blackened fish tacos with cabbage slaw

I have a love/hate relationship with the concept of Taco Tuesday.

On one hand, a weekly day dedicated to the consumption of one of my favorite food groups (see below) is a godsend.

Side note: My Favorite Food Groups:

  • Mexican (learn about my favorite healthy Mexican dishes here)
  • Crispy skin (duck, salmon, pork, chicken — in that order)
  • Buttered noodles/butter on anything, really
  • Dark chocolate
  • Fresh figs

On the other hand, limiting one of the world’s most delicious and versatile meals to just one day a week is very frustrating.

What if, like this weekend, I want to celebrate the end of a week with some tacos, bourbon(s), and a rousing game of Settlers of Catan?

I can’t just declare it Taco Friday, mostly because of the lacking alliteration. But when a taco craving comes along, you don’t just settle for some other kind of celebratory meal. It’s unconstitutional! Sigh. What a Maja problem.

Whatever. Smite me, Taco Tuesday gods. These tacos were worth the blasphemous Friday evening consumption. I have no regrets.

the nitty-gritty

taco photoshoot at sunset

These bad boys are ultra delicious and super easy to make. You coat your fish in a flavorful spice mixture, press it into a hot pan, and don’t touch it until it begs you to be flipped. Then, you assemble your beautiful, fresh taco: Warm corn tortilla, then fish, then zesty cabbage slaw, then avocado slices and optional hot sauce of your choosing.

Taco bars are always a great choice when cooking for your crew, because everyone can assemble their own plate and most of the prep can be done and cleaned up before your guests arrive. These tacos are no exception — I did everything except cook the fish before they came. When my friends arrived, I quickly blackened the fish and we were ready to dig in. I was concerned about a fishy smell ruining our game night, but the vent fan over my stove (and a few strategically placed candles) took care of that for me.

Enjoy them on a Tuesday, or any other night you want. It’s your life. ❤ 

INGREDIENTS

Spice Blend

  • 1.5 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Fish

  • 1.5 lbs tilapia fillets
  • 2 tbsp. healthy fat of choice: grass-fed butter, duck fat, or coconut oil

Cabbage Slaw

  • 1/2 head cabbage (red), chopped
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • hot sauce (Cholula is my pick), to taste
  • 2 tbsp. mayo

Other Taco Accoutrements

  • Corn tortillas
  • Avocado, sliced
  • More hot sauce (Cholula!)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Prep your fish: Remove from fridge, pat dry with paper towels and allow to come to room temperature.
  2. Season your fish: Mix your spice blend in a small bowl. Sprinkle the seasoning all over the fish, coating it completely. Shake off the excess and set aside until ready to cook.
  3. Make your slaw: Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and place in fridge until ready to eat.
  4. Prep your pan: Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add your cooking fat of choice and allow it to spread to coat the pan. Flick a tiny bit of water onto the pan. If it sizzles, it’s ready. If it doesn’t, keep heating until it does.
  5. Cook your fish: When your pan is nice and hot, lay the fish down on the hot pan, maximizing the surface area of the fish that is touching the pan. Don’t touch it. Allow it to sizzle for 4-5 minutes, until it releases completely from the pan and has a nice crispy crust. Flip it over and cook for 2-3 more minutes, until the same texture is achieved on the other side.
  6. Heat your tortillas: Wrap a stack of tortillas in paper towels and microwave for 30 seconds until warm and soft.
  7. Eat your tacos! Pile chunks of blackened fish, cool slaw, creamy avocado, and hot sauce high atop your warm tortillas.
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