Tag Archives: fish tacos

Seared Tuna Tacos with Tropical Salsa

Sometimes I have an idea for a dish and I just can’t find a recipe for it.  So I make something up.  And when all the planets align and things go like they should, it turns out just how it was in my head.  This is one of those recipes.

I’ve been craving tacos.  But not just any tacos.  Fresh tuna tacos!  Nicely seared with spice and fruit and bright, tropical, summery flavors.  I imagined myself lying on a beach somewhere and eating tacos made from all sorts of island goodies.

Alas, I am not on an island, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t just an absolutely wonderful luau happening right in my mouth.  This is my favorite recipe I’ve made up this summer (so far!).  You can bet your flip flops we’ll be making them again soon!

Spicy Seared Tuna Tacos with Tropical Salsa.  So freaking good!

Spicy Seared Tuna Tacos with Tropical Salsa. So freaking good!

Spicy Seared Tuna Tacos with Tropical Salsa

2-3 tuna steaks
1 small red chile, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
Drizzle of olive oil
2 limes
Salt & pepper
1 cup pineapple, diced
1 mango, diced
1 jalapeno, finely chopped (or less if you don’t like it spicy)
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 cup chopped napa or savoy cabbage
2 tbsp. mayonnaise or sour cream

Place tuna steaks in a shallow dish.  Sprinkle with red chile, garlic, a drizzle of olive oil, juice from 1/2 lime and some salt & pepper.  Rub all over both sides.  Side aside.  Don’t do this ahead of time since the acid in the lime will “cook” the fish if left more than a few minutes.

Just a quick, simple marinade for the tuna.

Just a quick, simple marinade for the tuna.

In a bowl combine pineapple, mango, jalapeno, onion, cilantro and the juice of one lime.  Stir to blend and set aside.

Spicy Tropical Salsa.  So good!

Spicy Tropical Salsa. So good!

In a small bowl combine mayo or sour cream with the juice of half a lime.

Heat skillet over medium high heat.  Drizzle with olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.  When pan is hot add tuna.  Sear 1-2 minutes on each side, leaving it rare in the middle.  Remove from heat.  Slice against the grain into thin slices.

Warm tortillas in the oven or microwave.  Build your taco with a few slices of tuna, topped with salsa and cabbage.  Drizzle with a bit of sauce if desired.

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Island Tacos

I could live on an island.  Blue skies, palm trees, hammock, sunshine, umbrella drink and a stack of books.  And fish and fruit for dinner all the time.  It doesn’t sound too bad.  Okay, I’d probably be sick of it after a few weeks and miss the trees and rain, but I’m a little crazy like that.  But sometimes on rainy days (in June!) I pretend I’m on an island and cook something tropical.  And it makes me smile.

Island Fish Tacos

Island Fish Tacos

3 tilapia filets
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
Salt & pepper
1 cup pineapple, diced
1/2 orange bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
1/4 cup diced red onion
Juice of one lime
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Corn tortillas
Salsa (optional)

Make pineapple salsa by combining pineapple, pepper, jalapeno, onion, lime juice and cilantro in a bowl.

Pineapple Salsa. Use on tacos or eat by itself!

Sprinkle fish with seasonings on both sides.  Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.  Cook the fish 1-2 minutes per side until browned and cooked through.  They cook quickly, so keep an eye on them.

Tilapia cooking

To build tacos, put a piece of the fish (each filet will make 2-3 tacos) on a tortilla and top with pineapple salsa.  For some extra zip add a spoonful of your favorite tomato salsa on top.  Take a bite and let your taste buds dance the hula!


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Tropical Tilapia Tacos

What do you do when you have a stack of tortillas staring at you?  Invent a new taco of course!  My daughter and I were trying to decide what we want, both throwing out ingredient ideas that sounded good, so instead of deciding on just one, we threw a bunch of them together.  The result?  A scrumptious, juicy, tropical fish taco I have a feeling will be reappearing on our menu all summer long.  And no, I don’t mean a taco made from tropical fish. That would just be wrong.

Claire suggested calling these “Speedy Gonzales Tacos” because they were so quick to make.  Somehow, that just didn’t sound right either.  Poor Speedy!  But you get the picture.  If you’re up for food in a flash, this is the recipe for you.

Tropical Tilapia Tacos

Tropical Tilapia Tacos

2-3 tilapia filets
1 tsp. cumin
Salt & pepper
Pinch of cayenne
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 mango, diced
1 cup pineapple, diced
1/2 jalapeno, minced
2 poblano peppers
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 tbsp. fresh cilantro
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
Corn tortillas

Turn the broiler on and place poblanos under it.  Cook until the skin is black, turning once.  Take out and put in a plastic or paper bag to cool and steam (makes it easier to remove the skin).  Sprinkle tilapia filets with cumin, salt & pepper, cayenne and garlic powder.  Heat a teaspoon of oil in a skillet.  Cook tilapia 2-3 minutes per side.  In a bowl, combine mango, pineapple, jalapeno, lime juice, cilantro and red onion.  Remove skin and seeds from poblano peppers, chop and add to the bowl with the fruit.  Toss to combine.  Warm corn tortillas in the oven.  Add a piece of fish and top with fruit and pepper mixture. Eat!

We served these with chips and my famous tomato/tomatillo salsa.

Tropical Tilapia Tacos with Chips & Salsa

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