May 5th, 2009
Told you I went crazy cooking Mexican food this weekend! Cinco de Mayo is one of my favorite holidays (shout out to Sam, a fellow Cinco de Mayo fan with whom I’ve shared many debaucherous May 5th’s!). But, since I can’t partake in margaritas this year (groan), I’m less inclined to celebrate out and about. Instead, I indulged in delicious Mexican fare at home… toddler in tow. Oh, how life has changed.
I L-O-V-E fish tacos. In all forms. Though, I have to admit, that I get especially excited about the kind made with fried fish. I often find tacos made with fish prepared other ways less satisfying. Except for these.
The big difference between these fish tacos and others I’ve had with grilled, broiled, or sauteed fish is achiote paste. This amazing stuff, made of crushed achiote seeds and other spices, gives fish a wonderful, robust flavor that, though very different, rivals the deliciousness of fried fish. Sadly, achiote paste is not easily found in any supermarket, but you should be able to find it in a Mexican grocery or order it online. You can also try making it yourself! One block should last a very long time, so it’s worth having on hand (also makes a great rub for meat or base for Mexican style stews).
Healthy Fish Tacos
(can be served to kids 10+ mos)*
1 to 1 1/2 lbs firm, white fish fillet (cod works nicely), cut into 2-2 1/2″ pieces
2 tbsp achiote paste
2 tbsp hot water
fresh juice of 1 organic lime
2 tbsp organic vegetable oil
salt & pepper
lime wedges, shredded cabbage, thinly sliced radish, salsa, guacamole, creama/sour cream/plain yogurt, optional
1. In a large bowl, dissolve achiote paste with hot water (you may need to work it with a fork). Once smooth, whisk in lime juice and oil. Add fish and marinate.
2. After at least an hour, place fish in a single layer in shallow broiler-proof dish or baking sheet. Pour marinade on top. Broil until opaque, about 8-10 minutes, flipping half way through.
3. Salt and pepper older kid and adult portions. Serve with lime wedges, corn tortillas, and your choice of condiments. We love these with shredded cabbage, thinly sliced radishes, salsa verde, guacamole, and crema, sour cream, or plain yogurt (whichever I have on hand).
*To be clear: the fish in this recipe can be served to kids 10+ months. Serve plain to youngest eaters or simply top with age-appropriate condiments like plain yogurt.