I think fish sticks are a kid thing. I haven’t liked them since I was about 13 years old. My P.S. (Personal Shopper/hubby) buys them occasionally and will slide them past me on his nights to cook. I’m less than enthusiastic at eating them. We’ve had a box in the freezer for a couple of months now and I have been dreading them.
We also have a bag of frozen tilapia and in looking for interesting recipes online I ran across an idea that used tilapia, but I could substitute the fish sticks and use them up. I was pleased. Even though the idea of fish tacos has never appealed to me, the ingredients besides the fish were so interesting I had to make them.
I preheated the oven and baked my fish sticks according to directions. Actually I timed them halfway through to turn them all over, so they were crispy on both sides. The box hadn’t suggested that.
The original recipe is for making a beer-battered fish for the tacos, and I will print that in a future post when I use the tilapia in my freezer. For now, we’re using up fish sticks that are otherwise boring and making them into an edible treat. We just need to make the other two parts of the tacos.
The recipe started with shredded cabbage, carrots and bok choy. When I made the grocery list for my P.S., I put down all of the necessary things we needed. Of course he called from the grocery and had all kinds of ideas to substitute. He decided broccoli slaw was a great idea, and I agreed it would be a nice change. It came already shredded with carrots and red cabbage so it had most of the slaw ingredients in an easy bag.
All I needed to do was dice up a red onion and add it to the bowl, then make the dressing out of yogurt, Dijon mustard, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
I chopped up a cup of fresh parsley and measured out dillweed. The recipe called for fresh dill but I substituted a teaspoon of dried. I whisked the dressing then poured it over the slaw and stirred well. I did a quick taste test and it was perfect. I really liked the flavor. The recipe from Lauren’s Kitchen said she used Jamie Oliver’s Winter Veg Slaw recipe. I’d like to make that again as a side dish sometime.
The cilantro cream sauce was very easy, stirring together a half cup each of yogurt and sour cream, and a half cup of chopped cilantro. I used a ¼ cup of cilantro, wanting it to be less in my face.
There were no seasonings which is unusual so I added salt, pepper and a pinch of cayenne. It turned out great, it was going to be a nice touch to the tacos.
When the fish were browned and crispy, I turned off the oven and heated my flat grill pan to heat the corn tortillas. I used the smaller ones that were more taco sized than burrito sized. As they were heated on both sides I spread some of the slaw, then several of the small fish sticks, topped it with cilantro cream, then sprinkled on diced avocados and shredded cheese.
The recipe hadn’t called for cheese or avocado, but I wanted avocado and just a bit of shredded white cheddar. Folded over, then eaten, the combination was amazing! It brings to mind the catch-phrase used a lot lately, “bold flavors”. The slaw’s zippy flavor, the crispy fish, the creamy cilantro topping.. they were all so exciting our mouths didn’t know what to focus on!
They seemed like a light meal but were very filling. I’d made four fish tacos for myself and halfway through the third one was regretting that decision. I didn’t eat the fourth, though my P.S. ate four and was happily stuffed. I grudgingly admitted I might like fish sticks again, if they could be buried in a fish taco like that! But I think for now we’ll move on and beer-batter the tilapia the next time we’re in the mood for fish tacos.
And of course my P.S. had to make fun of my never wanting to eat fish tacos. I knew I’d live to regret saying that. They are actually really good!
1/2 cup of chopped fresh cilantro (I used 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 teaspoon salt pinch of cayenne
Whisk together in a bowl. Can be refrigerated for 5 days.
1 package broccoli slaw (includes carrots and cabbage, about 8 cups)
Handful of fresh parsley;chopped (about 1/2 cup)
Handful of fresh dill;chopped (I used 1 tsp dried dill)
1 small red onion (about 1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Place the broccoli slaw in a bowl. Chop the red onion and add to the bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix the lemon juice, olive oil, chopped herbs, yogurt, and dijon mustard.
Pour the dressing over the grated vegetables and mix well to coat, and taste for seasonings.
Bake your fish sticks according to box directions. As soon as the fish has finished baking, transfer to a warm plate. Heat the corn tortillas on both sides and build the tacos: spread a serving of slaw, several pieces of fish (our fish sticks were a smaller variety that worked really well), cilantro cream, avocados and cheese.