With a new twist on a traditional dish, fish tacos are rising in popularity every year. Tacos made in the traditional style with beef or chicken have been an American favorite for decades, but this version, grilled and made with fish, is a healthy alternative. The trend has most restaurants using a fried or battered fish filet, but in this adaption, we are seasoning the fish with an intense rub, then grilling it over either a gas or charcoal flame, for a lighter but still very flavorful taco. All the accompaniments are made ahead of time and the filets grill quickly, making this an ideal recipe for outdoor picnics, camping or tailgating.
For this recipe, we recommend Tilapia as your fish filet of choice. Tilapia holds up well on the grill, is readily available and affordable. Some other good choices are Mahi Mahi, Cobia, or Amberjack. Snapper’s flavor lends itself well in this dish, but the filets are delicate and difficult to grill.
Another twist on tradition is salsa. Since becoming a common addition to the American table, it’s fast replacing ketchup with it’s many interesting flavors from the mild, fresh tomato version to the smoky roasted chili varieties. For grilled fish tacos, I prefer the tangy salsa Verde, made from tomatillos and cilantro to brighten up the dish.
For the Fish
1 Pound, fresh Tilapia
Your favorite Dry Jerk Seasoning blend or blackening spice, we like Dizzy Pig’s Jamaican Firewalk seasoning.
Canola or vegetable oil
For the Lime-Crema
1 Cup, sour cream
Juice from ½ a lime
1 Teaspoon cilantro, chopped
2 Green Onions, white and green sliced thin
Salt and pepper to taste
In a small mixing bowl combine the sour cream, limejuice, cilantro, and green onions. Season with salt and pepper and reserve.
For the Garnish
1 Cup Green Cabbage, sliced thin
1 Cup Red Cabbage, slice thin
The other half of the lime
Salt and pepper to taste
In a mixing toss the cabbages with the limejuice, salt and pepper. Reserve.
For the Tomatillo Salsa
1 Pound Tomatillos, husk removed, rinsed, and halved
1 Onion, halved
1 Clove of garlic
1 Jalapeno pepper, halved and seeded
1 Tablespoon Cilantro, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Season the onion halves, jalapeno, and tomatillos with olive oil, salt and pepper. Over medium fire on a gas or charcoal grill, fire roast the onions, jalapeno, and tomatillos until tender, about 15 minutes. Place the onions, tomatillos, garlic, jalapeno, and lime juice in a blender. Pulse to combine all the ingredients, if the mixture is too thick; add a couple of tablespoons of water. Add the cilantro and reseason with salt and pepper. Pulse again to combine all the ingredients and reserve. The salsa may be made a couple of days ahead of time and refrigerated until serving time.
16 Corn Tortillas +
Lay the Tilapia fillets out on a baking sheet and a brush the filets with the oil. Season liberally with the seasoning spice. Grill over medium heat until the fish is cooked through. Remove to a warm platter.
Warm the corn tortillas on the grill, then double stack them on a serving platter. Flake some of the grilled fish in to the bottom of the double-stacked tortillas. Top with the salsa, cabbage, and crema. Sprinkle on some chopped cilantro and garnish with the lime wedges.
The Hearth and Grill Shop is the largest Gas and Charcoal Grill purveyor in middle Tennessee, proudly serving Nashville since 1974. Visit our retail store this Saturday to sample this Fish Taco recipe straight from a Big Green Egg.