Citrus-Marinated Fish Tacos

Use the best, freshest corn tortillas you can (heat/char them briefly in a dry skillet or over a gas burner, for extra flavor and flexibility). In such a simple dish, they make all the difference.

The fish needs to marinate in the refrigerator for no more than 30 minutes.

For the tacos

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons fresh orange juice (from 1 orange)

1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican

½ large white onion, chopped (1 cup), plus more diced onion, for serving

Leaves and tender stems from 15 stems fresh cilantro, chopped (¼ cup), plus more for serving

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 to 2 limes)

1 pound tilapia, striped bass or other mild, white-fleshed fish (skinned)

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Four 6-inch corn tortillas

Lime wedges, for serving

Pickled jalapeño slices, for serving

For the slaw

1/8 head green or purple cabbages, shredded (2 cups; may substitute bagged coleslaw mix)

Leaves and tender stems from 8 stems fresh cilantro, chopped (2 tablespoons)

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)

1 teaspoon honey, or more as needed

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the avocado crema

1/2 cup sour cream or crema

Flesh of ½ of a ripe Haas avocado, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the tacos: Whisk the garlic, orange juice, oregano, onion, cilantro, oil and lime juice in a medium bowl, to form a blended marinade.

Season the fish lightly with salt and pepper. Spread half of the marinade over the bottom of a rectangular glass baking dish. Arrange the fish over the marinade. Spoon the remaining marinade over the fish. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, turning the fish over once during that time.

Meanwhile, make the slaw: Toss together the cabbage, cilantro, half the lime juice, the honey, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl, until evenly coated. Taste, and add more lime juice and/or honey, as needed. Let the slaw sit while you finish the recipe; the salt and lime juice will wilt the cabbage a bit.

For the avocado crema: Combine the sour cream or crema, avocado, lime juice and salt in a food processor. Puree until smooth.

To cook the fish, heat a large cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. It should be very hot, which will help prevent sticking; check by flicking a few drops of water - if they immediately scatter and evaporate, the pan is ready. Make sure each piece of fish is well coated with the marinade (leave behind most of the onion), then add to the pan and cook until just opaque in the center, 2 to 3 minutes on the first side, then carefully turn them over and cook for 1½ to 2 minutes on the second side. The fish should be just beginning to flake when touched with a fork. Discard any remaining marinade.

Coarsely chop the cooked fish. Arrange on a platter, and serve right away with the tortillas, slaw, avocado crema, diced onion, chopped cilantro, pickled jalapeño slices and lime wedges.

Serves 2 to 4

Nutrition (based on 4 servings) | Calories: 300; Total Fat: 15 g; Saturated Fat: 6 g; Cholesterol: 70 mg; Sodium: 510 mg; Carbohydrates: 16 g; Dietary Fiber: 4 g; Sugars: 5 g; Protein: 26 g.

(Fish recipe adapted from one by Steve Raichlen at; avocado crema recipe adapted from; slaw recipe adapted from

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