Mediterranean inspired fish tacos

February  9, 2011
Author Notes

I've had grilled white fish with a lemon-olive salsa before (from Sunday Suppers at Lucques), and thinking about it I realized, well if there's salsa, why not turn it into a taco?! We had the results for dinner last night, and I have to say, I expected them to be good, but they were even more delicious than I had anticipated! They're amazingly fresh and summery feeling, even though they use seasonal ingredients. And, even though they have a long ingredient list, they come together very quickly. —fiveandspice

  • Serves 4
  • olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar, divided
  • 3 teaspoons honey, divided
  • 2 meyer lemons
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives (of your favorite variety), chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
  • sea salt
  • 1 1/2 - 2 pounds tilapia or flounder fillets (or any other white fish that you can find wild/locally caught)
  • 2 teaspoons hot paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • plain yogurt, for serving
  • 8 flour tortillas, for serving
In This Recipe
  1. First make the lemon-olive salsa. Stir together the red onion with 2 Tbs. sherry vinegar. Let this sit while you chop the lemons. Remove the ends from each of the meyer lemons, then dice them into small cubes (about 1/8 inch), peel and all. Do remove the seeds, though. When this is finished, whisk 2 tsp. honey and a pinch of salt into the onions. Next whisk in about 1/4 cup olive oil. Stir in the diced meyer lemons, the chopped olives, and the cilantro, and set aside.
  2. Trim the fennel bulb and thinly slice it. Whisk together 2 Tbs. olive oil, 1 Tbs. sherry vinegar, 1 tsp. honey, 2 tsp. mustard, and 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper. In a large bowl toss the shredded cabbage and the sliced fennel with this dressing. Set aside.
  3. Rub one side of your fish fillets with the hot paprika and thyme and sprinkle them with some salt and fresh ground pepper. Let them sit 5 minutes. Then, heat about 1-2 Tbs. olive oil in a large frying pan until it is nearly smoking. Add the fish, spiced side down, and fry until just cooked through and flaky.
  4. Assemble the tacos by filling a tortilla with a couple chunks of fish, a scoop of the cabbage-fennel slaw and a scoop of lemon-olive salsa. Top with a dollop of plain yogurt (and if you happen to have an avocado around, a few slices on a taco go quite nicely). Enjoy!

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I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (, where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.