My favorite tacos are those composed of ground beef, a packet of taco seasoning laced with mass amounts of MSG, Ortega crunchy taco shells, cheese, sour cream, and shredded iceberg lettuce- specifically the ones my mother sets under the broiler until the cheese melts into the ground beef and the taco shells begin to freckle. None of the ingredients in these beef numbers should exceed $5.99.
But fish tacos are a close second. Mostly because they’re outrageously fresh-tasting with a real juicy, delicate bite. They just feel healthy. But also because
they remind me of last summer when I dined on the waterfront in Seattle with Camille, just before we kayaked into a *barge on Lake Union.
*Only the barge retained its dignity.
The flaky white fish in these corn tortillas is soaked in the flavors of smoked paprika and cumin. I love the addition of cilantro lime crema for the way it cools down the heat of cayenne pepper. Cabbage adds crunch and color.
For the best flavor, eat them outside- preferably in drenching humidity with a mosquito halo.
1 pound white fish (cod, flounder, halibut, tilapia)
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 small white corn tortillas
1 cup pico de gallo
1 cup finely shredded red cabbage
fresh cilantro, chopped, for serving
Stir all crema ingredients in a small bowl to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Whisk lime juice, paprika, cumin, cayenne, garlic, and salt. Place fish in a shallow bowl and pour the lime spice sauce evenly over the top, flipping the fish to be sure all sides are coated. Let the fish marinate for 20 minutes in the refrigerator.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Place the fish and the sauce into the pan and allow to cook for 3 minutes undisturbed. Flip and cook an additional 3 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and without removing the fish from the pan, flake it with a fork.
Serve the fish in the corn tortillas with pico de gallo, cabbage, crema, and fresh cilantro.