Ok, so there are a gazillion recipes for fish tacos out there. And many claim to be the 'best'. Well, you know what? It's kinda hard to ruin 'em. But, that said, I am a minimalist when it comes to fish tacos. I mean, why ruin good fish by dousing it with a ton of condiments. I could deal with piling on tons of stuff on chicken and beef tacos, but fish? No sir. Simple is good for me. Is this the 'best' fish taco recipe I have you ask? Well, I'll take the fifth on that, but this my friends, is pretty close.
So what do I mean by simple? Well, it sort of depends on what fish you use. Last night, one of my girlfriends was coming over for dinner and this girl likes good food. Awesome! We had some copper river salmon in the freezer, so I decided salmon tacos it would be. Given the fattiness and strong flavor of this fish, some acidity is much called for. But you don't want to overpower the salmon-y flavor too much. So, a simple marinade with olive oil, lime, some fresh cilantro...yum! I whipped up some chipotle sourcream to go on top, and simple shredded cabbage for crunch. That is it!
If you like, some pico de gallo would be ok too, but in my opinion, the chipotle sourcream does great all on its own. The gentle heat from the chipotle, the coolness of the sour cream - why ruin this party?
Good accompaniments would be some black beans and/or spanish rice.
Margaritas would have been great, but it was a school night, so boo hoo. I guess wine had to do. Tough life, eh?
Serves 4 generously
1 1/2 lbs salmon fillets
2 tbsp olive oil
12 corn tortillas
2 cups shredded cabbage
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (one large lime)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp fresh ground cumin
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Chipotle - Sour Cream:
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp (less if you want) chipotle chilis*
1. Skin the salmon fillets and cut into 1 inch chunks.
2. Add all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pour the marinade over the salmon pieces, coating each piece well. Marinate for 30 minutes. Please time this well. You don't want to marinate for much longer, or it will compromise the texture of the salmon (we are not trying to make ceviche here).
3. Chipotle-Sour Cream: Look for canned chipotle in adobo sauce in the latin section of your grocery store. You don't need much, so I usually puree the entire can contents (chilis + adobo sauce) and freeze the paste flat in a quart-size ziploc bag. This way, I break off what I need and use. In this case, I used 2 tbsp of this puree. It is Spicy, so go easy if you can't handle spice. If you are cracking open a can, you could use 1 chili (with some sauce clinging onto it). Mash well or puree into a paste.
Mix the chili paste with salt, sour cream, and a couple tablespoons milk to thin the sour cream mixture out. Set aside in the refrigerator.
4. Heat a large non-stick pan. Coat with 1 tbsp olive oil. Cook the salmon pieces in one or two batches. Please don't overcook the fish. On med-high heat, it should only take 2 to 4 minutes for the salmon to cook.
5. Meanwhile, heat the corn tortillas. My favorite way to do this is to hold the tortillas over an open flame for about 30 seconds on each side. The tortillas get nice and pliable, and you cannot beat the smell of the toasted corn. Much better than microwaving or heating in an oven. Keep the tortillas in a towel-lined container, covered, until ready to serve.
6. To serve, scoop some cabbage onto a tortilla. Add a couple pieces of salmon. Spoon on some sour cream and call it dinner, my friends.