack.” That reaction can be chalked up to a childhood aversion to all things fishy — undoubtedly a result of being required, by a well-meaning neighbor, to watch him gut his fresh catch. I like fish now, really, but it seems that my 12-year-old self still has some influence.
Eventually, that knee-jerk reaction to the billboard was replaced by curiosity, as this dish started popping up everywhere — food blogs, restaurant menus, Facebook, and the like. I made the resolution to make them myself and see what all the fuss is about. The internet is chock full of 10,000 versions for any dish you might want to make. When it comes to fish tacos, for instance, Bobby Flay grills it, Rachael Ray uses mangoes, and Giada adds wasabi. The options are deliciously endless. So, I took a few ideas from here and there, and came up with something I thought would be flavorful enough for me, yet not scare the meekest of my victims – ah, I mean my kids.
This recipe could use just about any type of fish that you like. I used tilapia, a mild-tasting tender white fish, but could see this working easily with firmer fish such as snapper, tuna, salmon or mahi mahi. Change the type of pepper you use, if you like more heat — the Anaheim pepper is quite mild, about half the spice of a jalapeno, according to this cool chart . And, the guacamole absolutely makes this dish so don’t skip that part! Next time I may add some crunch — a cabbage slaw, perhaps?
So, here it is — a dish that my 12-year-old self would never, ever have considered eating, never mind making from scratch. Tonight, my younger son, who happily wolfed down two of these tacos, said, “Mum, you know how you were making chili, like, all the time? Can you make these all the time instead?” Much to my surprise, we ALL loved them and will surely be adding this to our top 10 list.
Fish Tacos with Tangy Guacamole
2 ripe avocados
1/4 c. light sour cream
2 T. minced red onion
2 T. chopped cilantro
juice of 1-2 limes
salt & pepper to taste
1 lb. tilapia, cut into large chunks
1 medium Anaheim pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 T. chopped cilantro
1 1/2 T. vegetable oil
juice from 2 limes
salt & pepper to taste
Shredded cheddar cheese
1) To make the guacamole, cut avocados in half, remove pit and scoop out the insides. Mash the avocado in a medium bowl with a fork or potato masher. Stir in sour cream, lime juice, onion, cilantro and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside.
3) Add tilapia and lime juice, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until fish is cooked through — about 10 minutes.
4) Spread a large dollop of guacamole on the flour tortilla, add fish mixture, and top with spinach and shredded cheddar.
Roll up and enjoy!