Traverse City Record-Eagle

Life

June 13, 2013

Putting a healthy spin on the popular fish taco

Mexican cuisine has been popular for a long time, but my recent travels around our country have persuaded me that fish tacos are big now in a way they never were before.

Traditional fish tacos consist of battered fish topped with shredded cabbage, a drizzle of citrus mayo, all wrapped in a corn tortilla.

These days the fish might be grilled rather than battered and fried. Sometimes it’s served on flour tortillas, sometimes on corn tortillas.

My version is light on calories, but heavy on flavor. The fish is lightly-floured and sauteed rather than deep-fried. The citrus mayonnaise sauce went bye-bye in favor of a puree of avocado and buttermilk. The avocado contains healthy fat, and the buttermilk is as lean as skim milk, but much tastier.

Fans of chilies will love the sliced jalapeno garnish. I think the cilantro is key, too, but if you were born with the anti-cilantro gene (a real thing!), you can swap in basil instead. Finally, those of you who worry that corn tortillas are high in calories can relax; two 6-inch corn tortillas, softened up and toasted without oil in a dry skillet, weigh in at just 80 calories.

Healthy Fish Tacos with Buttermilk Avocado Puree

Start to finish: 40 minutes

Servings: 4

1 large Hass avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into eighths

1/3 c. buttermilk

2 cloves garlic, minced, divided

Zest and juice of 1 lime

Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste

3 c. shredded Napa cabbage

11/2 c. coarsely grated carrot

1 c. coarsely grated radishes

1/4 c. white wine or cider vinegar

1/4 t. sugar, or to taste

Hot sauce, to taste

1 pound tilapia fillets, cut into 8 equal pieces

Whole-wheat flour, for coating the fish

3 T. vegetable oil

Eight 6-inch corn tortillas

Sliced fresh jalapeno peppers, to serve

Chopped fresh cilantro, to serve

Heat the oven to 200° F. In a food processor, combine the avocado, buttermilk, 1 clove of garlic, lime juice and salt and pepper. Puree until smooth, then set aside.

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