I was born and raised in Mexico City, and for everyone in there, tacos, besides being the most common of street foods, are our version of comfort food. A variety of spicy salsas are always offered so everyone can spoon them to taste onto their own taco. This fish taco version of mine is very lean, easy and nutritious. There
- For the Fish
- 2 pounds fish fillets (any mild flavored white fish works. I used flounder) -
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika (if you don’t want so much heat) OR chipotle chile powder (for the heat lovers), or to taste -
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, or to taste -
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste -
- 5 limes, separated -
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil -
- 1 (about 30 pieces) package soft corn tortillas -
- For the pineapple-cucumber salsa
- 1 pineapple, peeled, cored and chopped into bite-size pieces -
- 4 Persian cucumbers, coarsely chopped -
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves -
- 2 limes -
- 1 medium or 2 small shallots, minced -
- 8 small radishes, washed, scrubbed and thinly sliced, optional -
- 1 or 2 serrano or jalapeno peppers, chopped (seeds removed if you don’t want too much heat) -
- Salt and pepper, to taste -
- 1 ripe avocado -
1. Rinse and pat dry the fish with paper towels and place on a large platter.
2. Sprinkle fillets with smoked paprika (or chipotle powder), cumin, salt and pepper on both sides. Squeeze the juice of TWO limes on top and marinate fish in the refrigerator while you make the salsa.
3. In a large bowl, combine chopped pineapple, cucumbers, the juice of 2 limes, shallots, radishes (if using) and chile peppers. Season with salt and pepper.
4. On a large skillet, pour 1 tablespoon olive oil and turn the heat on at medium high. Once oil is hot, place as many fish fillets as you can fit in the pan on one layer and without crowding them. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side (time will depend on thickness, cook longer if fillets are thick) and set aside on a bowl.
5. Cook all fish in batches, using the remaining oil and once it’s all ready, let it cool a bit and then shred it all with a fork.
6. Cut and pit the avocado and cube it while it’s still on its peel. Scoop the flesh out with a spoon onto the salsa bowl and mix in gently, incorporating it into the rest of the ingredients.
7. Once the skillet used for the fish is cool, wipe it off (no need to wash it yet) with a paper towel and bring it back to the stove.
8. Over low heat, warm up the tortillas for about 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side, just until they are soft and warm. Place them on a plate one on top of the other, and cover them with foil to keep their temperature.
9. Cut the three remaining limes in quarters and place them in a bowl or plate.
10. To serve, do it family style: Bring to the table the platter with the shredded fish, the bowl with the salsa, the warm tortillas and the limes. Everyone can grab their tortillas and scoop some fish on them, top them with salsa and a squeeze or two of lime.
Variation: No pineapple? Substitute with 4 nectarines or 2 mangos