It has been a while since my last Food List Challenge post, but I’ve finally come around to number 33 – fish tacos. Personally, I really enjoy fish tacos and I especially enjoy all the fixin’s on the tacos. Fish tacos are easy to make, it’s chopping all of the extras that is the most time-consuming. They are also relatively healthy, so for all of you that are still hanging on to that last thread of the New Year’s Resolution, this one is for you (just skip the cheese!).
Frozen tilapia works really well for fish tacos, especially because they have a relatively mild flavor. Unfortunately, tilapia ranks pretty low on omega-3 fatty acids. On a side note, I purchased our fresh tilapia fillets from Costco, and the fish was sourced from Honduras and gets a “Good Alternative” rating from the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch. In 2011, Costco pledged to pursue acquaculture certification standards that support best practices and sources their seafood sources that are certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. Just one more reason I’m a Costco nut.
I served our fish tacos with mango and black bean salsa, but you can easily simplify this with store-bought salsa or home-made pico de gallo. This is a great meal to make with a friend because the prep work is easily shared. My dear husbanders and I like to pile our tacos really high, so that one supersized taco is all it takes to fill us up. I served these fish tacos up on 96% Fat-Free Whole Wheat Tortillas by Mission. Warming the tortillas on a pan gives the tortilla firmer texture and it holds up better with the fish and all the toppings.
FISH TACOS WITH MANGO BLACK BEAN SALSA
For the Mango Black Bean Salsa:
1 large mango or 2 small mangos
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
a few sprigs of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
½ a red bell pepper, diced
½ a red onion, diced (about ¼ – 1/3 cup)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon dried cumin
juice of ½ a lime (save the other half for the fish)
For the Fish Tacos:
3-4 tilapia fillets (approx. 1 fillet per person, or ½ a fillet per taco)
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
juice of ½ a lime
approx. 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 package tortillas of your choice (I used the 96% Fat-Free Whole Wheat Tortillas by Mission)
1 large tomato, chopped and/or pico de gallo (TIP: To drain liquid from the tomato, place the chopped tomato in a colander and sprinkle a little salt on top)
1 avocado, sliced
½ cup freshly grated cheddar cheese
1 jalapeño pepper, sliced
1 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
grilled onions and peppers
Rinse the tilapia fillets and pat dry. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, and the cayenne pepper (if using) on both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
Next, make the mango black bean salsa by combining the mango, beans, onion, cilantro and red pepper. In a small bowl, whisk together the cumin, red wine vinegar, olive oil, lime juice and honey. Pour the dressing over the mango and black bean mixture and stir coat. Salt and pepper to taste. Store covered with plastic wrap.
Prepare/chop all of the toppings except the avocado. Prepare the grilled onions and peppers, click here for the recipe.
In a large frying pan or cast-iron skillet, (I prefer the cast iron because I think it is easier to get that nice crust) heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Place the fillets into the pan, 2 at a time, taking care not to crowd the fillets. Once you place them in the pan, don’t touch, poke or move them around! Leave them on the pan for 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the center is opaque and the fish is flaky. Remove from pan and cover with foil. Repeat until all fillets are cooked.
To warm the tortillas, heat a large frying pan over medium high heat. Place one tortilla at a time into the pan heating 45 seconds per side.
Arrange the taco bar, assemble and serve!