Can I Buy You a Fish Taco?

by Karen

Back when I was a young freshman lass in college, I met a group of guys who lived in an all-boy dorm across campus and my roommate and I would visit them on occasion (totally not like that). Because I lived in a coed dorm from the beginning, the notion of an all same sex building has always fascinated me. One thing I remember about their dorm was the pick-up line bulletin board in the lobby. There, the men boys were encouraged to write lines they seemingly used to pick members of the opposite sex. Some of my favorites included “Hey babe, want to wash my truck?” and “Can I buy you a fish sandwich?

That little story served no purpose other than to explain the title of this post about fish tacos. Thankfully, fish tacos are beginning to get the recognition they deserve among regular folk like you and me. All I can say is that it is about damn time. They’re delicious! When we vacationed in San Diego a couple of years ago I think I ate a fish taco at least once a day. I order them in restaurants from time to time but sadly, quality and taste has varied in my experience. And for whatever reason, I had never made them at home until one night last week.

The key to making a divine fish taco is fresh cilantro. If you don’t like cilantro, I suppose your SOL. But for those of you who do like leaves of a coriander plant, you won’t be disappointed. In addition to using the cilantro as-is for our tacos, I also used it to make a quick sauce in my mini-food processor (the Cuisinart DLC – 4CH is awesome!) that included light mayonnaise, fresh lemon juice, cilantro, and salt to taste). The sauce was drizzled on top of the prepared tacos.

As far as fish is concerned, any would do depending at the taste one is trying to achieve. Mahi mahi is popular, as is halibut. I actually used tilapia because that is what I had on hand. No surprise – the options for fresh fish are extremely limited in rural Oklahoma. I chose to pan fry the fish because it was previously frozen and I thought it would be more forgiving of the not-freshly-caught-on-the-shore fish. I simply dredged the fish in a flour and panko bread crumb mixture and placed in a pan with a light coating of hot oil.

The prepared tacos. On top of the soft corn tortillas are the fish, shredded cabbage, red pepper, avocado, cilantro, tomato, onion, shredded cheese, and the sauce discussed above. We ate ours after with beer and salsa, in front of the TV while watching a DVR’ed episode of Tosh.O (the little guy had already gone to bed).

Get in my belly!

Are you a fan of fish tacos (get your mind out of the gutter)? What about cilantro?