Two-Bite Baja Fish Tacos

two-bite baja fish tacos

There is something so delightfully summery about fish tacos. Yes, they’re best when tomatoes are in season, but there’s something else at play. Maybe I’m just picking up on the whole Southern California beach vibe they have going on?

Regardless, these fish tacos make perfect party fare — even better if you set out a spread and let everyone assemble their own. If you go that route, I highly recommend having a few pitchers of margaritas or sangria and plenty of chips and guacamole around to accompany them — a double or triple batch of black bean soup with cumin, chipotle and lime served in small cups would go well, too.

Prefer not to make your own tortillas? You’re in luck — Guerrero makes some smaller ones that are pretty close in size to homemade. They’re a little tricky to find, but I’ve seen them at a few Smart and Finals in the Silicon Valley area. Or just use the standard, six-inch kind for four-bite tacos, no big deal!

the spread / two-bite baja fish tacos

Two-bite Baja Fish Tacos

(adapted from Epicurious, June 2009)
Preparation Time: 1 1/2 – 2 hours, including tortillas
Makes: About 3 dozen two-bite tacos (serves about 4 – 6 as a main course)

Ingredients

Corn tortillas:

  • 1 recipe corn tortillas, use 14 grams (1 tablespoon) dough per tortilla (yields 40)

Southwest slaw:

  • 8 ounces (3 cups, packed) finely shredded, cored Savoy cabbage
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup, packed) minced red onion
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons, packed) minced serrano peppers (seed and remove ribs first)
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, packed
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) lime juice
  • 1 1/2 ounces (2 tablespoons) honey
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Chipotle pico de gallo:

  • 2 – 3 dried chipotle peppers
  • 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, packed
  • 1 pound (generous 2 cups) seeded diced tomatoes (chop into 1/2″ cubes)
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup, packed) minced red onion

Lime crema:

  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) sour cream (preferably full-fat and organic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon very finely grated lime zest (optional)
  • 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) lime juice

Marinated mahi-mahi:

  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) canola oil
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 pounds Mahi-mahi, cut into 3 dozen equal-size pieces

Instructions

Cook tortillas:

Cook tortillas according to instructions.

Make slaw:

Stir together cabbage through peppers in a medium bowl. Finely chop cilantro, and whisk together lime juice through salt in a small dish. Add cilantro and dressing to cabbage mixture, stir well to combine; set aside.

Make pico:

Place dried chipotles in small saucepan (2-quart). Cover with water, set over high heat and bring to a boil. Boil until peppers are softened, about 5 minutes. Remove peppers from water to a heatproof dish. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes, or until cool enough to handle. Once cooled, remove stem, split peppers and rinse away seeds; pat dry with paper towels. Mince peppers to make a paste. Measure out 1 packed teaspoon (about 8 grams) chipotle paste, discard any remaining pepper paste.

Into a medium mixing bowl, combine chipotle paste, vinegar, ketchup and salt. Stir until evenly distributed. Finely chop cilantro. Add cilantro, tomatoes and onion to chipotle mixture, stir well to combine; set aside.

Make crema:

Stir together sour cream, lime zest (if using) and juice; set aside.

Cook mahi-mahi:

Arrange oven rack about 3″ from broiler, preheat broiler to high. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil; set aside.

Combine canola oil through salt in a gallon-size zip-top bag. Add mahi-mahi to marinade, close top and shake to combine and evenly coat fish. Marinate for 15 minutes.

Once marinated, arrange fish on prepared baking sheet. Broil until fish is cooked through, about 5 – 7 minutes. Remove fish to paper towel-lined plate.

Assemble and serve:

Just before assembling, stir slaw and pico, and drain off accumulated liquid from each. Onto each tortilla, arrange one piece of fish and top with about a tablespoon each of slaw and pico. Dollop about a half teaspoon of crema on top. Serve!