There is a dish at Fonda, a fantastic Mexican restaurant that opened up near our apartment last year, that I order every time we go there. It's called fish salpicon, and it's simple, but incredibly fresh -- just chopped, cooked fish tossed with chili, onion, cilantro and lime juice. It’s basically a cooked ceviche, served with homemade corn tortillas (I like to add a dollop of their homemade guacamole and make my own taco).
Last week, I decided to try to recreate it. I used tilapia, which I thought would flake nicely, and reminded of the beauty of Wondra by one of this week’s chicken wing finalists, I lightly coated the fish in Wondra before sautéing it, which gave it a nice crisp crust. Mine didn’t turn out exactly like Fonda’s, but I liked it anyway: it’s an easy dish to whip up as an hors d’oeuvre (serve it with chips instead of tortillas), or as a light supper for one.
Serves two for dinner, four as an hors d'oeuvre
- ½ cup Wondra
- Salt and pepper
- ½ lb. tilapia (2 fillets)
- Vegetable oil
- 1 small hot chili (Serrano, bird chili, etc.), seeded and finely chopped
- 2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
- Large handful cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- 2 limes
- Corn tortillas or chips
- Sliced avocado (optional)
1. Put the Wondra in a shallow dish and season generously with salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Dredge the tilapia in the Wondra, patting gently to remove any excess.
2. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add a thin film of oil. Add the fish to the pan. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown on one side, and then flip and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the fish to a cutting board and let it cool for a few minutes. Flake the fish with two forks, or chop it roughly with a sharp knife.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the fish with the chili, scallions and cilantro. Squeeze one lime over the top and fold gently to combine. Taste and add more lime and salt if necessary. Serve in a pretty bowl with the tortillas and chips, and avocado if you like.
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