hi friends! happy new year! i hope everyone was able to find a little bit of peace and space over the holidays to enjoy time with loved ones and relax. we spent a lovely few days after christmas talking and eating delicious food with friends – expect to see some recipes inspired by the things we ate coming soon!
in the meantime, we have these refreshing and savory fish tacos with chimichurri sauce, also known as, “an excuse to blend cilantro, garlic, lime, and jalapeño together, then slather it all over dinner”. the chimichurri sauce packs a serious flavor punch and i love the leftover sauce on eggs, chicken, roasted veggies, black beans, tucked into a quesadilla/burrito… in other words, (nearly) all the things.
in this particular case, we’re using fish tacos as our excuse to eat chimichurri sauce. and it’s a good one. i like tilapia because it’s such a mild white fish and i’ve never had any bad experiences with it (giving you the side eye, cod). i did try a version of this with dover sole (basically, i’m making my way through the frozen white fish at my local trader joe’s) and it was fine taste-wise, but gave off more liquid than tilapia, which i don’t consider to be a benefit here. so tilapia is my official recommendation.
from there, we add red cabbage for crunch, red onion for bite, and feta (yes, really) for contrast and pungency. it might sound like a little bit of a weird combination (mostly the feta), but it works.
i always like to serve tacos as a self-serve type of situation, so that each person can customize their tacos to reflect their preferred ratios. for me, that means lots of crunchy red cabbage and lime-y chimichurri sauce. but you do you; that’s the beauty of fish tacos with chimichurri sauce. that, and the fact that you get to eat this chimichurri sauce off of something other than a spoon (which i’m not above doing)…
ps – totally random psa: the thai lime and chili almonds at trader joe’s are really good. they don’t have a crazy amount of salt but they DO have a crazy amount of flavor. i’m probably going to end up grabbing a small handful of them in about 27 seconds, now that i’m thinking about them…
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 ½ lbs. (24 oz. / 680 g.) skinless, boneless tilapia filets (thawed, if frozen)
- (8) 6” (15.25 cm) tortillas, see notes
- 2 cups (3 ¾ oz. / 106 g.) thinly sliced red cabbage (1 small red cabbage provides more than you need here)
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1 cup (4 oz. / 113 g.) crumbled feta cheese
- 1 large clove of garlic, peeled
- 1 cup of fresh cilantro leaves and thin stems
- zest and juice of half a lime
- ¼ of a jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. add the tilapia and use a spatula to break it up into what i appealingly refer to as “tilapia hash” – basically, pretend it’s ground turkey and you’re browning it. except don’t brown it, just cook it until it’s all translucent (and ideally any moisture has cooked off, but you may have to pour off any remaining liquid). remove from heat.
- stack the tortillas on a microwave safe plate, dampen a paper towel, squeeze out any extra water, then cover the stack of tortillas with the damp paper towel. microwave for about 20 seconds right when you’re ready to serve the tacos – you don’t want to microwave the tortillas too long or too soon before you’re ready to eat.
- serve! i like to let everyone build their own tacos so they get their preferred ratio of each ingredient. leftovers keep fine for a day or two (i’m always nervous about keeping leftover fish any longer than that), as long as you store the ingredients in separate airtight containers. i like to have this as fish taco salad for lunch the next day, skipping the tortilla bit.
- combine all of the chimichurri sauce ingredients in a mini food processor or small blender and process until smooth. taste, adjusting as necessary to get your preferred flavor balance (i like a lot of lime). unused sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days, though the color will begin to fade/turn muddy after a few days. leftover sauce is delicious on eggs, avocado toast, black beans, chicken, roasted vegetables, burritos… you get the idea: nearly everything.