It’s already been 8 days since spring officially started, and oddly enough I spent most of my weekend curled up with a book and a glass of wine, reading by the window because there was hardly any sun, and it poured cats and dogs most of saturday and all of sunday. Not that I’m complaining, rainy weather is my favourite kind. In my opinion, summer is a month (or two) too long here in Mexico. But spring is my second favorite. Because spring means seafood, rosé and sunny terraces. And light dresses and a friendly sun, not a scorching-I-feel-menopausic-one. And that’s exactly why I prepared this recipe for the weekend, because it’s the perfect meal to enjoy on this time of the year. It’s fresh, mexican, delicious, and healthy.
I’ve raved about amaranth as a substitute for breading before, right here, and this time I won’t do it again. Instead I’ll rave about the colourful, yummy combination that’s purple cabbage, with avocado, cilantro and different favoured tortillas. But as if all of those together weren’t enough, why not top it off with a scrumptious spicy mango sauce? Still not enough? Then a second, creamy labneh and cilantro dressing will make absolutely everyone happy. You can dress your tacos with either of the sauces, or as one of naughty guests did, mix them both in the same taco! However you eat them, make sure you have plenty of tortillas, because you’ll probably end up having one too many tacos. (As is usually the case with tacos, of any kind)
Recipe after the jump.
Amaranth-ed fish tacos with mango or cilantro sauce
NOTE: Don’t freak out with the length of the recipe, it’s mainly ingredients, it’s actually really easy to make!
For the tacos:
4 white fish fillets, cut into “sticks” (feel free to use your favourite kind, just make sure it’s mild flavored and soft)
1 egg, beaten
Flour for breading
2-3 cups amaranth
Salt and pepper
3 cups red cabbage, thinly chopped
Juice of 1 large lemon
Wheat flour tortillas, if available in different flavours and colours, such as chipotle or jalapeño. If not, just use regular white wheat flour tortillas)
For the mango sauce
2 large mangos, ripe.
3/4 cups red onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, very very finely chopped
2-3 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
2-3 canned chipotle chiles, chopped and seeded (adjust according to how spicy you like it)
For the cilantro sauce
1 cup labneh or jocoque (if unavailable, substitute with greek yogurt, just check for acidity and adjust the olive oil accordingly)
1 cup very finely chopped cilantro leaves
3 tbsp olive oil
Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
1-2 avocados, ripe
fresh whole cilantro leaves
Make the sauces and cabbage at least 1 hour ahead. Feel free to choose only one of the sauces as well!
Make the cabbage:
· Bring a large pot filled with water to a boil, add a dash of salt and boil the cabbage for 5-8 minutes, until tender. Strain, place in a bowl and add the lemon juice and a bit more salt. (This will not only add flavour, it will return it’s vibrant color to the cabbage) Let rest for 15 min, then transfer to strainer to drain the excess lemon. (You don’t want saggy tacos)
Make the mango sauce:
· Roughly chop 1 mango and half of the other. The remaining half, finely chop into small cubes and set aside.
· In your blender, process the roughly chopped mango with the olive oil, vinegar and chipotles until smooth.
· In a deep skillet, heat the veg. oil on medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook until the onion is translucent and starts to slightly brown. Add the mango mix from your blender, and as soon as it simmers, take off the heat. Add the mango cubes you’d reserved, and adjust the salt. Set aside.
Make the cilantro sauce:
· Energetically whisk all of the ingredients together. Adjust the seasoning with fresh salt and pepper. Set aside.
The actual tacos:
“Bread” the tacos; Place the fish sticks in flour, thoroughly pat the excess off. Then, cover them with the beaten egg, and then roll them in the amaranth, patting with your fingers to make a thick crust. Season with salt and pepper and fry them on a pan on med-heat with generous veg. oil.
Simultaneously, heat up the tortillas.
To assemble the tacos, place a couple tbsp cabbage on your tortilla, one or two fishsticks, generous avocado, and a couple cilantro leaves. Garnish with the sauce of your choosing and generous lemon.
Tip: Enjoy with a chilled citrus-y white wine.