The perfect fish taco is a difficult task to take on, but I am excited to eat the results. To me, the perfect fish taco has a balance of flavors. I’m talking about salty, sweet, spicy, smoky, and sour. There also needs to be a balance of texture: you gotta have creamy, crunchy, and crispy all in one. So you’re probably wondering, how do I achieve all of this in one taco? Well, let me help you with that.
I am a fan of fruit salsa on my fish taco. I think it provides a freshness and a sweetness that would be hard to achieve otherwise. If you do not like fruit salsa, you could always squeeze some lime over the top instead to achieve the freshness without the sweetness.
The fruit salsa also provides a variety of textures, depending on what you put in it. If you want to know how to make the watermelon salsa pictured above, check out this recipe.
To balance out the sweetness of the fruit salsa, you have to have some spice. This spice can take many forms in a fish taco. You could put the spice on the actual fish by using a blackening seasoning
You could put spice in the fruit salsa in the form of jalapeños or habeneros if you’re feeling brave. You could also mix some hot sauce into some sour cream for a spicy accompaniment. The possibilities are endless, but my favorite option is putting jalapeños in the fruit salsa, because you get a crunch and the sweet and spicy in one bite.
For saltiness (the good kind):
I have three words about this: Season. Your. Fish. If you are using a mild fish, it is important to season it heavily in order to make it as delicious as possible. I like using Old Bay seasoning because it has everything already in it, but if you want to mix your own spice blend, go ahead. The only required ingredient in the spice mix is salt so just keep that in mind.
Some people like fried fish tacos, but I am all about the grilled fish. Not only is it better for you, I love the smoky flavor that it adds to the taco. If you want to fry your fish, you can grill the tortillas instead to make sure you have that smoky flavor. Before you hit the grill or the fryer, check out these tips for choosing the best-quality fish.
To cool down the heat:
I am a big fan of a creamy sauce to finish off a fish taco. Whether it is straight up sour cream or a seasoned cream sauce, it is a requirement for the perfect fish taco because you need relief from the spiciness of the spice blend and jalapenos. You could also use classic guacamole to take place of a creamy sauce – the richness of the avocados will cool the spice.
There is a reason why tacos are usually served with a wedge of lime on the side. If the taco has heavily spiced fish and a rich creamy sauce, the lime is there to provide a burst of freshness when you bite into it. I love squeezing the lime on myself because you can add a little or a lot. If there is no fresh lime provided, chances are they already incorporated some sort of freshness into the taco already.
Put it all together:
To assemble your taco, start with the fish on the bottom. Next, layer on your salsa or slaw of choice. Spoon your creamy sauce over the top and voila, your taco is ready to go. Right before you eat it, squeeze a wedge of lime on top for that pop of freshness. I promise you that this taco will satisfy all of your taste buds.