© Jody Horton
Mahi-mahi tacos with cilantro-lime vinaigrette
A trendy food-truck fish taco that's on Neiman Marcus menus
On a whim, this recipe was introduced to Neiman Marcus' Dallas NorthPark Mermaid Bar restaurant and it quickly became one of the top sellers. Putting into practice the principle that whatever’s good for one Neiman Marcus restaurant must be good for others, the tacos soon found their way onto the menus of many the chain’s biggest and fanciest restaurants. From “white tablecloth” to “grab-and-go” concepts, this dish sells.
For the fish
4 mahi-mahi fillets, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick and 5 oz. (150 g) each
1 tbsp. (15 ml) Cajun blackening spice
3 tbsp. (45 ml) olive oil
1 lime, cut into 8 wedges
For the chipotle mayonnaise
1 c. (250 ml) light mayonnaise
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp. (30 ml) pureed canned chipotle
chile and adobo sauce
For the cabbage slaw
2 c. (500 ml) shredded white cabbage
3 tbsp. (45 ml) cilantro-lime vinaigrette (recipe follows)
2 tbsp. (30 ml) roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
For the tacos
8 small (5-in./12.5 cm) white corn tortillas
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and cut into 16 slices
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
To marinate the fish, place the mahi-mahi fillets in a large dish and sprinkle with the blackening spice and olive oil. Squeeze the lime juice from the wedges over the fish, then toss with the squeezed wedges. Transfer to the refrigerator and let sit for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, prepare the chipotle mayonnaise. Place the mayonnaise in a small mixing bowl, add the lime juice and chipotle puree, and mix thoroughly. Cover and keep refrigerated.
To prepare the slaw, place the cabbage in a mixing bowl and add the vinaigrette and cilantro. Toss together and mix thoroughly. Cover and keep refrigerated.
Prepare the grill and spray the grill rack with non-stick spray so the fish does not stick. (Use a good grill pan or your broiler for high-heat cooking as a substitute.) Place the fillets on the grill and cook over medium-high heat on the first side for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the fish over and grill for 3 to 4 minutes longer. Remove the fish and reserve.
Heat the tortillas on the grill for about 15 seconds on each side to heat through; a little browning is fine and they should still be pliable.
To assemble the tacos, place two tortillas, side by side, on each serving plate. With a fork, gently flake each mahi-mahi fillet into four smaller pieces and place two pieces on each tortilla. Top the fish with the cabbage slaw and then two slices of avocado. Drizzle with the chipotle mayonnaise and garnish with jalapeño slices. To serve, fold the tacos over or serve open-face. Serves 4.
The blackening spice is the key to this recipe. If mahi-mahi is unavailable, use another firm-fleshed fish such as snapper, Gulf redfish or even fresh tuna.
We use this vinaigrette exclusively for our Asian-style salads. It also works really well as a coleslaw dressing with shaved cabbage, and in Tex-Mex cuisine because it packs a punch and marries well with spicy flavours.
1 c. (250 ml) olive oil
½ c. (125 ml) fresh lime juice
¼ c. (60 ml) Japanese rice vinegar
2 tbsp. (30 ml) honey
3 tbsp. (45 ml) chopped fresh cilantro
½ tbsp. (7.5 ml) salt
1 tsp. (5 ml) freshly ground black pepper
Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend for 1 minute or until completely smooth. Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Makes 2 cups (500 ml).
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