Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Latin Fever: Fish Tacos w/ Mango Salsa, Tomato Salsa, Guacamole and Baja Yogurt

At first I wanted to make arepas (Venezuelan corn pancakes) for dinner after speaking to Alex about her pancake brunch, but then I couldn't find arepas flour at any of the supermarkets and I didn't have the time to make Pat's pulled pork recipe from her Mexican Feast. This put me in a bind, as I was craving something Latin. In the end, I decided to make fish tacos, one of my mom's favorite dishes from the Cactus Club in Vancouver. I don't remember how they tasted like, but these recipes below are very simple and straightforward. You can adjust each condiment to your liking, as you may like the guacamole or salsa sweeter, spicier or more acidic. While I was waiting for the fish to marinade and cook, I snacked on the condiments with tortilla chips, a favorite past time at Ariel/Max/Joyce/Carlson's house. Boy do I miss being back in school!


3 avocados
1/4 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons red chili flakes
1 tablespoon fresh Thai basil or basil, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped (or cilantro)
salt and pepper

Mango Salsa

2 ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted and diced (preferably Filipino mangoes)
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 small cucumber, peeled and diced
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped (or cilantro)
2 tablespoons fresh Thai basil or basil, chopped
1 thai red chili or jalapeno chile, minced (including seeds and ribs)
salt and pepper

Tomato Salsa

4 Romano tomatoes, chopped into cubed
3 spring onions, sliced thinly into rounds
1/4 medium red onion, chopped finely
4 tablespoons fresh Thai basil or regular basil, chopped (or cilantro)
2 tablespoons fresh chives (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley (optional)
1 jalapeno chile OR 1 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 garlic clove, minced
1-2 tablespoons olive oil

Baja Yogurt (or Herbed Yogurt)

1 cup greek yogurt
1/2 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped finely (or cilantro)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
salt and pepper


1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup whole milk mixed with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice, then let it sit for at least 15 minutes till it curdles before whisking it)
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, cilantro and/or basil/Thai basil
3 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
salt and pepper
400g skinless sea bass, halibut or striped bass filets, cut into 1/2 x 1/2 inch strips
Lemon Wedges

5 corn tortillas
1 cup self-rising flour, if not use regular flour

For Guacamole:
Mash up avocados in a bowl, then squeeze lime and mix in other ingredients and season accordingly. If not serving immediately, tightly cover with glad wrap over guacamole, ensuring plastic wrap touches it so that no air can enter/escape, which will oxidize the avocados and turn it brown.

For Baja Yogurt:
Whisk juice, herbs and salt/pepper into yogurt. Cover and chill if not serving immediately, or leave out at room temperature for up to an hour.

For Mango Salsa:
Combine ingredients in bowl, season to taste. If salsa is too hot or acidic, temper with sliced avocados.

For Tomato Salsa:
Combine all ingredients together in one bowl, then season to taste.

For Fish:
Mix buttermilk, herbs, pepper sauce, salt and lime juice in large bowl. Add fish, toss, cover and chill for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 300F. Wrap tortillas in foil and place in oven to warm.

Whisk flour and salt in medium flour.
Add enough oil to large skillet to reach depth of 1 inch. Heat oil till hot and sizzling, then in watches remove fish from marinade, dredge in flour.
Carefully add fish to skillet and fry until golden brown, turning occasionally, about 4 minutes. Transfer to paper-towel lined baking sheet or dish to drain. Squeeze lemon juice over fish before making tacos.

To assemble:
Add a few pieces of fish onto taco.
Then add some mango salsa.
Then top with some tomato salsa.
Then add a spoonful of guacamole.
Finally drizzle baja yogurt, fold taco and eat.
Serves 2 (double or triple for more people)

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