Poached fish tacos (with a vegetarian alternative)

At our house we love our Mexican food. Of-course staying at San Diego for years didn't hurt either ;) If you visit San Diego, I definitely recommend visiting an area called Old Town which is famous for its spectacular Mexican restaurants and fresh produce and pottery markets. Whether you are in mood for some fine dining or merely a roadside devouring of tortilla wraps, Old Town is the place for you! For me the best part of Old Town are the fresh tortilla stalls. There are restaurants on the strip which have an extension overlooking the street where a lady makes fresh corn and flour tortillas. For about 50cents a piece you can enjoy a tortilla hot off the gridle lightly brushed with butter and seasoned with home-made hot salsa! Heaven wrapped in a foil indeed! The only thing is now you can't be skimpy about eating on the roadside ;)

Anyway, I digress. Looking at some of our old SD photos, I got nostalgic for some Mexican today. Fish tacos can be quite greasy with fried fish and a mayo leaden dressing so I tried poaching the fish instead and made a lemon-vinegar based coleslaw dressing. I must say I was impressed by the poaching technique! The fish cooks very quickly and absorbs all the deliciousness of the poaching liquid. To top it all its even an oil-free way to cook the fish. Overall, the fish tacos were absolutely delicious! The recipe is very adaptive so feel free to add your favorite Mexican condiments: spanish rice, tomato salsas, mango salsa, guacamole, sour cream.. all good :) Now really, if you needed a reason to make a margarita night, this is the one ;)
Fish tacos
Serves 3-4
Recipe: Coleslaw without the mayo
1C finely shredded or chopped green cabbage
1/2C shredded carrot
1Tbsp chopped cilantro
lemon juice (few Tbsp - to taste)
olive oil (less than a tsp)
sugar (pinch)
1Tbsp sunflower seeds (for crunch)
pinch of dried oregano
salt to taste

Mix everything well. Taste and adjust the taste per seasonings.

Recipe: Black bean salsa
1/2 lemon
1 15oz can black beans
2 ripe tomatoes
1/4 large red onion
1Tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2tsp cumin powder
pinch of dried oregano
pinch of crushed red chili flakes

Finely chop the onion, tomatoes (remove the seeds if you wish), cilantro and mix everything well. Taste and adjust the seasonings per taste.

Recipe: Poached fish
1 salmon fillet
1/2 lemon - cut into round slices
3-4 whole black peppers
2C water (water quantity depends on your pan's surface area and the size of fish - use enough to barely submerse the fish)
1tsp olive oil
s & p

In a wide bottom pan add enough water so the fish would barely submerge. Add few lemon slices; sprinkle some lemon juice; add a few whole black pepper and bring the water to barely boiling. Reduce heat to simmer. Add the fish fillet and cook covered for 5-10 mins until the fish is cooked through (when poked with a fork it falls apart easily). Remove from stove. Remove the fish from water. Using a fork shred it into smaller pieces. Add some olive oil, salt & pepper and set the shredded fish pieces aside.

Vegetarian alternative:
Lightly saute thinly sliced 1 green and 1 red bell pepper with 1 chopped onion and a few sliced mushrooms in 1Tbsp olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, crushed chili flakes and oregano (or your favorite Mexican spice blend). Cook for 5-10mins until the peppers are tender but not overcooked.

12 small corn tortillas
avocado pieces
sour cream
Mexican cheese blend (optional)
spanish rice

Assemble the tacos just before serving.


amita said…
Aah.. old town, so many memories. Fish tacos are lovely and the picture is nice too.
PJ said…
thanks Amita, that was quick! Yeah, I miss san diego :(
Satya said…
hi PJ,

this is my first visit to ur blog ... and must say you have a beautifull collection of recipes and presentation style..i went through you blog ...each dish looks so mouthwatering...this chickpea flour with coconut filling looked so good...this taco looks very and healthy i will a vegetarian version...thanks for sharing

Miri said…
Never heard of fish tacos before...they look amazing PJ!
PJ said…
thanks Satya, and welcome to my blog! I am so glad you liked the recipes and in particular suralichi wadi. it is one of my favorite marathi snacks. i am off to visit yours now.

Miri, thanks! usually fish tacos have fried fish, but i like this healthier version much better.
thats an amazing recipe. yesterday only a friend called up for fish fillet recipe and I suggested him the grilled fish wraps. love your idea of poaching fish fillets...great flavours too. after the success of wholewheat tortilla now I want to make corn tortillas...but yet to find corn meals here. love this recipe...very filling.
PJ said…
home-made corn tortillas sound so delicious, sayantani! i hope you make them and then post the recipe. everything tastes so much better with fresh hot off-the-gridle tortillas :)
What a decent and fulfilling meal! Love the idea of poaching the fish, very healthy and great presentation too..
sangeeta said…
The filling is very interesting PJ.

i like poached fish for some light salads and even poached fish in a watery curry........this way it would be great as a salad too.
PJ said…
Treat and trick, yes, i liked poaching technique too.. wodner why i didnt use it so far :D

Sangeeta, light salad and watery curry both sound so interesting! i have got to try this soon now.
Unknown said…
Loved the Poaching fish option..now a days I am trying to avoid oil as much I can mainly in our dinner table...this is a very healthy tasty and easy to make dish..perfect for dinner...

We often visit san Diego...to the Zoo, wild animal park and sea world...but never visited any other place there...thanks for sharing the info about old town...will surely visit it in our next visit to san diego...
aipi said…
hi pj ,
chanced upon your blog while surfing the web ... liked your style of blogging and collection of so many yummy dishes ,i bookmarked some ,have to go through more ...u have a great presentation style and your pictures r just stunning!
Fish tacos look lovely..
have bookmarked your site , will b visiting often :)
take care,
PJ said…
Kamalika, oil-free cooking was definitely a plus for me and the cooking time was so much reduced! i had to flake it to make sure it actually was cooked. definitely visit old town next time you go there, its a wonderful place.

Aipi, thanks and welcome to my blog! I am so glad you liked it.
Hamaree Rasoi said…
Fish tacos look yummy. Very fulfiling dish. thanks for sharing.

Hamaree Rasoi
Sushma Mallya said…
wow it looks so good, i really loved the filling...
PJ said…
Deepa, thanks! I am glad you liked the dish.

Sushma, thanks! Filling would be my favorite part too :)
Nice creation..liked d way you described...tempting...!
Suji said…
Wow tempting tacos ..Never had fish tacos before PJ, will try for sure..
PJ said…
Jay, thanks! I am glad you liked it.

Kairali sisters, fish tacos are absolutely delicious. mostly i have had them with fried fish but i think i'll like these better.
Pari Vasisht said…
I will go with the bell pepper version dear. I have experimented with whole wheat tortillas, now must try the corn version too.
Suman Singh said…
taco looks so healthy and delish...liked this healthy version..thanks for sharing this!
shahana said…
Never had fish taco.Thats agrt idea! Thanks for sharing!
Joanne said…
These tacos are stuffed with some seriously good ingredients! I love poached fish..the flavor infuses just so nicely.
Alka Gudadhe said…
Actually being nonveg recipe I cannot imagine how it would taste, but reading the details of recipe, seeing the photo and all comments, I conclude that it must taste the best.
shriya said…
Never tried fish taco, it looks so inviting. delicious recipe.
london has about 6 mexican restaurants in total and most of them suck big time:(
so my only alternative is to jus try them at home..fish tacos looks awesome...
PranisKitchen said…
this fish tacos looks so delicious.. very simple and god one.. i like mexican food.
Malar Gandhi said…
tacos look colorful, very healthy choice.
Anonymous said…
Oh my...i am simply in love with fish tacos!
whats ur address? :)
Really yummy looking
Anonymous said…
Oh my...i am simply in love with fish tacos!
whats ur address? :)
Really yummy looking
Parita said…
Love black bean salsa, its on my mind to prepare :)
Spice said…
It's high time I have to make some fish tacos now...everytime I make fish I say I'm gonna make fish taco & HE(hubby) or She(my daughter) say no.....& suggest me with their fav. fish dish & I end up making that....now looking at that pic I'm feeling more hungry for these...beautiful & tasty....

btw, love the pic of rose(by your husband) in your other post...