How to make fish tacos like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK   

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

Happy National Catfish Month! In honor of the beloved mudcat, I made fish tacos – a really fresh, tasty treat.

My son inspired the dish by taking me to a restaurant the other day where we both had some. That’s when I realized the best way to season fish is a spicy rub, not marinade. So, here, I’ve given that a whirl. It hits all the right notes, and if you want to go spicier, have at it!

My daughter-in-law made a nice veggie dish to complement the tacos – chopped zucchini, squash, garlic, black beans, cumin and a store-bought Mexican sauce cooked in an iron skillet.

This fish taco recipe does not disappoint. It’s also a fun entree for a crowd. Give it a try.

EQUIPMENT

  • medium bowl
  • 2 cereal bowls
  • chopping board and knife
  • 2 baking sheets
  • grill pan
  • measuring equipment
  • mixing spoon
  • tongs

INGREDIENTS

how to make fish tacos like a New Orleans native (photo by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin' Cook)

how to make fish tacos like a New Orleans native (photo by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin’ Cook)

 

FISH RUB:

  • 1/2 teaspoon each paprika, cumin, garlic powder, ancho chile pepper, salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • zest of one lime

TACO EXTRAS

  • Thinly sliced cabbage
  • Sliced avocados
  • Chopped green onions
  • Thinly sliced red bell peppers
  • 1 avocado, sliced with lemon to keep it from turning brown

TACO SAUCE

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, salt, hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

FISH

  • 1 1/2 pounds catfish filets, cut in 2-inch wide strips about 3 inches long

TORTILLAS

  • Corn or flour, whatever your preference.

LET’S GET STARTED

FISH RUB

Combine ingredients into cereal bowl. Mix thoroughly.

SAUCE

Combine everything but oil into cereal bowl. Whisk in oil until it’s well integrated, then chill in refrigerator.

how to make fish tacos like a New Orleans native (photo by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin' Cook)

how to make fish tacos like a New Orleans native (photo by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin’ Cook)

FILLINGS

Thinly slice cabbage and green onions. Combine in a bowl and refrigerate. Slice up other veggies and set aside or into refrigerator.

how to make fish tacos like a New Orleans native (photo by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin' Cook)

how to make fish tacos like a New Orleans native (photo by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin’ Cook)

how to make fish tacos like a New Orleans native (photo by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin' Cook)

how to make fish tacos like a New Orleans native (photo by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin’ Cook)

TORTILLAS

Heat tortillas on a griddle pan after your fish have cooked, fold in half and put into 200 degree oven to stay warm until you’re ready to start assembling the tacos.

how to make fish tacos like a New Orleans native (photo by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin' Cook)

how to make fish tacos like a New Orleans native (photo by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin’ Cook)

FISH

Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towel. On your chopping board, divide each fish filet by its natural divisions, then cut into smaller inch-wide, 2-3 inches long pieces for grilling.

how to make fish tacos like a New Orleans native (photo by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin' Cook)

how to make fish tacos like a New Orleans native (photo by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin’ Cook)

On a baking sheet, sprinkle fish rub on each side. Gently “pat” rub to adhere to fish pieces.

how to make fish tacos like a New Orleans native (photo by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin' Cook)

how to make fish tacos like a New Orleans native (photo by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin’ Cook)

Heat griddle pan on stove, lightly oil before placing fish pieces on top.

how to make fish tacos like a New Orleans native (photo by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin' Cook)

how to make fish tacos like a New Orleans native (photo by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin’ Cook)

Cook 2-3 minutes on one side to develop grill marks, then flip and finish grilling another couple of minutes.

ASSEMBLE

Into tortilla, load veggies, add fish slices and sprinkle sauce over it all.

how to make fish tacos like a New Orleans native (photo by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin' Cook)

how to make fish tacos like a New Orleans native (photo by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin’ Cook)

ENJOY!

Come back to NewinNOLA.com every week for “Southfacin’ Cook,” where Patsy explains the basics to Southern cooking and eating. Contact her with suggestions, questions or requests at patsy.brumfield@gmail.com.

Previous recipes from Patsy:

• Hummus
• Gumbo
• Quiche
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