San Diego is (apparently) known for its fish tacos. This article describes them as, "a humble assemblage of ingredients: a lump of fried or grilled fish, shredded cabbage, salsa fresca and white sauce in a corn tortilla, with a wedge of lime perched on top". The sauce is what really makes them unique, as it's a sort of spicy tartar sauce that complements the fish perfectly. I decided to make my own, replacing the taco shell with a bowl of veggies, blackening the fish instead of deep frying, and making a creamy but dairy-free sauce.
I used this recipe pretty much exactly for the sauce, except I wanted to use a dairy-free substitute for the sour cream. What's with all the dairy-free stuff lately? Well, dairy gives me a stuffy nose. I don't normally post a whole lot about boxing on here, but after years of sparring and fighting my nose is just a mess. Internally, it's probably the nose equivalent of one of those houses you see on Hoarders. It's all swollen and filled with scar tissue and dried blood and probably bits of leather and my teammates' hair or something, so if I have the sniffles on top of that I'm basically forced to breathe through my mouth sooooo...less dairy. Plus a lot of my readers following a paleo lifestyle avoid dairy so this way, everybody wins. I'm not completely giving it up, just trying to reduce, particularly during the week when I am boxing a lot.
For an easy dairy-free sour cream I was inspired by this tutorial from Oh She Glows. First, take a little can of coconut milk and let it sit in the fridge for overnight or longer. This may not work with all brands, but it definitely works with Thai Kitchen and will probably work with any brand which contains guar gum. I used one of the mini 5.5 oz cans which was perfect for this recipe. Flip it upside down and use a can opener to remove the bottom of the can. This will reveal a watery liquid that has separated from the solid coconut cream.
Spoon out the solid coconut cream into a bowl...
...then add 1 tsp lemon juice and a big pinch (about 1/8 tsp salt) to the coconut cream and mix thoroughly.
There you have it! Dairy-free sour cream.
FISH TACO BOWL
- 1 bag angel hair cole slaw or about a pound of cabbage, finely shredded
- 6 radishes, sliced
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 4 skinless fish fillets (I used cod; tilapia or mahi would work very well but you may need to adjust cooking time)
- Old Bay or other seafood seasoning or blackening seasoning
- 1-2 Tbs ghee or other high-heat fat of choice
- 1 batch fish taco sauce (recipe). For dairy-free, substitute the sour cream with the coconut-based recipe above. For lower calorie, use reduced-fat mayo and Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.
- Minced cilantro and lime wedges for serving
- Fresh salsa for serving (optional; I always make this recipe)
- Make the fish taco sauce and chill until ready to serve.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Heat the ghee or oil in a large cast iron skillet over high heat until very, very hot. Meanwhile, season the fish liberally with Old Bay on one side. Cook the fillets on the unseasoned side for 1 minute, then flip and cook on the seasoned side for 2 minutes. Put the skillet directly into the oven and cook for 8 minutes or until flaky.
- Meanwhile, distribute the cabbage, radishes, scallions, and avocado evenly among four plates. Top with the fish, drizzle with sauce, and serve with lime wedges and fresh salsa.