Fish tacos are one of those super easy meals that can come together in literally 5 minutes. It can also be a super flavorful dish, limited only by your imagination. The traditional and most commonly known fish taco involves grilled or battered then fried white fish, stuffed into a corn tortilla with thinly sliced cabbage, with or without a sprinkling of cheese, and some sort of fresh salsa on top (usually pico de gallo) or spicy creamy sauce. That's great for a basic, starter taco. But who says there are rules to fish tacos?!
Try using different fish, even shellfish for starters. You can certainly use shredded lettuce instead of cabbage, and freshly made guacamole will go just as well as any salsa. The tacos I made the other night used cheap but flavorful rockfish -- a mild semi-firm white fish that holds texture but can go with pretty much any flavor profile. Another plus? They're super cheap -- no need to splurge on halibut or sea bass; rockfish will get the job seriously just as well, if not better. I seasoned the fish simply with salt and pepper and fresh lime juice, then grilled it quickly on the grill. To top the tacos, I used peppery arugala for a spin on the classic greenery and made a peach and citrus salsa using fresh local and seasonal fruits. The end product was super light, extremely flavorful, and the whole thing start to finish took me 15 minutes to make, making it an extremely week night friendly meal.
Use this recipe as a start-off point. Use what you have on hand in the fridge and garden. Play with ingredients, add spiciness if you like (some sriracha would be killer on top!) and create your own signature fish taco!
Fish Tacos with Citrus-Peach Salsa and Arugala
for the fish:
4 fillets white fish, such as rockfish
olive oil for brushing
freshly ground black pepper (preferably set to courser ground)
juice of 1 lime
for the citrus-peach salsa:
1 large firm but ripe peach, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 large orange, peeled then segmented and cut into small cubes
1 scallion, finely chopped
1/2 jalapeno pepper, very finely chopped (seeded for less heat)
2 Tbsp cilantro, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
freshly ground black pepper
juice of 1 lime or lemon
drizzle of olive oil
for the tacos:
2 cups arugala
finely shredded cheddar cheese (or your favorite cheese)
fresh lime wedges
Preheat the grill to medium-high. Brush both sides of the fish with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Next make the salsa. Combine the peach, orange, scallion, jalapeno, cilantro, and garlic in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then add the lime or lemon juice and a drizzle of oil. You want enough oil to just moisten the salsa, not saturate it. Give it a good toss to combine and set aside.
To grill the fish, place on grill and cook on both sides until firm and fish comes off the grill easily. Do NOT constantly flip the fish; this will cause the fish to break! You need to flip the fish one, then take it off the grill and that's it. Total cook time will be about 5-7 minutes, depending on size and thickness of the fish. So go by the touch: when the fish is firm to the touch it's ready. Remove from grill and immediately squeeze the lime juice on top. Roughly chop the fish into large chunks using a spatula or knife and set aside.
I like heating the tortillas on the grill since it's on anyway. Simply throw the tortillas on the grill for 30 seconds each side and remove. Conversely, you can wrap a stack of tortillas in a kitchen towel or paper towel and microwave for 1 minute. Assemble your tacos with the fish, some cheese if desired, the arugala and salsa to taste and serve with more lime wedges.