Barbecued Fish Tacos Recipe
Barbecued Fish Tacos

By Diane Rossen Worthington

I remember the first time I tasted a fish taco in Rosarito Beach in Baja Mexico, just south of San Diego. It was a new taste to me since my food memories were of ground meat tacos. I happily discovered that grilled fish is not only incredibly tasty but also a lighter take on tacos. I also enjoy the crisp shredded cabbage instead of the usual shredded iceberg lettuce.

Fish tacos from Baja California combine the tang of fresh lime juice with the tenderness of fresh fish and the flavor of the grill. The general rules for grilling fish include brushing the fish with oil, using a hot fire, and grilling the fish for 10 minutes total per inch of thickness (measured in the thickest part). That means these 3/4-inch fish fillets will be done in 7 to 8 minutes.

Every year, I like to serve a barbecued dish for Father's Day. These tacos will set the tone for a festive casual lunch or dinner. Feel free to double or triple this recipe. You can easily put your own spin on these tacos by serving bowls of different salsas to accompany them. I like a spicy tomato salsa and an avocado mango salsa to round out all of the flavors. Start with a bowl of guacamole and good-quality chips, and don't forget to have the blender on hand for some tasty Margaritas. Your dad will thank you.

P.S. If your dad loves to barbecue, give him the latest bible on grilling, "Fire It Up," by Andrew Schloss and David Joachim. With more than 400 recipes, it will have your dad planning his next cook-out in no time.

Grilled Baja Fish Tacos with Fiesta Slaw

Serves 4.

Fiesta Slaw:

1 cup finely shredded green cabbage

1 cup thinly sliced radishes

1/2 cup finely chopped green onion

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Salt and pepper

1 pound skinless mahi mahi, pompano, yellow snapper, halibut, or cod fillet, about 3/4 inch thick

Olive oil

8 flour tortillas, about 6 inches in diameter, warmed

1 cup crema or sour cream

1. To make the slaw, combine the cabbage, radishes, green onion, and cilantro in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the juices and oil together, then season to taste. Pour over the vegetables and toss to blend.

2. Prepare a very hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill to high (450 F to 500 F).

3. Brush the fish with oil and season to taste.

4. Grill the fish for 3 to 4 minutes per side, using a fish spatula to turn it once. The fish is done when it begins to flake when tested with the tip of a small knife in the thickest part.

5. Transfer the fish to a serving platter. Top with the slaw. Pass the warm tortillas and crema at the table.

6. To serve, place a spoonful of fish and slaw in the center of a warm flour tortilla and dollop with crema.

Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks (click here), including "Seriously Simple Holidays: Recipes and Ideas to Celebrate the Season," and also a James Beard award-winning radio show host.


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