A successful fishing trip in Fiji
A few weeks ago, we were fortunate to have Malcolm, my husband’s middle son, staying with us for a while on the boat. He is a keen fisherman, and unlike us, who just drop a line and trawl hoping for the best, he takes the job of catching dinner very seriously. You should see the gear he brought with him, he would sharpen the hooks, select the lures, drop the lines out…and watch! If we’ve learnt anything from him, it is to WATCH the water. We sailed around northern and eastern Fiji, inside and outside reefs, and I am pleased to report that the cruise turned into a fishing trip as indeed the fishing was very good! We caught mostly pelagic fish (wahoo, mahi mahi, tuna…) and released the smaller reef fish.
Of course, it has meant a lot of cooking fun in the galley, trying to come up with different ways to eat fish. Recipes have included raw fish recipes such as:
Kokoda of wahoo (Fijian poisson cru)
Wahoo Ceviche with homemade tortilla
As well as cooked dishes like:
grits and mahi mahi stew with tomato broth
nama (Fijian fern) pasta with Wahoo panfried in garlic butter.
But the favourite dish of all must be spicy fish tacos, cooked twice during Mal’s stay and proved just as popular with the guests that followed. It features regularly on the dinner rotation and having been asked for the recipe a few times, I thought I’d share it here with you. The fish is served rolled onto a tortilla with a variety of garnish and a side salad (or even a hot dish like rice, as they do in Mexico). It can be snack size, or a more substantial meal. And it definitely tastes better if you eat it with your fingers!!!
Spicy fish tacos
For the spice rub: 2 tsp each of paprika, cumin, salt, thyme, oregano, black pepper, cayenne pepper. 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed.
1.5 kg white firm fish fillets ( I used trevally but wahoo, mahi mahi, or even tuna is fine) cut into 5cm pieces
¼ cup olive oil
12 flour or corn tortillas
Sauce suggestions: guacamole, chili mayonnaise, tahini yoghurt, black bean sauce …
Garnish suggestions : tomato and onion salsa, thinly shredded cabbage, grated carrots, lettuce, grated cheese, sour cream…
Sides suggestions: corn and bean sprouts salad, chickpeas and mango salad, Mexican rice…
1. In a Ziploc bag, place spice rub, olive oil and fish pieces. Mix/rub the fish with the spices, ensuring all pieces are covered. Keep in the bag, refrigerated for 1h or so (can keep overnight)
2. Grill, BBQ or pan fry om high heat in batches, about 5mn or until the fish flakes easily.
3. To serve: spread 1 tbsp of sauce on a tortilla, add 1 tbsp of garnish, top with fish and roll up to form a wrap.
Same fish, different sides and garnish!