Chili Lime Pacific Cod Tacos
Chili Lime Pacific Cod Tacos ~ Spice rubbed and skillet cooked Pacific cod tossed with fresh lime juice in a fresh flame kissed corn tortilla and topped with a simple cabbage and cilantro slaw for the perfect south-of-the-border tasting experience.
With Cinco de Mayo on the horizon, it felt appropriate to make fish tacos. They are as iconic as they are delicious.
Healthy Fish Tacos
I know most of you are accustomed to the breaded/battered fish portions that are fried then chopped up and put in a tortilla. I confess, that style is quite delicious. However, I try my best to keep my meals lighter. I want all that delicious flavor to come through and not be lost in fried breading.
Spice blends are a favorite hobby of mine. I wanted to create a Mexican flavor profile but didn't want it to have that traditional taco seasoning taste we're used to with beef tacos.
Once I got my blend perfect, I liberally rubbed it on the pacific cod portions. I covered it and tossed it in the fridge. I meant to cook it later that day, but life got in the way and it ended up chilling out until the next day. Let me just say, I was happy life got in the way. That blend really worked its way down into the flesh of the fish.
To make my Pacific cod portions, I used the blackening method of cooking in a bit of olive oil (or the traditional butter) on medium high heat for a few minutes, allowing the seasoning to 'blacken' while it is in the heated oil.
This method produces a nice crust on the fish but also produces a less-than-nice smokey kitchen, so be sure to turn the range fan on and perhaps crack a window. Or you can shock your children away from their devices and let the smoke alarm go off, which I may or may not have done.
Now before you get nervous looking at the list of ingredients, notice most of them are the spice blend which takes about 4 minutes to put together (if you know where all your spices are and don't have to hunt in the cabinet for them all).
After the spice blend is made, this is a snap to go from the fridge to the dinner table. After the fish has been cooked, getting that fresh lime juice over the Pacific cod flakes is crucial for the complete flavor profile, so make sure you do not skip this step.
Mexican Spice Blend:
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- ½ tsp oregano
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp granulated garlic
- ¼ tsp. onion powder
- 1/3 tsp. cumin
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 pacific cod portions
- Juice from ½ lime
Quick Purple Slaw:
- 2 cups purple cabbage; shredded
- ¼ cup red onion; thinly sliced
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro; chopped
- 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 1 tbsp. evoo
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. pepper
- Pinch of chili powder
- Corn tortillas
- Combine all the herbs and spices in a bowl, mix well.
- Brush Pacific cod portions with olive oil.
- Liberally (about ½ tsp.) rub in spice blend over all sides of the fish.
- Allow fish to rest (in the refrigerator) for at 90 minutes to overnight with the spice rub.
Quick Purple Slaw:
- Combine the cabbage, onion, and cilantro in a large bowl.
- Mix lime juice, oil, salt, pepper, and chili power in a bowl and whisk to emulsify.
- Toss the cabbage with the dressing and chill until ready to serve.
Cooking the Pacific Cod:
- Heat a skillet (cast iron preferred) over medium-high heat, once warm, add 2 tbsp. olive oil, making sure it coats the pan.
- Sear fish for about 3 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature reads 145°F.
- Flake the Pacific cod apart, squeeze the fresh lime juice over the flakes and gently toss, ensuring all the fish gets coated in juice.
- Place the flaked Pacific cod in a warmed corn tortilla, and top it with the slaw and any optional garnishes.