Prep time: 1-2 hours
Active prep time: 30 minutes
Special equipment needed: Grill plate or cast iron skillet
Special skills needed: Blackening
Serves a light dinner for 4
We're approaching the dog days of summer and with the hot weather, I always try to move my cooking operation out into the backyard. Here in California, we have sunny days and cool evenings which provide a perfect environment for standing by the grill with a nice cool beer in hand. To me, nothing fits the beautiful California weather like a fresh fish taco eaten outside. A fish taco is as versatile as a sandwich and there are as many ways to make them as there are fish in the ocean. This is one that I particularly like. With the crisp, toothsome bite of fresh cabbage and the brightness of limes, you get a very clear sense of the flavor of the fish. This is one of the lighter preparations of fish tacos, with grilled fish, not fried and not battered. You won’t be weighed down with a real heavy meal when you have a few of these for dinner. I recommend using a dense meaty fish like white seabass, redfish, mahi mahi, or snapper, but almost any fish will work in this preparation.
1 cup chopped purple cabbage
1 cup chopped green cabbage
Juice of 1 lime
¼ cup minced red onion
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 clove chopped garlic
1 tsp salt
1 small diced jalapeno – Optional
1 lb firm white fish fillets
3 tbsp blackened redfish seasoning
3 tbsp melted butter
8 small flour tortillas
1 cup sour cream
Your favorite hot sauce
Mix the cabbage, lime juice, red onion, cilantro, garlic, salt, and jalapeno in a glass bowl. Refrigerate for as long as you want. I think the slaw is best between 1 hour and 8 hours after you mix it.
Preheat a cast iron grill plate or cast iron pan on your outdoor grill. It is important not to do this one inside as it creates a great deal of smoke.
Mix the sour cream with as much hot sauce as you like.
Trim the fish, wash and dry it as needed. Coat it with the blackening spice. Be generous. It won’t hurt you. Spoon ½ of the butter evenly over the fish fillets.
When the grill is as hot as it can be, place the fish on the grilling surface, butter side down. The heat can’t be too hot for this one. Allow it to cook halfway through. For thin fillets, this can be as little as two minutes. For 1” thick fish, it could be up to 4 minutes. Spoon melted butter over the fillets again. Flip the fish one time and cook the rest of the way on the other side. Warm your tortillas. You can warm them anyway you like, even in the microwave. I usually quickly clean my cooking service after I pull the fish off and warm the tortillas for just about 10 seconds per side.
To assemble the tacos, put down one tortilla. Add a small handful of slaw. Top this with the fish. Then top with the sour cream mixture. Top that with a small avocado slice and enjoy.