Baja Inspired Fish Tacos Recipe

Fish Tacos with Cactus Sauce and Shredded Cabbage,

Did you say "cheese on the outside?"

Here's a fish tacos recipe years in the making. Orange Roughy, two cheeses, very special sauce, cilantro and more converge on tricked out tortilla bread for a real taco experience. It's better even than the original version we had in Baja, Mexico, the one that inspired the quest for perfect fish tacos at home.

Go ahead, you at least have to find out how to get cheese on the outside of a taco and be happy about it.

"Tricked Out Fish Tacos" Recipe
with a Lobster Tacos Option

1 1/2 pounds Orange Roughy fillets
2 tablespoons Pappy’s dry rub
1/2 cup olive oil, give or take
12 tortilla bread rounds (flatbread) or flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups grated fresh parmesan cheese
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
3 cups shredded red cabbage
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

Cactus Sauce:
1 cup mayonnaise
1 medium red onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 or 2 small nopalitos*, chopped, (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon chipotle Tobasco sauce
2 tablespoons Spicy Ranch dressing
Juice of 1 lemon
Pinch of salt and pepper

  1. * You can find nopalitos (cactus pads) prepared, in a jar or, quite often, fresh. Fresh is best; just trim the ends and run a sharp knife flat over each side of the pad to easily shave off the prickly parts before chopping.

1. Prepare the sauce. Mix the sauce ingredients together and set it aside.

2. Cook the fillets. Sprinkle the dry rub over the fish fillets, both sides. Cook the fillets, turning once, in a little olive oil over medium heat until just cooked through.

3. Prepare the tortilla bread. Brush one side of each tortilla bread round with olive oil and dust with parmesan cheese. Place the bread parmesan-side-down on a medium-heat, non-stick griddle or skillet. Sprinkle the sides facing up with 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese each and cook until the mozzarella is melted and the parmesan side is crisped. You will likely have to do this in batches.

4. To assemble the tacos, divide the fish into 12 portions. For each taco place 1 portion of fish across the center of a tortilla bread round and top with a generous spoonful of sauce, then a small handful of cabbage and a sprinkling of cilantro. And voilà! I mean, Ole'!

The tricked out fish tacos recipe makes 12 hearty tacos and serves 6.


Lobster Tacos with Mango Salsa

Substitute lobster meat (from lobster tails) for the Orange Roughy. Eliminate the dry rub and cactus sauce, and skip steps 1 and 2.

Instead, chunky-chop the lobster meat and marinate it in 1/2 cup fresh lime juice, 1/2 cup tequila, 1 teaspoon minced garlic and 2 tablespoons minced onion for 30 minutes, no more.

Preheat a skillet to medium-high heat. Remove the lobster meat from the marinade, drain, and quickly stir fry it in a small amount of hot olive oil or butter. Don't overcook it.

Prepare the tortilla bread and assemble the lobster tacos as above, without the Cactus Sauce, and top with mango salsa.

See Lobster Tacos with Mango Salsa in a dinner party menu

Shredded or Ground Beef Tacos 

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