I don’t know nor understand the origins of Taco Tuesday. Is it merely a product of convenient alliteration strung together by a marketing executive and disseminated through the public consciousness via adverts for taco kits? Or was it an established social norm, absorbed by the Internet and subsequently advertising firms? Basically, it’s a classic chicken or the egg paradox. We may never know how Taco Tuesdays became so ingrained in us. And I do mean ingrained. I feel a little guilty for not posting these Seared Haddock Tacos on a Tuesday. How nuts is that?
I don’t know much about much when it comes to Taco Tuesdays but I do know that my family treated tacos, fajitas, and burritos as Friday night splurges. I doubt we ever partook in tacos on a Tuesday. And I guess some part of my upbringing stuck because I rarely think of tacos on a Tuesday. But when the weekend is in sight? Well, that’s a different story.
To my mind, Fridays are for beer and when I think about beer, tacos are never far behind. Now, I have been trying to gently clean up my eating act this month, so I opted for non-battered fish tacos this go around. My long-suffering stove was thrilled by my choice.
The key to creating memorable non-fried fish tacos is a stellar marinade. It takes a lot to make me forget the allure of a crisp beer batter and this citrus chili marinade almost got me there. I doubt anything would make me relinquish my near-constant craving for fried fish, so I wasn’t looking for a perfect 10.
The nice thing about marinating fish is you don’t have to do it for long. Fish, unlike most cuts of meat, are delicate. They pick up flavor quickly and are also prone to cooking in highly acidic marinades. So with a flaky fish, like haddock, you shouldn’t leave it in its marinade for more than 30 minutes. That means you can make a dish with a marinated protein in as little as an hour. Fish is so magical!
Now, looking at these Seared Haddock Tacos, you would swear winter was miles away. But in reality, the slaw in these tacos is celebrating the few crops that reach their peak in the bleakest months. I’m talking citrus and cabbage. Both bring a ton of color to the plate and boast bold flavors that can awaken the senses when they’re most prone to hibernation. I dressed the two very simply in this recipe. I opted for a splash of white vinegar, honey, oregano, garlic, and salt. You can make this slaw creamy by adding half a cup of yogurt or mayo or a combination of the two. Again, I was pretending to be virtuous when I was making these, so I stayed in vinaigrette territory.
Having obstained from mayo in the slaw, I knew I needed a creamy element somewhere in these Seared Haddock Tacos, so I whipped up a quick avocado crema. I love this avocado crema because it comes together quickly in a food processor and requires little in the way of prep. It’s also out-of-this-world creamy. Like, so creamy you’d swear it was terrible for you. But it’s really not, it’s most avocado with a little yogurt, garlic, and lime for good measure. And look how silky and luxurious it looks. Honestly, if you take nothing else away from today’s recipe, let it be the Avocado Crema. I would happily eat it and nothing else with a bag of chips everyday for the rest of my life.
So that’s everything you need to know about these Seared Haddock Tacos with Red Cabbage and Blood Orange Slaw. These tacos are light, vibrant, and spicy. A delicious taco fix that’s easy to prepare and serve whatever day of the week you call taco night.
Seared Haddock Tacos with Red Cabbage and Blood Orange Slaw
Chili Citrus Haddock
- 2 haddock fillets
- ¼ cup blood orange juice
- 1 lime juiced
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1½ tsp chili powder I used chipotle chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp honey
- ½ tsp salt
Red Cabbage and Blood Orange Slaw
- 2 blood oranges segmented
- ¼ head red cabbage thinly sliced
- 1-2 jalapenos thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp honey
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 avocado peeled, pitted, and coarsely chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ cup full-fat yogurt
- ½ lime juiced
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro sprigs tightly packed
- 12 corn or flour tortillas
- lime wedges to serve
For the Haddock
- Place the haddock in a wide, shallow vessel and set it a side.
- In a small bowl whisk to combine the remaining ingredients and pour the mixture over the fish. Toss to coat the fish in the marinade. Cover and let marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Once the 30 minutes have passed, heat a quarter-sized amount of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. Sear the fish over medium-high heat on both sides until firm and flaky. About 3 minutes per side. Keep the fish warm until ready to serve.
For the Slaw
- While the fish is marinating, make the slaw. Place the cabbage, blood oranges, jalapenos, and garlic in a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a small bowl whisk to combine the remaining ingredients. Pour the mixture over the cabbage mixture and toss to coat. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
For the Crema
- Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until very smooth. Transfer the crema to a bowl and chill until ready to serve.
- Heat the tortillas briefly in a dry cast-iron skillet until flexible. Transfer to a tortilla warmer and cover to keep warm.
- Flake the haddock using a fork and place 2-3 large chunks in a warmed tortilla. Top the fish with a spoonful of slaw, a dollop of crema, and finish with a sprig or two of cilantro. Repeat until all the tortillas have been filled. Serve immediately with beer.