Grilled Fish Tacos
It seems to me that getting toddlers to eat anything other than english muffins slathered in peanut butter or some yummy breakfast pastry smothered in maple syrup is difficult to do. At least that’s been my experience and that of moms I’ve chatted with. Not your experience? Please move in with me [insert praying hand emoji here] and teach me your ways.
Regardless of the struggle, I continue to try to get my twins to eat some healthier options. Recently, I accidentally discovered that they love fish tacos. Mike and I have been fine tuning our own fish taco recipe since before the twins arrived. We developed this recipe while doing Whole 30 a couple years ago and have changed it to suit our tastes since we’re not on such a strict diet any longer. I really love this recipe for the twins because it is such a good source of protein and veggies – two areas where I think they are seriously lacking in their diet. The bonus of this meal is that we can sit down and have what seems to be a normal family dinner with everyone eating the same meal.
When I first started offering the fish tacos to the twins it was a deconstructed version – they would have a little pile of fish, a little pile of black beans, and a little bit of the veggies on the side. Offering the food this way would result in Nellie only eating black beans and William eating a little of everything but throwing a majority of the food off his tray in the end. Recently, when making the fish tacos, I thought to myself, I’d really like to give them some of the other parts of the taco that make it so yummy – tortilla, cheese, “sour cream” (which is really plain greek yogurt), and tomatoes. Since they aren’t coordinated enough to pick up a soft taco and eat it, I decided to put the contents of the fish tacos into a little bowl and mix it all up. And then I was like - Duh, why didn’t I do this before.
The result of offering the tacos to the twins this way was remarkable. They literally devoured their bowl of food - no throwing food, no whining, but lots of smearing food on their face while they were shoving it into their mouths. Total win but a bath was necessary afterwards.
The shopping list and recipe are detailed below. Leave a comment if you try the recipe letting me know how you and your fam liked the grilled fish tacos or tweaked it for your needs!
White Fish. The last few times I have made this I have used wild Alaskan Halibut and in the past I have used Cod. I really just decide what white meaty fish looks the best at the fish counter at the moment.
Cilantro. Not a necessary ingredient if you hate Cilantro but I love it, so it use it generously.
Pre-packaged broccoli slaw. I do my grocery shopping at Wegman’s and they offer this pre-packaged organic broccoli slaw that is perfect for this recipe. I suggest using a pre-packaged slaw mix instead of making your own to save on effort and prep.
Limes, about 4-5 limes plus some for garnish or squeezing directly on taco.
Small Corn or Flour Tortillas.
Plain Greek Yogurt. I use plain greek yogurt as a substitute for sour cream. Let me start by saying I am a sour cream fan, love the stuff, however, plain greek yogurt tastes literally exactly the same and is so much healthier. Get on this wagon while you still can.
Seasoning. You will need to season the fish. I use a blackening seasoning made by Dizzy Pig called ‘Bayouish’. Dizzy Pig is a local specialty Bar-B-Q shop that Mike gets all of his Big Green Egg accessories from and they also develop their own seasonings. You can order seasoning directly from them online (see picture with link below).
Salsa. We’re currently obsessed with Mrs. Renfro’s. Just try it, you will be sad you had not found it before now.
Cilantro Lime Slaw
Start by making your Cilantro Lime Slaw ahead of time. I typically make mine in the morning before I go to work that way it sits in the refrigerator all day.
Pour as much of your pre-packaged slaw into a mixing bowl as you need for your family. For my family I typically pour about three-quarters of the bag and that is usually way too much.
Grab your cilantro and chop up as much as you like for your tastes. For me, this is about three-quarters of the cilantro bunch. I save the remaining quarter for fresh garnish on the taco. Combine your chopped cilantro with your slaw in the mixing bowl.
Squeeze 3-4 fresh limes into your slaw and cilantro mixture and incorporate well. You really just want enough lime juice to cover your slaw so it softens up a bit. Adding too much lime juice can overpower the other flavors of the taco so its best to err on the side of too little lime juice. Pop in the refrigerator and let sit for at least 1-2 hours.
Begin by generously seasoning your fish with your choice of seasoning. I generally season my fish when I get home from work. This allows the seasoning to sit on the fish for about 30 minutes to an hour before Mike grills it. Seasoning it in the morning before you go to work is not going to harm the flavor. The longer the seasoning sits, I think, the better.
Heat your grill to 400 degrees. When you are ready to grill, throw your fish on to roast until the fish reaches 135 degrees. This should take about 15 minutes. If you don’t have an instant read thermometer you need to get one – it has changed the quality of cooking for us so much. Cooking meat to temperature instead of cooking by time is the only way to go. I recommend the Thermapen from Thermoworks (see picture with link below)
Remove from grill and chop the fish into bits. It should basically fall apart on your cutting board.
That’s it! Now it’s time to assemble your taco or taco bowl with whatever additions you like on your taco. For my family, we add black beans, a little cheese, greek yogurt, tomatoes, and salsa. We used to use corn tortillas but recently switched back to flour. The corn tortillas fall apart easily so, if you’re going to use them, either double them up or grill them a little bit before assembling your taco.