There’s something about a great tasting fish taco on a warm spring day that just makes everything feel right. Fresh mango salsa draped over the fish nestled in a warm soft corn tortilla and cabbage dropped on top to give the tacos a nice crunch with every bite. A splash of fresh cilantro from my herb garden and a squeeze of lime and you’ve got yourself a perfect summer dish.
With one of our few warm and dry spring days recently I decided it was time to make some fish tacos for the family. My son loves them, more specifically the tilapia I use, and usually eats at least two tacos every time I make them. And if there’s any fish left after we’ve had our fill he’ll fork the rest from the tinfoil onto his plate and leave no leftovers.
This simple dish has come with some trial and error, but over the last year I’ve finally figured out the perfect temp to get the tilapia fillets nice and flaky while staying perfectly moist. Salt, pepper, garlic cloves, and lemon. These four ingredients are all I use to season the fish. The lemon I squeeze over the fillets making sure to cover it all. Then I sprinkle on the salt and pepper and toss 4 to 5 garlic cloves around the fish. Once this is done I close the tinfoil around the fish loosely to allow room to breath as it bakes at 400 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes.
While the fish is baking on the grill I prepare the mango salsa. Just recently I figured out how to cut a mango and it’s been a game changer having freshly made salsa with the tacos. Along with the mango I add red onion, lime juice, cilantro, and salt. I would also like to add some peppers for some heat but my son doesn’t appreciate the spiciness peppers add to the salsa. Once I’ve chopped and mixed the salsa it’s on to the cabbage.
The cabbage is probably more coleslaw than plain cabbage, but I don’t add too much to the cabbage to make sure it keeps its crunch. A bit of mayonnaise, a splash of lime for acidity, and salt and pepper to taste. It’s that simple yet adds so much to the dish.
Once everything is prepped I check the fish and once it’s done I keep the grill going to warm the tortillas. Grilling the soft corn shells gives them a bit of a crunch but also adds a little something to the flavor. When the tortillas have been warmed and the food set at the table, the building of the tacos begins. Moist, flaky tilapia covered by the fresh mango salsa then topped with the crunchy coleslaw. Cilantro dropped to add some color and a lime squeezed to add a hint of acidity.
To me the fish taco with mango salsa is a perfect summer dish. Fresh, light, fruity, and packed with flavor. It’s a dish that we will have over and over again in my house as long as the summer months are warm and the sun shines bright. Pair this dish with a light Rose or a simple margarita and you have yourself the perfect evening.