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What to add to fish tacos?

The other taco thread got me thinking about this. I have always wanted to make fish tacos but never have because I don't know what to top them with. Here's the problem:

My husband won't eat onion, cabbage (or any other leafy greens, including lettuce), or mayonnaise.
I am allergic to avocado and won't eat cilantro.

So the typical slaw/guacamole is right out the door.

So what else goes well with fish tacos? Or is it just a lost cause?

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  1. peppers, pea pods, cucumbers. squash, eggplant, alfalfa sprouts, bean sprouts.....

    1. pico de gallo, hold the cilantro

        1. My dad makes killer fish tacos - the sauce he uses is a kind of green-chile/jalapeno cream sauce. I have the recipe but can't find it right now - basically if I were to hack it from memory I'd start with sour cream, a bit of heavy cream to thin it out, green chilies, shredded jack cheese, diced jalapenos, lime juice and (not for you!) cilantro. Just start from there and play with it. All processed with a "boat motor" (immersion blender) if memory serves.

          We like julienned jalapenos with our cabbage, and I have to say, even though my husband and two of my kids *hate* cabbage, they all insist on shredded cabbage on their fish tacos - weird, I know. (It's not a slaw at all, just fresh, shredded.) I think because you really use so little it's not about flavor but texture. Ooooh! What about super thinly julienned jicama?

          Other than that, while I do like pico de gallo on mine, if there's any sort of salsa you do like, go for it.

          Having said all of that, my birthday is this Friday, and he's making his "standard" fish tacos and also is going to play with a pineapple salsa and grilled salmon version.

          1. There is a taco in Baja (and San Diego) called Gobernador, which is basically shrimp that have been simply sauteed. The tortilla is heated and cheese is put on it to melt. The shrimp goes on top of the cheese, followed by sauteed peppers and onions. The peppers are usually green bells with a little sliced jalapeno or serrano tossed in for some bite and some bias cut celery. You can top with any bottled hot sauce like Cholula, Tapatio, Valentina, etc. This treatment would work just as well with fish as it does with shrimp.

            Also from the Baja/San Diego area is the smoked Marlyn (that would be marlin in English) taco. Prepare the corn tortilla with a layer of melted cheese as above for the Gobernador, saute off some onion and celery, a little jalapeno or serrano and a touch of tomato. Smoked marlin goes onto the tortilla topped by the sauteed veg. Stick a fork in it an eat it.

            You don't need to use mayo for the white sauce. Sour cream or creme fraiche - or a combination of the two - works as well. Squeeze the juice of one lime into it to thin it down, add more lime juice if needed. Taste for salt and add a bit of salt if it's needed. Don't want to do sour cream crema, then simply add some bottled hot sauce (Tapatio works really well for this) to taste to regular Hidden Valley Ranch dressing and use that instead. Sriracha sauce also works in place of a Mexican hot sauce. Sour cream and Ranch dressing not an option? Use your favorite salsa rojo (red) or salsa verde (green).

            Sauteed vegetables like bell peppers, onions and celery can provide a viable alternative to shredded cabbage and/or lettuce.

            (Photo #1 should be the Gobernador and Photo #2 should be the smoked marlyn tacos. These are tacos that are commonly found in Baja, tho' these photos were taken a a mariscos shack in San Diego)

            1. In your particular case try diced tomatoes and radishes. Line with a few squeezes of crema made from lime zest and juice mixed with creme fraiche. Add a good hot sauce like Valentina to your taste and try using grilled fish instead of fried.

              2 Replies
              1. re: CDouglas

                Salsa of tomatoes, corn and black beans accented with fresh lime juice

                1. re: GraydonCarter

                  Try a bag of the broccoli slaw? The crunch component probably isn't necessary but it is nice (or you can shred broccoli stems yourself with a bit of carrot and maybe some jicama) I don't use mayo, but I do thin my salsa and guac (okay, you won't have guac) with a little plain yogurt or sour cream so it doesn't overwhelm the fish. I am not a big fish fan, neither is one of my kids, but we all like fish tacos.

              2. So what else goes well with fish tacos?

                A cold Cerveza.

                1 Reply
                1. I'll go in another direction. Chop up some pineapple (you can even grill it first) and mix it with black beans and a hefty squeeze of lime, maybe some adobo sauce too. Sweet, salty and spicy!

                  1. I make a mango/jicama/red onion/jalapeno/lime juice/parsley(like you, not a fan of cilantro) salsa for my fish tacos- even my picky DH loves it. The jicama gives the crunch that I think fish tacos need, but has a very mild flavor. I do like crema and avocado as well (as well as napa cabbage) , but the nice thing about making them is everybody can dress them their own way. I have yet to make them exactly the same way twice.