A summer meal my family and I have enjoyed over the last couple of months is fish tacos. It’s something we could have year round but there’s something about a fresh fish taco on a warm summer evening that makes it that much better. To me a fish taco is the perfect meal in the summer. It’s light, refreshing, and reminds me of being near a beach or lake town where fresh fish is always on the menu.
I’m still trying to perfect my fish taco even though I’ve been making it for a few years now. I started the process many years ago grilling the fish and eating it without any toppings. Then I began baking the fish wrapped in tinfoil with lemon juice and still no toppings. Then came a simple coleslaw to add a little crunch to the bite. Once I found the right consistency for the bite I began pursuing more flavor.
That is where the grill came in. I still use a tinfoil packet to cook the fish on the grill. I add lemon, garlic cloves and red onions to the packet along with salt and pepper. I let it sit on the grill over indirect heat for about 15 minutes if the temp in the grill stays around 4oo degrees. Once the fish is fork tender I pull it off the grill.
The coleslaw has evolved as well. No longer is it just slaw mix and mayonnaise with a little bit of salt and pepper. No longer is it too creamy and over power the fish. I’ve fine tuned it. My coleslaw for our tacos now is a mixture of red cabbage, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar, minced garlic, cilantro, and mango chunks. It’s a nice balance of sweet, bitter, and crunch that plays nicely with the tilapia we usually use for our tacos.
As for the taco shells, those haven’t changed really at all. At times I’ll make them myself, but often we just buy soft-shelled corn tortillas and if I’m making the fish on the grill I’ll throw the shells on once the fish is ready. Warming taco shells on the grill give them nice crispy edges and a nice smokey flavor.