How many of you have been keeping your fingers crossed that our bottom fish seasons will be opening up soon? I know I've had fingers crossed, a four leaf clover in my pocket, and I'm in the market for a rabbit's foot, in hopes that I'll be dropping some white meat on the deck soon.
When I bring home my first ling cod of the season, like the beauty in the photo above, fish tacos are likely to be the first, and second, meals I make from it. As much as I enjoy many different preparations for white fish, tacos are kind of a weakness for me.
There are plenty of different approaches to fish tacos, but I have to tell you, I've done a lot of experimentation, and very tasty testing. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it. And I have my taco game pretty well dialed in. Here are my basic guidelines.
*Lettuce is good, but I like shredded cabbage on my fish tacos. I suggest using savoy or of you can't find that, napa cabbage, rather than plain green cabbage. They have better flavor, and a crispy rather than hard texture. *Corn tortillas are traditional, but I also like flour ones. Either must be warmed up and softened on the grill of course. I find the more gentle taste of flour tortillas allow the fish flavor to shine. I do like corn better for pork or beef tacos, though. *Beyond that, I go with a standard pico de gallo style salsa: tomato, onion, jalapeño, lime, cilantro, garlic, salt & pepper. Add to that some diced avocado. *My secret weapon, aside from the quality of the fish itself, is the white sauce
A number of places use white sauce on their tacos, however It was a regional chain, Taco del Mar, that got me hooked on the white sauce on fish tacos. (Never let it be said that I don’t give credit where credit is due.) Theirs is mayonnaise based, and quite tasty, but there is always room for improvement.
I have my own white sauce recipe tweaked to just where I want it to be. Give this a try:
1/2 cup sour cream 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt juice of 1/2 lime 2 Tbs chopped cilantro 1 Tbs minced scallion 1 clove of garlic, very finely minced 1/2 tsp kosher salt 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1/8 tsp ground cumin 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper Combine all the ingredients; keep covered and refrigerated until ready to serve.
That is a crowd pleasing meal. And the white sauce turns it from just fish and salsa on a tortilla, to something taco shop quality.