I didn't grow up with fish tacos, but when I tried my first one at a cheap burrito joint in Washington state, I was hooked. The fish taco seems to have come up from the Baja into Southern California and the fish is often served deep fried in a light batter alongside chunks of avocado, shreds of cabbage and a spritz of lime.
While deep-frying is something I can get behind when it's made by someone else, it's not a task I want to undertake at home. So I decided to marinate the fish full of spicy, Mexican flavours and use the marinade to give them a quick fry. Crema is a traditional Mexican condiment that is similar to sour cream or creme fraiche. While it's relatively easy to make yourself, I decided to use some Greek yogurt as a stand-in and it worked beautifully. It was slightly tart but packed a lot of goodness from the garlic, cumin and lime juice.
I have no idea how authentic these fish tacos are, but they sure are delicious. While these are probably best eaten beach-side, they're just as fantastic served out of my tiny kitchen in the middle of a heat wave. Served alongside a frosty mug of Mexican beer or (in my case), some fridge-brewed iced tea, they make the summer heat a lot more tolerable.
Easy Fish Tacos with Yogurt Crema
1/4 c olive oil
1 t cumin
2 t chili powder
1 t garlic powder
1 t oregano
1/8 t cayenne pepper
salt + pepper, large pinch each
1 lb cod, cut into large pieces
5 T greek yogurt
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 small lime, juiced
8 fresh corn tortillas
fresh spinach, cut into ribbons
1. In a large shallow bowl, combine the olive oil and spices. Add the fish and let marinate for 15 minutes, flipping the fish so that it's well coated on all sides.
2. Prepare the crema by mixing together all the ingredients into a small bowl, adding hot sauce and salt to taste. Set aside.
3. Heat a large skillet over med-high heat and add the fish, along with the oil from the bowl and fry until the bottom of the fish is brown. Flip and cook the other side until brown. Turn off heat.
4. Wipe some olive oil into another skillet and turn heat to high. Add the each corn tortilla one at a time, flipping when one side gets warm and browns slightly. Repeat for remaining tortillas.
5. To assemble the tacos, place a large spoonful of the fish into the centre of each tortilla, spoon on the crema, fresh salsa and top with spinach.