When I make fish tacos I’ve usually breaded and fried the fish pieces. I ran across a recipe that marinated the fish and then sprinkled paprika on the pieces before frying. I was interested to try it because I’d been looking for a mango and cucumber salad to put in the fish tacos. The same post I found had a mango salsa that sounded like I could sub in some cucumber and so I was ready to try them.
I call it mango salad because my chunks of mango and cucumber are about an inch a piece. They aren’t tiny salsa-sized pieces because I didn’t want it salsa-sized. I was being ornery and had a picture in my mind I was going to paint in real life. I was ready to paint the other day and I enlisted my P.S. (Pretty good Sous chef/hubby) to take care of the fish. I chopped vegetables and made the salad.
My P.S. placed the olive oil in a flat dish, squeezed the lime into it as well then measured in the soy sauce. Simple! He laid the fish filets into the dish and let them marinade for about 20 minutes. We used walleye, the recipe used tilapia. We prefer to use the walleye my P.S. catches.
I had cut up the mango and refrigerated it the previous day. Now I diced up an equal amount of cucumber and added it to a bowl. I diced some red onion as well as some green onion. I didn’t have much red onion left so the green onion was going to round up the onion to the 1/4 cup in the recipe.
I roughly chopped about 2-3 tablespoons of cilantro and added it to the bowl. I’m not a big cilantro fan, you could add more or less to your own tastes.
The recipe called for Habanero pepper but my tummy really hates spicy food. I used a sprinkle of cayenne instead. You could heat it up if you like such things. Finally I squeezed the lime juice out of one lime into the bowl and stirred well. I taste tested the salad and woo, it was a bit spicy already. I thought it needed salt, which wasn’t in the recipe, and added maybe 1/4 teaspoon.
The recipe also called for pineapple chunks which would have been welcome, I’m a huge fan, but I was out. The cucumber was already an addition and it would sub for the missing pineapple.
My P.S. removed the filets from the marinade and placed them in the skillet heated with a drizzle of olive oil. He sprinkled paprika on the tops. I used a jar simply labeled “paprika” that was not smoky. My other paprikas are smoky or hot and I didn’t want those seasonings on the fish.
He fried the fish 2-3 minutes on the first side then flipped them and cooked the filets for 4-5 minutes on the other side. He cooked them until they were no longer transparent in the center and they flaked easily.
We heated the flour tortillas in the microwave, 3 at a time on a plate. I mist them slightly with water before I put them into the microwave. They stay moist and heat well. We built our tacos with the flaked fish, some shredded cheese and the mango salad. They were delicious! The mango salad was a zesty touch of fruit and the crunch of cucumber added a bit of texture.
The cheese was suggested as optional, but we like cheese on our fish tacos. I know the TV chefs freak out when you combine cheese with fish but we’re not TV chefs. Cheese is necessary.
We did love this recipe but will probably stick to one that has the fish breaded and crispy. We missed the crunch and thought the fish kind of disappeared without it. The fish wasn’t very flavorful and the mango salad stole the show. It was maybe a 50/50 rating. The mango salad half was amazing!
Fish Tacos with Mango Salad
1# Walleye filets (or fish of choice – the amount needed depends on how many you want to eat. We had 3 tacos each)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
juice of one lime
paprika (enough to lightly cover the filets)
1 cup mango; diced
1 cup cucumber; peeled, quartered and sliced
1/4 cup red onion; finely diced
2-3 tablespoons cilantro; chopped (or more to taste)
juice of one lime
1/2 teaspoon salt
small flour tortillas
In a flat bowl whisk together olive oil, soy sauce and juice of one lime. Add fish and turn to coat. Place in fridge and marinate for 20 minutes.
In a bowl add mango, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, juice of one lime and salt. Stir well and refrigerate.
Heat a nonstick skillet with a drizzle of oil and add filets. Sprinkle with paprika. Fry for 2-3 minutes on the first side and 4-5 minutes on the second side until fish is no longer translucent in centers and is flaky. Remove to a plate and use a fork to separate into flakes.
Heat flour tacos in the microwave and fill with fish flakes, shredded cheese and tablespoons of mango salad. Enjoy!
Made about 6 tacos with these measurements
Adapted from Tattooed Martha