How To Use Mild Tasting Fish In 2 Awesome Ways
Fish is one of the healthiest forms of protein you can consume. Full of omega-3s and essential B vitamins and low in saturated fat, it’s a food that you really can’t afford to skip if you want to live a healthy lifestyle.
But the question is: How do you prepare and consume it? We all know how unpleasant it is to bite into a bad-tasting or overwhelmingly flavored fish. Sometimes it's enough to make us want to avoid seafood altogether.
Thankfully, a bit of subtlety and the right preparation can restore anyone's love affair with fish. We'd like to outline two of our favorite mild tasting fish recipes: Fish tacos and classic fish and chips.
Recipe #1 Fish Tacos
What I really love about fish tacos is its delicious combination of flavors and textures. Chewy fish along with crunchy slaw and creamy sauce, spicy seasonings and fresh lime. Fish tacos are a great choice for dinners, whether it is for your family or entertaining a crowd.
In the Baja Peninsula in Mexico, fish tacos, or tacos de pescado, are a mainstay. And the recipe’s super simple. You just need a few veggies, some corn tortillas, and of course, the fish.
You can use a variety of flavors to bring life to different types of fish. Remember, you can always substitute your favorite fish for the one my recipe calls for.
What You’ll Need
This recipe yields 12 small tacos, suitable for about 4 to 6 people.
Mild Tasting Fish
You'll need 1 pound of mild tasting fish for correct. For the main ingredient, you really can’t go wrong with any mild tasting fish. Choose from snapper, mahi mahi, cod or tilapia.
Just make sure it’s firm, white and as fresh as possible. The mild flavor is perfect because you’ll be adding an excellent flavor to it with a Mexican spice marinade.
If you can’t make it to your local fish counter for the freshest catch, don’t worry. Frozen filets will do just as well for tacos. Simply make sure you defrost them by tossing the frozen pieces into a bowl in the fridge the night before you plan on making this dish.
To make a marinade for fish tacos, you'll need:
The canola oil will be used along with the garlic and spices to marinate the fish and give it that traditional Mexican flavor. If you’re not crazy about spicy dishes, you can reduce the amount of chili powder that you use.
If you’re short on time or don’t happen to own cumin, paprika and chili powder, using a simple taco spice blend will work just as well for your marinade. You can also add garlic powder to the spice mix if you don’t have fresh garlic on hand.
Your cabbage slaw can be made based from what you have in your fridge. A traditional slaw will call for approximately:
- 1/2 of a thinly sliced red cabbage.
- A few sliced green onions.
- Some thinly sliced radishes
- A handful of fresh cilantro.
Green cabbage can easily replace red cabbage, and red onions can replace green onions. If you like, consider adding some carrot shreds or peelings to the mix.
Corn Tortillas And Oil
Corn tortillas are a staple of Mexico and many Latin American cultures. Many Americans eat Mexican food on flour tortillas, but for fish tacos, it’s corn all the way. Plus, oil is also essential for this dish. You’ll need 2 to 3 tablespoons of canola or sunflower seed oil.
Essentially, corn tortillas are a form of flat bread. You can purchase them cheaply at your local grocery store or learn to make them from scratch. It’s not as difficult as you might think, and only corn flour, salt and hot water are required as ingredients. For fish tacos, crisping the corn tortillas is a must.
Garnishes For Serving
Fish tacos look delectable when being served, and it’s mostly because of the colorful garnishes you can add. Aside from your cabbage slaw, top your fish tacos with a few slices of fresh avocado, some pico de gallo and sour cream.
If you don’t have fresh avocado, consider a few dollops of pre-made guacamole or canned salsa. If possible, you should also have some lime wedges on hand for a fresh drizzle before eating.
How To Prepare Your Fish Tacos
1. Marinade The Fish
Marinading mild tasty fish is very important to the final flavor of your dish. Make sure to do this at least 30 minutes before cooking.
- Mix the dry spices into a small bowl.
- Rinse your fish fillets with water.
- Pat them dry before situating them into a glass baking dish.
- Coat them with oil and add the minced garlic and spices.
- Cover all sides of the fish and store in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.
2. Assemble Your Slaw
Your slaw can be made up of almost any fresh vegetables you have, but keep 1/2 of a sliced red or green cabbage as your main ingredient.
- Add sliced radishes, onions, shredded carrots and cilantro to the cabbage.
- Add 1/2 fresh lime juice, a few drizzles each of extra virgin olive oil and apple cider vinegar on top of veggies.
- Toss to coat all the veggies evenly.
3. Grill Your Fish
- Heat a grill to medium-high heat.
- Oil the grate lightly to prevent the fish from eventually sticking.
- Take your fish out of the fridge, drain the excess marinade.
- Grill each side for about 3 to 5 minutes each.
- The fish should easily flake once it’s done and have a white, opaque color.
4. Assemble Your Tacos
Before creating your tacos, lightly crisp your tortillas first.
- Heat a bit of oil in a pan and tossing them in.
- 30 seconds on each side until they have crispy texture.
- Curve the corn tortillas into a taco shape.
- Place from 2-3 tacos on a platter, lean them against each other for stability.
- Put a few pieces of fish into each tortilla.
- Top with slaw and leave garnishes out for your guests to choose from.
Recipe #2 Fish And Chips
Our other dish is fish and chips, or “fish supper” as some English call it. The recipe for this meal is said to have originated in England sometime in the 1800s. It is considered as a common take-away food, but with just a little effort, you can make your own delicious home-made version for either fun party or your children snacks.
One delicious fish and chips has the crispy batter without being greasy and a perfect sauce to come along with. There are many versions of fish and chips recipes but today I will pick out one of them and it's my most favorite one. Keep reading to know how to turn your mild tasty fish into one delicious dish.
What You’ll Need
This recipe serves approximately 4 to 6 people.
Mild Tasting Fish
You'll need 2 pound of mild tasting fish. For this dish, there are a few more varieties you can consider. Traditionally, dogfish is used for fish and chips. You can also use halibut, haddock and pollock in addition to other typical varieties like cod and snapper.
In fish shops that serve mild tasting fish, look for something that’s firm and fresh. If you’re looking to save money, tilapia is one of the most affordable varieties of mild fish.
You may have heard concerns about some types of farmed tilapia, but according to Seafood Watch, choosing a type from the United States will help you serve the best-tasting variety that’s also okay for the environment.
For the chips part of this dish, you’ll need some sliced Russet potatoes. Russet potatoes make the best chips because they’re high in starch. But you’ll want to draw a little bit of that excess starch out of the potatoes before you fry them because this will make them nice and crunchy.
- Scrub, wash and slice potatoes into steak fry shapes about 1 inch wide and 3 inches long.
- Soak your potatoes in cold water for 30 to 60 minutes.
- Remove them from the water and patting them dry with a towel.
- Make sure they are completely dry before you toss them in the fryer.
Fish Fry Batte
For fish fry batter, you'll need:
- 3/4 cup flour.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.
- 1 teaspoon baking powder.
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dill.
- 8 ounces cold lager beer (PBR, Coors, New Castle).
Fish fry batter can be made in many different ways. For example, some recipes will substitute sparkling water or milk and egg for beer. The dried dill won’t necessarily add much flavor, but it will make your dish look better.
What you’re doing when making the batter is creating a thick coating that’s based in flour to cover your fish in. In the fryer, this coating will harden into a crispy, breaded shell that tastes delicious.
Varying your recipe with different ingredients may offer a thicker, even breadier coating or a lighter, crispier taste, closer to that of tempura batter.
Traditionally, beef dripping was used for the oil to fry both fish and chips. If you choose to use beef dripping, you’ll need to chop off the fat from a few sides of beef before ideally mincing it all and spreading it on a roasting pan.
Mincing isn’t always essential, however, and you may choose simply to cut the fat into small pieces. Finally, roast the fat to render the liquid, and pour it into a separate container.
If you choose not to use beef dripping for frying oil, you can always use any standard frying oil. Typically, sunflower or grape seed oil will work best. The goal with choosing a frying oil is to pick one that has a high smoke point. For this reason, olive oil is not a good choice.
Condiments For Serving
You can serve fish and chips with a number of different condiments and garnishes, but traditionally, you’ll offer a wedge of lemon, a bottle of malt vinegar and some salt when serving this dish.
As side dishes, many Brits will have canned mushy peas and a slice of bread with butter as well. Doing all of this will certainly offer an authentic experience, but the two things that really matter are right there in the name: fish and chips!
How To Prepare Your Fish & Chips
1. Fry Your Chips The First Time
Before adding batter to your fish and frying that, you’ll want to fry your chips once.
- Let the sliced pieces sit in cold water for 30 minutes.
- Pat them dry.
- Heat oil in a fryer to about 350 degrees F.
- Gently add the chips and fry them for about 2 to 3 minutes until soft.
- Remove to a paper towel.
2. Prepare And Fry Your Fish
- Whisk your dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Slowly add the beer to create a thick mixture, more or less beer to achieve your desired consistency.
- Rinse your mild tasting fish pieces (2-3 inches long) in water and pat dry.
- Keep the fryer at about 350 - 360 degrees F.
- Dredge each fish in batter and add to the fryer.
- Let them cook gently for about 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove and place on a paper-towel-lined plate.
- Sprinkle with salt before they dry and crisp.
3. Fry The Chips A Second Time
You’ll need to fry your chips once more to get them nice and crispy.
- Simply add them back into the 350-degree F oil.
- Cook a second time for about 4 to 5 minutes or until golden brown.
- Return them to the paper towel and sprinkle with salt before they dry and crisp.
4. Garnish Your Fish & Chips
To serve your fish and chips, make a cone out of several pieces of newspaper, tape it together, and topple a few fish pieces and chips inside.
Alternatively, you can simply serve your fish and chips on a plate, but the newspaper technique is ultra-traditional. Malt vinegar and lemon wedges can be served alongside your creation as condiments.
Pro Tips - Advices From Professionals
Sam Sifton of The New York Times on frying instead of grilling fish for fish tacos.
Even though we’ve offered a fish taco recipe that involves grilling the fish, we know from Sam Sifton of The New York Times that historically, traditional fish and tacos from the Baja Peninsula of Mexico would fry the strips of fish after giving them a bath in milk and dredging them through a mixture of flour and spices.
This is certainly a tasty way to experience fish and chips, but our version offers a slightly healthier alternative with grilled fish pieces.
Jamie Oliver on preparing fish for the fryer.
Chef Jamie Oliver recommends using sunflower oil to fry your mild tasting fish for fish and chips.
Instead of dredging the fish pieces through only one wet batter, he first seasons the fish with salt and pepper on both sides to remove excess water and amplify the meaty taste of the fish. Then he does the batter.
Oliver recommends mixing the flour, baking powder and beer until you get a thick cream-like texture. Finally, sprinkle a little dry flour onto each fish piece and coat them with the batter.
Get Your Fish Dishes Ready Today!
Did you enjoy this tutorial on using mild tasting fish in two finger-licking-good recipes? We hope so! Fish tacos and fish and chips are definitely two dishes that every great cook should know how to make. They’re easy, cheap and of course, delicious!
And remember, any mild tasting fish can be at the center of either of these recipes because they’ll do just does what you want them to. Take any quality mild fish, like tilapia, cod or snapper, and it can become the spicy Mexican-flavored centerpiece of a healthy fish taco recipe or the crunchy savory focus of a great plate of fish and chips.
So do you plan on making one of these dishes? If so, let us know how it goes in the comments below. We’d love to hear what you think of this post, and as always, feel free to share if you like it!