Mexican Fish TacosSteven Raichlen
Mexican Fish Tacos
- Advance Prep: 15 minutes for marinating the fish
- Method: Direct grilling
- 1-1/2 pounds grouper (or mahi mahi or other fresh fish fillets)
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 fresh lime or sour orange for squeezing
For the cilantro butter:
- 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) salted butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus sprigs for serving
- 1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
- 8 to 12 fresh corn or flour tortillas
- Pico de Gallo, Salsa Verde, or Chilotomate
- 1 cup sour cream and/or grated cotija or Jack cheese
- 1 small head or 1/2 large head green cabbage or iceberg lettuce, shredded or thinly sliced (optional), and/or pickled onions
- 1 to 2 ripe avocados, peeled and sliced or diced (sprinkle with a few drops lime juice to keep it from discoloring), or 1 cup Guacamole
- Lime wedges for serving
Step 1: Generously season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper. Arrange in a baking dish and squeeze the lime juice or sour orange juice over the fish. Marinate, covered, in the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes while you make the salsas and light the grill.
Step 2: Make the cilantro butter: Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the cilantro and garlic and cook until sizzling, but not brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
Step 3: Warm the tortillas on the grill, wrap them in a cloth or napkin, place them in a basket, and keep warm. Have the Pico de Gallo, Salsa Verde, or Chilotomate in attractive serving bowls with spoons. Place the sour cream, cabbage, avocados, and lime wedges in attractive bowls. The hard part is over.
Step 4: Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. Brush and oil the grill grate.
Step 5: Arrange the grouper pieces on the grill grate, running diagonal to the bars of the grate. Grill until nicely browned and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side, turning with a spatula. Start basting the fish with the cilantro butter after 2 minutes and several times on both sides. Transfer the fish to a platter and thinly slice.
Step 6: To serve, have each eater place a slice of fish on a tortilla. Top with sour cream or cheese, lettuce or cabbage, Pico de Gallo or other salsas, roll it up, and pop it into your mouth.
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