Few things are more representative of southern California than the fish taco. There are so many variation from beer battered and fried, to grilled, with an endless amount of toppings. One thing is always a staple, a great fish taco starts with great fish. For our fish tacos, we went with a great looking wild-caught Mahi-Mahi from Catalina Offshore Products. All of our fresh produce was from Specialty Produce.
The first step is to get all of our ingredients out and prepped. Toppings can include: shredded white cabbage, diced fresh tomatoes, salsa, guacamole, and if you want more, some rice and beans. We made a quick Pico-de-Gallo by dicing a few tomatoes, half of a white onion, a Serrano pepper and fresh cilantro. Mix all of these together in a bowl with the juice from a lime, salt, pepper, and a few tablespoons of vegetable oil. This Pico-de-Galo makes a great fresh topping that you can eat with tortilla chips too!
The standout on these tacos is the jicama shell. Instead of using a tortilla, we’re using jicama sliced very thin, 1/8″ or thinner using a mandolin. If you don’t already have a mandolin, Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Adjustable Mandolin Slicer is a great and inexpensive one. Peel the tough outside off the jicama and slice off either end to create a flat surface. Then carefully slice the jicama on the mandolin. Be sure to use the included hand guard so you don’t accidentally cut yourself, mandolins can be very unforgiving. When sliced thinly, the jicama shell is surprisingly flexible, just don’t let it dry out too much or it’ll break on you. You can make your shells ahead of time and wrap then in plastic wrap and keep refrigerated while you prepare the rest.
The fish itself is best cooked simply. First, cut your fish into strips, about a half-inch thick each. Then season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, and chili powder. Get a frying pan hot, and add a high smoke-point oil like grape seed or peanut oil to lightly coat the bottom. Gently place the seasoned fish strips into the pan, being careful not to crowd the pan too much, work in several batches if you have to. The fish will cook quickly, and needs only a minute or two per side.
With your fish cooked and toppings ready, all that’s left is to plate up your fish taco. Start with a jicama shell on the bottom and a piece of fish on top. Then top with shredded cabbage, salsa and avocado slices. For the finishing touch a little white sauce made from mayo, milk, lemon juice, and garlic salt.
Servings: 8-10 tacos
1.5-2 lbs of fresh fish
1 jicama, peeled and cut 1/8in thick on a mandolin
1/4 head white cabbage shredded
2-3 Roma tomatoes seeded and diced
1 avocado cut into slices
1-2 limes cut into wedges
salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, and chili powder
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup milk
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon garlic salt