I'm a sucker for tacos. At the time when I was living in Europe no one was eating them and I'm not even sure anyone had ever heard of them. So when I was introduced to tacos for the first time in the US, I was kind of blown away. But it was a progression. First, it was tacos with ground beef - all good. Delicious and flavorful with toppings galore.
Then came the pulled pork tacos which I randomly had in the parking lot of a Spanish specialty grocery store. It was one of those mind blowing experiences that made me grateful to be alive. I wanted to hug the woman running the truck and thank her for opening my eyes to something entirely new.
But then another thing happened - fish tacos.
Blazing hot sun, skin salty. A single bead of sweat traveled down the length of my spine depositing on my bathing suit bottom as we waited patiently for our names to be called. The space, too tiny for any actual tables and chairs, had only outdoor room for four picnic tables and umbrellas but it was wondrous. Unpretentious and mellow with Caribbean music playing in the background, I decided Key West Tacos was going to be my new favorite taco place without having even tried the tacos. I forgot to mention they were BYO so that probably added to the charm, but no matter, the food arrived.
I had no words. No seriously, I didn't speak for about 10 minutes. I just wallowed in the moment and occasionally nodded to my husband in approval. My mind was racing, trying to compare it to something I'd had before but I couldn't. It was one of the single best experiences of my life. I couldn't figure out how to make it last. I made my husband go there 3 more times before vacation ended.
And that's how I started experimenting with fish tacos at home. The great thing about fish tacos is that they're easy to prepare, quick to cook and versatile. You can use whatever white flaky fish you can find that holds up well in the frying pan. You can experiment with flounder, mahi-mahi, halibut, grouper or tilapia.
I found wild caught tilapia at my local store and went with that for this recipe. But again the you can play around. Also you can choose to keep everything in a bowl but if you're not paleo or whole 30, feel free to get some quality corn tacos.
paleo fish taco bowl with mango salsa
- prep time: 10 minutes
- cooking time: 10 minutes
- yields: 4 servings
- 2-3 wild caught tilapia, flounder, mahi-mahi, grouper, cod or halibut
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 1 ripe mango, cubed
- 1 ripe avocado. cubed
- 1 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
- 1/2 lime juiced
- 1/2 tsp honey (skip if whole 30)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- optional: scallions finely sliced
- purple cabbage
- greens of your choice
- spicy mayo - get recipe here
- optional: serve in corn tortillas
- cast iron or regular frying pan
- medium mixing bowl
- small mixing bowl
In medium bowl, add lime, honey, olive oil and salt and whisk together. Add cubed avocado, mango, cilantro, and scallions if using (my kids haven't gotten around to loving them yet) and toss everything together. Set aside.
Rinse and pat your fish with a towel. In small mixing bowl, add chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper and mix well. Rub the fish with the spice mix.
Preheat pan to medium high and add olive oil and fish. Cook fish for 5 minutes per side, depending thickness. It should be fully cooked and white. Break up fish into desired size.
To assemble. Add greens to bowl and layer with fish, mango and avocado salsa and any toppings of your choice.