Mexican food is slowly coming to Australia – a topic which I have lamented on before. Yet it brings feelings of not only excitement but also inadequacy.
Excitement because I miss Mexican food so much that even the semblance of the real thing that you can get from Mad Mex is better than nothing. The pop up bars and pubs that have all suddenly turned El Loco are a welcome change until you realise that they are not quite up to scratch and that you preferred it when they were Thai.
Then all we are left with is the inadequate feeling that we will probably never have amazing Mexican food – it’s a dream we may never realise. Though we are winning on the Thai food front and will just have to find satisfaction in that. I am an optimist however, and I will keep trying to bring forth the revolution of genuinely GOOD Mexican food.
The mouth-watering morsel that I have missed most since coming back from the states (apart from the whole concept of taco Tuesday) is the fish taco. The curious mix of light fluffy fish against some crunch salad or cabbage with a creamy hot sauce like chipotle, maybe a sprinkling of cheese – sometimes your fish is deep-fried, sometimes its seared in herbs – either way its earth shattering YUM.
This is something I have bored my friends with on many Mexican evenings – lamenting the loss of my favourite taco. Yet they couldn’t picture it. Just the way I couldn’t the first time I walked into Fred’s Mexican in the heart of San Diego, when the tacos were so cheap you had to try them all. Once I had… I never looked back.
The other night I force-fed my friends Fish Tacos – they were stuck in my house and it was the only thing I was serving. Afterwards I had made converts of them all.
Finding the right recipe was a bit of a challenge as I wanted something tasty but also healthy. In the end I pulled some advice from a bunch of places, including the Londoner (if you are not onto this gem of a blog – check it) and smushed together my own recipe – I call it SUCCESIPE!
INGREDIENTS (Serves four…ish – depending on how hungry you are or if you are feeding boys):
For the Fish –
- 4 white fish steaks – find something firm that stays together – I used Ling.
- Lots of coriander
- 2 Limes – or lemons work just as well
- 2 birds eye chillies
- Sea salt and cracked pepper
- Garlic – as much as you like… there is no such thing as too much in my mind!
- 1tbs olive oil
For the Salsa
- 1 Avocado
- 4 tomatoes
- 1/2 Red Onion
- 1/2 lime
For the Taco part
- Tortillas – I like using wholemeal ones
- Rocket, baby spinach or finely chopped cabbage – what ever is on hand
- Chipolte sauce or if you don’t like chilli – sour cream
FISH: Simply chop up the garlic, chilli and coriander and place into a large bowl. Squeeze over the juice of 1 1/5 limes (saving the other half for the salsa) and pour in your oil. Sprinkle in a decent pinch of salt and cracked pepper. Cut up the White fish into chunks about the size of your thumb then smoosh around in the sauce – covering all pieces and sizes. Put to one side in the fridge while you prepare the salsa and grate the cheese.
SALSA: Chop up the tomatoes and the avocado into small cubes and finely dice the onion. Also finely chop the left coriander – though you can use parsley if that’s what you have on hand. Mix together gently with a spoon and squeeze over remaining lime. Season gently.
FISH AGAIN: Heat up a small non-stick frying pan and pour in your fish including all of the juices. Simmer cook the fish gently turning as required. Once cooked through and flaking apart you are ready to create your dinner
PUT IT TOGETHER: On a tortilla add some chipolte, top up with some fish, then cheese, then salsa and some baby spinach!