Lighten up

Local Flavor May Alana Harris Vero May30
Blackened Fish Tacos With Creamy Cilantro-Lime Slaw


As we begin to shift seasons and look ahead to longer days and warm summer nights, we’re offering up a light and fresh dinner menu this month. Let’s face it, no one wants to toil away in the kitchen when it’s 90 degrees outside. The summer months call for fresh produce, some light chopping, a protein that cooks up in minutes, and the relaxed vibe created by eating with your hands.

What could be better than fish tacos and fresh homemade salsa? It’s a meal that would be perfect for a poolside gathering with friends — something we hope to be doing far more of this summer as the COVID vaccine becomes more widely available. Serve it up alongside some ice-cold margaritas and guacamole and you’ve got yourself a proper summer party; now that’s something we can all say “cheers” to.


Blackened Fish Tacos With Creamy Cilantro-Lime Slaw (4 servings, 2 tacos per person)

  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound mahi-mahi fillets
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 8 6-inch flour or corn tortillas, warmed
  • 8 lime wedges, for garnish
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish

For the slaw:

  • 4 cups thinly shredded green cabbage
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, toss the shredded cabbage with the lime juice, sour cream and cilantro until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

In a separate large bowl, mix the smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder and salt. Cut the mahi-mahi fillets into strips, each about 1 1/2 inches wide. Add the fish to the bowl with the spice mixture and toss gently to coat.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat. Add the fish and cook until the seasoning on the fish is blackened and the fish is cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the fish to a plate.

Assemble the tacos. Top each tortilla with about 1/4 cup of slaw, 1–2 slices of cooked fish, and a sprinkle of cilantro. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing.


Black Bean and Corn Salsa (serves 6-8)

  • 4 ears of corn on the cob
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the corn kernels from the cobs and place in a nonstick skillet. Saute over medium heat with olive oil, plus a pinch of salt and pepper, for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a large mixing bowl, add the black beans, red pepper, onion, tomatoes, jalapenos and cilantro. Add the cooked corn and lime juice and toss until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. For best flavor, let sit for at least 30 minutes before serving. Save in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3–5 days.

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