Fish tacos have been a difficult blog recipe to write about because of the nature of the beast…
Let me explain:
We usually spend a lovely day on the lake catching Northern Pikes (sometimes “lovely” means rainy and cool, but catching lots) and get home at midnight or 1 AM.
The fish tend to bite really well after the sun begins to go down, hence our late arrivals back home (we usually have an hour or two of gravel country roads after getting off the water, depending which lake we went to).
Therefore, as soon as we get home with our fresh fish, Jake starts filleting them while I start prepping everything for fish tacos.
(I personally have filleted my fair share of salmon up in Alaska, but here?! Nope! Jake does all the filleting!)
At this point we are usually STARVING!
… which means remembering to take any photos for the blog often falls to the wayside in favour of chowing down on some delicious fish tacos!
We may or may not have had fish tacos for breakfast the morning following our last fishing trip (that’s normal, right?!) and I finally got some photos for this recipe!
I know many people don’t like the taste of Northern Pike, however I enjoy it when it has been cooked properly.
And the fight?!
Wow! Northern Pike put up such a good fight that even a small fish is fun to catch, even if we have to throw it back because it was too small.
For me, the fish tacos are about the whole experience from beginning to end…
… the relaxing time on the sparkling water, the adrenaline rush when a fish finally hits my line, the quality time with my honey, and finally, the amazing taste of fish tacos (increased by our extreme hunger).
To debone or not to debone
This is a HUGE must for fish tacos!!!
I can not stress that enough!
When you are just having a fish fry, sure, you can pick the bones out as you eat – but that is not an option with fish tacos!
If you don’t know how to debone fish yet, check YouTube for tutorials… or better yet, ask someone who knows how to do it to show you a few times and then try it for yourself.
I personally don’t know how to debone fish, but Jake has become a pro at it by now!
It does take practice to become proficient, but trust me when I say it is worth it.
So what is my recipe?
The sauce is what really kicks these fish tacos up a notch.
I love a bit of heat, so I tend to add some spice to the sauce I make from scratch.
The other “yum factor” is using Cajun Fish Crisp when frying the fillets in butter.
It gives a nice crunch and the flavour is outstanding!
The fact that Fish Crisp is Canadian Made is also a bonus for me; I LOVE seeing that the products I buy support local economy.
While Jake is out filleting the fish, I start by prepping the veggies.
I thinly slice the purple cabbage; it adds both color and crunch.
Sometimes I will add a few thinly sliced red onions to my tacos, but not always.
Next come the quartered cherry tomatoes and slivers of cucumber.
I mix all the veggies together and drizzle with freshly squeezed lime juice.
Then I start on the sauce; a good scoop of sour cream, several splashes of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, fresh lime juice, cumin, cayenne, paprika, and a bunch of fresh cilantro all get blended together in my food processor.
(I just got this KitchenAid food processor and LOVE it!)
The heat level can be adjusted to taste; some people like spice like I do, however some people can’t handle anything too hot.
Once the fish is all filleted, I dredge the pieces in the Fish Crisp, then fry in butter on high heat until they are golden brown on each side.
Then I heat the flour tortillas one at a time in a pan on high heat (without oil); once they start to bubble, I flip them and then remove them from the heat when the second side bubbles.
This brings out flavour in the tortillas and gives them flexibility so they don’t break when folded.
The next step is the long-awaited assembly of toppings and finally eating the fish tacos!
The beauty of tacos is that each person can add the amount of toppings they would like.
Any extra raw fish we have left from our fishing trip will either get eaten for breakfast the following morning or frozen for future fish tacos.
I know there are tons of ways to make fish, but these tacos are just so good that we almost always go this route.
Northern Pike (or other white fish)
Cajun Fish Crisp
1/2 cup purple cabbage
1/4 cup cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup cucumber
Red onion, optional
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 lime zested and juiced
1 bunch cilantro
Prep vegetables by thinly slicing cabbage and cucumber. Quarter cherry tomatoes.
Mix vegetables and drizzle with fresh lime juice.
Dredge fish in Fish Crisp and fry in butter on high heat until golden brown on both sides.
Make sauce by combining all ingredients in food processor and blend.
Toast flour tortillas to warm.
Add vegetables and fish to each tortilla and top with sauce.
Oh right! The last two pictures?
Yep, I couldn’t help but throw them in…
This was the biggest Northern Pike I have EVER caught (18.5 lbs – it was HEAVY to hold for photos)!
I was in a sit-inside kayak, no less! The guy at the kayak store told me I would never be able to catch fish in a sit-inside kayak and that I HAD to get a sit-on-top style to get fish… (guess I showed him! lol)
It took about half an hour to land this beast and I got pulled all over the lake in the meantime.
That night was well after 1 AM before we got home and got to eat some fresh fish!
There! I got my “big fish brag moment” in.
What is your favourite way to make fish? Drop a comment below!