Spicy Fish Tacos with Mexican Salsa Verde

OK so before getting into the recipe let me make this very clear (can you tell there has been an election campaign going on in New Zealand…I think it has infiltrated my brain!) I am not Mexican, have never been to Mexico (alas) and am clearly no expert on Mexican food. However – I love to eat it, and I particularly enjoy the combinations of spices, textures and flavours that are so often found in good Mexican food. This then is my take on fish tacos with Mexican salsa verde con aguacate. If I didn’t live at the bottom of the world in lovely ole NZ, I might be able to get my hands on fresh tomatillos for the salsa verde recipe, but as it is I am relying on the tinned variety – if you do have access to the real deal, then I understand this can be made by using them either raw, or roasted off, whichever takes your fancy, for either a bright clear or rich muted flavour. Having eaten fish tacos poolside at the stunning One & Only resort on Hayman island, this then is my ideal summer lunch dish. Craziness that I am posting it in a New Zealand spring which is typically cold, wet and stormy, but there you go – I will sit by the heater, close my eyes and eat, pretending I am back on the island…

Salsa Verde con Aguacate:
340g tomatillos
1 ripe avocado
1 cup fresh coriander leaves
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp chopped white onion
1large clove garlic, crushed
1-2 green chillis, chopped, seeds in
sea salt to taste

In a food processor whiz all of the salsa verde ingredients. Store in a
sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 hours before serving.
3 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp good quality mayonnaise
grated zest of 1 lime
2 tsp caster sugar
1/4 red cabbage, finely sliced

Whisk lime juice and zest, mayonnaise and sugar in a medium sized bow. Add cabbage and toss to combine.

1/4 pineapple, diced
1/4 mango, diced
1/4 red onion, diced
zest and juice of 1 lime

Combine finely diced fruit, onion and lime juice in a bowl and set aside.

1/3 cup plain white flour
1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tbsp ground cumin powder
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp dried oregano 
1/2 tsp chilli powder
pinch cayenne pepper
2 tsp sea salt
good grinding black pepper
850g firm white fish fillets, I used terakihi
1/4 cup rice bran oil or similar
to serve:
12 – 18 tortillas, depending on size of tortillas and how much your guests eat!
1 bunch coriander leaves, extra
3 limes, quartered
2 green chillis, sliced
2 avocados, sliced
Mix flour with spices and put in a shallow bowl. Trim fish to the sizes you would like – I used them about 10cm long and 2 cm wide. Pat fish pieces in the spiced flour and set aside. Heat half of the oil in a large frypan and fry fish in batches (using more oil if you need it) for a few minutes each side until golden and just cooked through. Heat tortillas in the microwave (or if you prefer wrapped in tinfoil in a moderate oven) and serve with fish, salsa verde, cabbage slaw, fruit salsa, sliced avocado, coriander, chilli and lime. These would also be great served mini-size with drinks at a summer cocktail party – nam! Serves 6


    1. Hi – whoops, I thought I had included it! I used Terakihi but any medium firm white fish would work well 🙂

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