fish tacos with tomatillo salsa
photo by Jennifer Johnson
A simple yet flavorful spice rub gives fresh fish everything it needs to take it to the next level. Roasted salsa, cool crema, crunchy cabbage, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice finish off the perfect taco.
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/4 pounds white fish
Roasted tomatillo salsa
6 medium tomatillos
2 poblano peppers, seeded and cut into quarters
1 jalapeño, seeded and cut into quarters
1 small white onion, cut into large dice
1 clove garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra for serving
1 cup sour cream
Juice from 1/2 lime, or to taste
Cooking spray, for greasing
White or yellow corn tortillas, for serving (see cook’s note)
Shredded green cabbage, for serving
Fresh limes, for serving
In a baking dish, add oil, agave nectar, chili powder, and cumin. Stir until combined. Pat fish dry and add to dish, coating both sides with mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Remove papery outer layer from tomatillos and rinse under warm water. Pat dry and cut into quarters. Place on a baking sheet along with poblano peppers, jalapeño, onion, and garlic. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Gently toss to evenly coat. Roast for 15-20 minutes, until vegetables are softened. Remove and allow to cool slightly. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F.
Transfer cooled vegetables to a food processor, along with juices from roasting pan, if desired (salsa will be thicker if you omit liquid). Add cilantro. Slowly pulse until mixture is just combined but still a bit chunky. Transfer to a serving bowl and set aside.
Make crema. In a bowl, combine sour cream and lime juice and set aside.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat it with cooking spray. Remove fish from baking dish and place on prepared baking sheet. Season fish with salt and pepper. Bake until fish is cooked through, 10-15 minutes depending on thickness.
To serve, place a bit of crema on bottoms of 2 tortillas. Top with cabbage, some roasted tomatillo salsa, and some fish, breaking up into slightly smaller pieces. Garnish with cilantro and drizzle with fresh lime juice. Continue with remaining tacos and serve immediately.
cook’s note: You can lightly toast the tortillas if you like, adding just a hint of char around the outside. To do this, hold one tortilla at a time with a pair of tongs over the flame of a gas stove, charring it ever so slightly. We love just the hint of flavor and texture around the outside, while most of the tortilla remains soft enough to fold and eat easily.