Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Grilled Fish Tacos (Disney-Inspired)


Earlier this spring I dined upon mouthwatering fish tacos at the Oasis Bar & Grill at Walt Disney World's Polynesian Village Resort. These were some of the best and most memorable fish tacos I've had, and although I asked how it was made I wasn't able to get an actual recipe, just a few ingredients in the cilantro-lime crema: mayo, cilantro, lime, and spinach.


With basically nothing to go on but my taste buds, I decided to recreate the dish to the best of my ability. I made a similar slaw, similar grilled fish, and a similar sauce, though I'm calling it mayo and not crema, because it's mayo-based.


If you don't have a grill basket for fish, you can carefully cook the fish in a cast-iron pan or on a griddle. I wouldn't recommend grilling small pieces of fish on a regular grill without the grill basket. This may lead to fish tacos in your grill instead of in your mouth. Sad face!! :(


Although they're not identical, they're pretty darn close! These fish tacos are crunchy and flavorful with a nice bit of citrus zing from all the lime. Note that the slaw should be lightly dressed so it doesn't make your tacos soggy, but an extra squeeze of lime over the top goes a long way!


Grilled Fish Tacos
Serves 4 to 6

Cilantro-Lime Mayo:
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup packed baby spinach leaves
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fish:
1 1/2 pounds flaky white fish (such as cod, halibut, or mahimahi), cut into approximately 1-inch-by-4-inch pieces (I yielded 17 pieces)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon oil (optional)

Slaw:
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
One (12-ounce) bag coleslaw mix (combination of green and purple cabbage, and carrots)
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves

To Serve:
Small flour tortillas (fajita size, about 6-inch diameter) or corn tortillas (gently heated to soften)
Lime wedges

To make the cilantro-lime mayo: In the bowl of a food processor or blender add the fresh cilantro and spinach. Make sure the leaves are dry; if they are wet they won't mince nicely. Process until the leaves are chopped fine. Add the garlic and blitz again until the garlic is minced. Then add the remaining ingredients, seasoning to taste, and puree until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make the fish: Combine the spices in a bowl, and sprinkle the spice rub over the pieces of fish. Drizzle with the oil, if desired. Gently mix until evenly coated. Heat up your grill, and grease the inside of a fish grill basket (you can also lightly brush the pieces of fish with oil on both sides if you are especially worried about them sticking). Line the fish pieces inside the grill basket, and grill until cooked through. Remove from the grill, and carefully remove the fish pieces from the grill basket. If any of the pieces have stuck, use a small spatula to remove them gently.

To make the slaw: Meanwhile, whisk together the honey, lime juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk in the oil, and adjust seasoning to taste. Toss the dressing with the coleslaw mix and cilantro leaves in a mixing bowl.

To serve: On each tortilla, add a small scoop (tongs are good for this) of slaw, then a piece of fish, and finally a generous drizzle of the cilantro-lime mayo. Serve with lime wedges on the side for extra zing.

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