I had never made fish tacos before, a realization that struck me as odd because I really like them. For this Easter weekend, Dane and Brittany were here with us and it was a request! Feeling somewhat panicky, I looked in to my cookbooks and my copy of Chef Rob Feenie’s “Casual Classics” popped out at me, seeing as fish tacos are served at Cactus Club Cafe restaurants where he oversees the menu.
Lo and behold, there was a recipe in it – “Cod Tacos, with My Salsa, Sweet and Sour Cabbage and Sambal Mayonnaise”. I wish I could say it was “my” recipe because the tacos were delicious! The man is a genius. The time spent in prep is well worth the fabulous flavours which combine in these little gems.
I have modified his recipe very slightly to suit what I was able to do at the time (with the fish), but I think he would like the results – the salsa, cabbage, and mayonnaise are all his. Chef Feenie sears the fish in the olive oil with salt and pepper, as opposed to cooking it in the oven with Tex-Mex. He also suggests grilling the tortillas, which I did not do (I don’t think anybody noticed, to be honest, they were too busy savouring!).
6 ounces cod (you could use halibut or other white fish), cut into 1″ cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups thinly shredded green Savoy cabbage
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (about 12)
1 tablspoon diced red onion
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon finely chopped hot pepper (I used fresno, he called for jalapeno)
1 ripe avocado, pitted and roughly chopped
1/3 cup corn kernels, slightly cooked and drained
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons sambal oelek
1 lime, cut into wedges
12 small flour tortillas (5-6″)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil. Toss fish cubes in olive oil and seasoning to coat. Set aside.
Toss cabbage with cider vinegar and sugar in bowl, set aside.
In another bowl, combine tomatoes with onion, cilantro, lime juice, hot pepper, avocado and corn. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and black pepper and toss gently to avoid mashing the avocado. Set aside.
Mix sambal oelek with mayonnaise, set aside.
Now you are ready to cook the fish – pop it in the oven for five minutes or so, or until the fish is opaque and cooked through. Remove from oven, transfer to a warm serving plate and tent it loosely with foil to keep it warm.
Arrange your sauces, cabbage, fish and tortillas so they are easily accessible for assembly. Call your hungry people! On each tortilla, spread a bit of the sambal mayonnaise, top with fish, salsa and cabbage and roll the tortilla up, securing with a pick if desired. Enjoy.