Sablefish Tacos

  • Yum


    I lived in Mexico for a few years when I was in kindergarden and preschool and have traveled back almost every year since. Im note sure if I love Mexican food so much because of this history or because it just so frickin’ awesome––either way, I cook a lot of Mexican dishes. One of my favorites is the simple and tiny, yet sublimely elegant, carne asada taco of street vendor fame. Feeling the pangs of hunger one recent evening and looking at a freezer full of fish and some home made corn tortillas in the fridge, I realized something very strange––after a lifetime of making tacos, I had strangely never made the fish variety. Here is what I made. And if I do say so myself, it was so good!


    • Refined coconut oil (enough for 1 inch in your pan). Unrefined coconut oil cannot tolerate the heat of deep frying. Use vegetable oil or avocado oil if you do not have refined coconut oil.
    • 12-16 corn tortillas
    • 1 cup flour
    • 2 tsp salt
    • 1 cup beer
    • 1 lb. sablefish, halibut or king salmon (remove bones by pulling or cutting the bone strip out). 
    • White cabbage
    • Lime
    • Cilantro


    1. Make the sauce ahead of time and store in the fridge (see directions below). You can cut the limes and chop the cilantro and cabbage ahead of time as well.
    2. Start your oil heating in a heavy pan over medium high heat. Use a candy thermometer to test the temperature. Look for a temp of about 350-360 deg. F.
    3. Combine flour, salt and beer in a bowl and mix well. Batter should be thick.
    4. Removed thawed fish from the fridge and cut from package over the sink. Rinse under cold water once and pat dry with a paper towel. If using halibut, it will be boneless and skinless already. If using sablefish, remove the bones and the skin (Watch this Gordon Ramsey video on how to skin a fillet here). Then cut the portion across the grain into 3-4 inch chunks. Then cut with the grain into thumb sized fingers, or whatever size you prefer.
    5. Pat each piece dry then place in the batter to coat. Wipe the excess of on the edge of the bowl and deep fry for 1-2 minutes per side, or until golden brown.
    6. While fish is cooking, warm the tortillas in the oven or microwave wrapped in a cloth.
    7. Place pieces of fish on paper towel or cooling rack to drain.


    1. You can plate the tacos for your diners or you can do as I do, set everything out and let folks make their own. The components are so colorful, it’s really wonderful to see the spread on your table.
    2. If you happen to have the really small tortillas (about 4 inches across), it’s traditional to double up the tortillas.
    3. Place a tortilla on your plate and add one or two pieces of fish. Top with cabbage, salsa of choice (I make my own with tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, lime, cilantro, olive oil, salt and cumin) and sauce (see recipe below).


    This is a really simple white sauce that, for many people, makes a fish taco a fish taco. It can be made in any number of way and each time I make it, it’s a little different. Here is the basic idea. Just whisk it all together.

    1. 1/2 cup mayo
    2. 1/2 cup sour cream
    3. 1/4 cup milk
    4. 4 tbsp lemon or lime juice
    5. 1 tsp garlic


    Battered and added to the oil.


    Sablefish turning golden brown.


    Fish draining on a paper towel.


    Cedar assembling her own taco.

    October 23rd, 2014 | Traveler | No Comments | Tags: , , , , , , ,

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