We have been making these particular fish tacos during citrus season for the past several years. With all the citrus, especially Meyer lemons, in the house at the moment we’re enjoying them a bit more than usual, and for that reason (so I can look up the recipe conveniently here) combined with the desire to pay tribe to their provenance, I am sharing them here.
I first came across this recipe on Food52.com, and it is by a woman named Emily, of FiveandSpice.com / @fiveandspice. Emily explains that the inspiration to make these tacos came from the cookbook Sunday Suppers at Lucques by Suzzane Goin. When I looked into it, I learned that Lucques is a restaurant in West Hollywood, Los Angeles and is run by Suzzane Goin & Caroline Styne. Not that tacos will ever replace pizza for me, but the next time I am in LA, I am going to stop by to pay homage to the birthplace of our favorite tacos. (I make pizza pilgrimages in case that’s not obvious.)
I did not make any modifications to @fiveandspice’s original recipe.
We made these for my aunt once, and she subsequently served them at a dinner party, and the guests called her a Goddess. They are incredible, with unique flavors in the salsa rounded out by the more traditional cabbage and toppings. I don’t think we’ll ever get tired of them!
Mediterranean Fish Tacos
Hands-On Time: 45 Minutes – 1 Hour
- 1/4 Cup Plus 2 Tbsp Olive Oil, divided
- 2 Tbsp Finely Diced Red Onion
- 3 Tbsp Sherry Vinegar, Divided
- 2-3 Meyer Lemons
- 1/2 Cup Pitted Green Olives, Chopped
- 1 Small Fennel Blub
- 1/2 *Small* Head of Red Cabbage
- 2 Tsp Whole Grain Mustard
- Sea Salt
- Freshly Ground Pepper
- 1&1/2 – 2 Lbs. Firm White Fish
- 2 Tsp Hot Paprika
- 2 Tsp Dried Thyme
- 8 Tortillas
- Plain Greek Yogurt, Spiked with Drizzle Olive Oil & Sea Salt
- Avocado Slices, if you like
For the Lemon-Olive Salsa:
- Combine the chopped onions and 2 Tbsp Sherry Vinegar in a medium mixing bowl and set aside. (The vinegar will temper the onions so completing this step independently is important.)
- Prepare the Meyer lemons by cutting off both ends, then cutting in half vertically. Cut each vertical half in half again and remove the seeds. Remove the white center of the lemon (which is now on the outer edge of each slice), then, dice into small cubes, including the rind.
- Once the lemons are prepared, whisk 2 Tsp honey and a pinch of salt into the onions, then, whisk in 1/4 Cup olive oil.
- Finally, stir in the lemons and olives and set aside
- Salsa may be made up to one day ahead
For the Cabbage-Fennel Slaw:
- Clean and trim the fennel bulb and 1/2 head of cabbage and thinly slice.
- In the second mixing bowl, whisk together 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp Sherry vinegar, 1 Tsp honey, 2 tsp mustard plus approx 1/2 Tsp each salt & pepper.
- Add the fennel and cabbage to the bowl and toss to coat. Set aside.
- Slaw may be made hours ahead.
For the Fish:
- Rub the fillets with the paprika and thyme and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Let rest 5 minutes.
- Heat 1-2 Tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan.
- Add the fish and fry until just cooked through and flaky.
Assemble the tacos as you like!