Not far from our home on Vancouver Island was the unusually beautiful former hippie community of Tofino – assuming you can handle the stomach churning drive around cliffs and lakes. If you ever find yourself on that end of the continent, this is a destination that is worth the trip. Beaches, whales, art and so much more. If you know just where to turn off, you can find a small taco stand that locals know has the best fish tacos in the province.
When Old El Paso asked me to develop a recipe using their new Mini Stand’N’Stuff tacos, I thought it was time to re-live great memories by making them for myself.
It’s not that I have a problem with the Mexican classics – far from it! They remain a staple at dinnertime and the favourite of my kids. But sometimes we want something a bit more complex and grown up.
These fish tacos are both. Just like the ones I remember, they combine the soft flavour of the fish with a pleasant crunch from the cabbage. My extra special twist is the chilli lime blackberry salsa, using berries picked by my family the day before. The slightly tart salsa brings the rest alive, finishing the whole package off with a wonderful twist.
What made these fish tacos even more special were the Old El Paso Stand’N’Stuff taco shells. As you can see in the photos they are MINI and oh so cute! What I loved is their versatility! Because of their size you can have a few tacos without filling up too quickly and with that it’s fun to experiment with different flavours. I had some of them filled with just fish and blackberry chilli lime salsa, so I could really taste the delicate fish. And others were stuffed to the brim with fish, blackberry salsa, red cabbage slaw and charred sweet corn sprinkled with more chillies and coriander. The combinations are endless! You can serve these for lunch, dinner or even an elegant starter. The fact that they are so easy to hold and eat without spilling the precious filling all over yourself is a huge bonus! My messy 10 year old gave these Old El Paso minis two blackberry juice-covered thumbs up.
- 500 g fresh fish such as cod
- 1 lime juice only
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1/2-1 tsp red chilli flakes or 1red chilli minced
- 5 coriander/cilantro sprigs chopped
- 100 g blackberries
- 1/2 lime juice only
- a pinch of salt
- 1/2 green chilli minced
- 1/4 head of red cabbage sliced
- 1/2 lime juice only
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 ears of corn optional
- 1 package Old El Paso Mini Stand'N'Stuff Tacos
In a small bowl mix together lime juice, oil, chillies, coriander/cilantro and pour over fresh cod, let it marinade for 15 minutes.
If you are using the corn, preheat the grill and cook the corn for 15 minutes, turning frequently until charred and cooked through. Set aside to cool. When cooled enough to handle, cut the corn off the cob with a sharp knife.
Slice the red cabbage very thinly, if you have a mandoline, use it, then toss the sliced red cabbage with lime juice, white whine vinegar and salt. It will immediately start to change colour from purple to pink. Set aside.
Prepare the salsa but gently combining blackberries, green chillies, lime juice and salt. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400F/200C, place the cod in a shallow baking pan and cook for 15-20 minutes until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
Assemble the tacos by filling them with bits of fish, red cabbage slaw, blackberry chilli lime salsa and charred corn according to taste.