We don’t have a tortilla press yet so Alex still uses a rolling pin to make tortilla. With that process, forming perfect circles is not always easy. That should explain the rather irregular shape of the tortilla in the photo. But then who cares about the shape of tortilla if it has perfect texture and has been perfectly grilled? Who cares about the shape of tortilla it’s only purpose is to serve as a vessel for the divine lemon chili garlic fish taco filling?
Divine? Oh, yes. Beautifully textured hot and tangy fish mixes with sweet mangoes and cucumber. With every bite there is buttery goodness, heat from the chilies and a slight crunch from the vegetables. And, note this — unlike most American taco recipes where a whole fish (or a slab of fillet) is cooked then flaked, the fish in Alex’s tacos were cut into pieces that were pan fried in butter. There’s a world of difference in mouth feel between fish pan fried in butter and flaked cooked fish.
As for the tortillas, you can get away with store-bought tortilla to make lemon chili garlic fish tacos. It’s less fun but at least you won’t feel so intimidated to make these lemon chili garlic fish tacos. And when I say tortilla, I mean soft tortilla, made with flour or cornmeal. But, please, NOT the U-shaped hard taco shell sold in boxes — you won’t be able to appreciate the delicate flavors and textures in the filling if you wrap it with that abomination.
Alex's Lemon Chili Garlic Fish Tacos
- 300 to 400 grams fish fillet (Alex used red snapper)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- butter for frying
- lemon or lime juice to taste
- finely sliced chilies as much or as little as you like
- 6 warmed tortillas
- 1 cucumber cut into thin sticks
- 1 carrot cut into thin sticks
- fresh mangoes as much as you like, cut into small cubes
- finely sliced scallions
Cut the fish fillet into small cubes. Season with salt and minced garlic.
Fry the fish in hot butter just until done. Depending on the size of your frying pan, you may need to do this in batches.
When the fish is cooked, toss with chilies and lemon or lime juice.
Assemble the tacos. Place a tortilla on a plate. Arrange cucumber and carrot sticks at the middle. Top with pieces of fish. Spoon mango cubes over the fish. Sprinkle with scallions. Optionally, you can drizzle in your favorite sauce. Hot sauce, sour cream and yogurt are all good choices.