Fish tacos with mango salsa, smoky aioli & slaw

I bloody love tacos. Effortlessly gluten free, they’re the perfect thing to make to feed a crowd or just a couple of humans on a Tuesday night. 

If you don’t have a tortilla press and like me, you consider tacos to be a bloody exceptional time, I highly recommend investing in a tortilla press. Yes, they are a ‘single-use kitchen implement’ but they make taco production a breeze and you’ll be able to make perfectly round tacos, instead of the shaggy-edged impostors I used to make using a rolling pin. 

Fish tacos with mango salsa & slaw

Makes enough for 3 servings. Adapted from recipes from Dish magazine and Nadia Lim.

For the slaw: 

1/4 of a red cabbage

large handful of coriander leaves (set aside half of this for the salsa) 

1/2 of a red onion (set aside half of this for the salsa) 

extra virgin olive oil

juice of a lime

Thinly slice the cabbage using a mandolin if you have one. Roughly chop the coriander leaves and finely dice the red onion, setting aside half of the onion and coriander to be used in the salsa. Place cabbage, coriander and onion into a bowl and squeeze over the lime juice, drizzle with olive oil and give it a toss to combine. Set aside. 

For the salsa:

a mango

a red chilli

1/4 of a red onion, reserved from slaw

small handful of coriander leaves, reserved from slaw

zest and juice of a lime

extra virgin olive oil

sea salt

Peel the mango and carefully slice the flesh off the stone. Chop the mango relatively finely and place into a small bowl with the reserved chopped red onion and coriander. Finely chop the chilli, removing the seeds if you can’t handle the heat. Zest the lime and squeeze out the juice and add to the salsa bowl. Drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, then give the salsa a good stir and set it aside. 

For the smoky aioli:

2 tablepoons plain unsweetened yoghurt 

2 tablespoons mayonaise  (use homemade or bought – I used Best Foods)

a garlic clove crush or grated

1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika 

pinch of sea salt

freshly ground black pepper 

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate until needed. 

For the tortilla:

1 cup corn masa 

3/4 cup water 

equipment: a tortilla press or rolling pin 

Combine corn masa with water in a medium-sized bowl and stir until a thick, moist dough forms. Weigh out 40g amounts of dough, roll into a ball, flatten in your palm, then flatten in a tortilla press or with a rolling pin.

Heat the oven on a low setting, around 100°C. Moisten a clean tea towel, fold in half to make a little pouch, place on an ovenproof plate or tray and put into the warm oven; this is to put the tortillas inside to keep them warm and soft.

Toast the tortilla in a dry frying plan over a medium-high heat for a couple of minutes on each side, then remove from pan and place inside the tea towel pouch while you cook the remainder.

For the fish:

300g terakihi or gurnard fillets 

2 tablespoons corn masa or plain flour 

1 tablespoon cumin seeds 

1 tablespoon coriander seeds 

a pinch of salt

oil for frying 

Toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a dry frying pan over a low-medium heat until fragrant then grind in a mortar and pestle. Place the ground spices and flour into a shallow dish. Cut the fish into small-ish lengths then toss in the flour. 

Heat a dollop of oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat and fry the fish in batches until browned and just cooked inside. Remove the first batch from the pan and place on a plate in the warm oven with the tortillas. Take care to not overcook the fish as it will the fish continue cooking slightly as it stays warm in the oven. Slosh some more oil and add the next batch of fillets. Once all of the fish is cooked, it’s taco time. 

Putting it all together:

Place the slaw, mango salsa, smoky aioli, stack of tortilla, and fried fish in the centre of the table along with a bottle of your favourite hot sauce, and let everyone help themselves. 

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