Fish tacos. I had you at those two words didn’t I? Nobody can get enough of these delicacies. They just scream “summer” or “vacation,” as often you are enjoying them while at the beach. Or, you are making them wishing that you were there.
There is no right or wrong way to make fish tacos. There are a million different variations. That is the beauty of tacos. Toppings are king.
I like to create a topping bar for taco night at my house. If I am doing chicken tacos, I tend to make the lineup fairly straight-forward. The “bar” generally consists of salsa, cheese (grated cheddar and crumbled Cotija), shredded lettuce (I am very particular about this, it must be finely shredded iceberg), cilantro, tomatoes, home-made guacamole and hot sauce. For fish tacos though, the toppings can be much more unusual. Standard fair usually includes some sort of salsa, cabbage and guacamole. After that, creativity makes it or breaks it.
The fish is usually seasoned simply so it can hold up to flavored salsas and toppings. Before you create your fish taco bar, it is important to pick the fish and decide how you are going to cook it. I have generally eaten three types of fish in tacos: grilled tuna, fried white fish (like grouper or cod) or grilled white fish. I think certain toppings are great on tuna (like this pineapple fish) while the fried fish can hold up to a hot chipotle cream and tomato based salsa.
We recently had our first taco night of the summer at our friend Ellie’s house. It was a nice warm day; perfect for a summer dinner. We divided up the duties and I offered to make pineapple salsa.
This simple recipe was great. I threw it together at the last second and it was perfect. All the ingredients were at room-temperature so that they wouldn’t chill the warm fish. Added bonus? It only took me about 15 minutes to prepare.
While the salsa was undeniably good, what makes a great taco is the complete dish. So, to add to the fish, tortilla and pineapple salsa we had chipotle cream, jicima slaw, guacamole, salsa and fresh cilantro. I loaded it all on. The result? So delicious I almost thought I was enjoying it on the beach of Sayulita, where I have enjoyed many fish tacos in the past.
While the pineapple salsa was great with the fish tacos, it would be equally good with grilled chicken or pork served over a bed of lettuce. You could also serve it straight up with chips.
Like it spicy? Throw in extra pickled jalapenos or try it with fresh jalapenos.
You could also do the same recipe with almost any fruit and it would be equally good. Strawberries, kiwis, oranges and grapefruit would all be good choices.