Kitchen Wit & Wisdom: A taste of the islands

Well here we are nearing the end of February and all I can think of is being on a lovely Hawaiian island somewhere enjoying the sunshine, warm breezes, and many refreshing pools. Perhaps I’d even indulge in one of their famous fish tacos for lunch.

With that in mind I went looking for and found a recipe for fish tacos that is very close to those eaten in Hawaii. Since I want to include everything that makes these tacos so special, I’ve also included the vinaigrette, avocado cream and coleslaw recipes to finish off this dish.

Hawaiian Style Fish Tacos

4 (four oz. each) Tilapia fillets

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Kosher salt and black pepper or lemon pepper

Citrus Vinaigrette:

Juice of 1 orange

Juice of 1 lime

½ bunch of cilantro, chopped

½  tsp. to 1 tsp. hot sauce

1 tbsp. honey

1 tsp. Kosher salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

1/3 cup vegetable oil

For the tacos:

White Corn Tortillas

Cheddar or Jack cheese

Shredded cabbage or cabbage slaw or use recipe below

Pineapple salsa (recipe follows)

Avocado Cream (recipe follows)

Heat grill to medium high. Brush fillets with vegetable oil and season generously with salt and pepper (lemon or lime pepper is the best). Grill fish for approximately 4 minutes a side or until flaky and remove to a platter.

Whisk together all the ingredients for the vinaigrette and pour over warm fish. Allow the fish to sit for approximately 10 minutes before serving.

In a hot frying pan or on the grill place corn tortilla, sprinkle cheese and top with another corn tortilla to make a cheese quesadilla. Heat on both sides until cheese is melted and tortillas are nicely warmed. Top quesadilla with chunks of fish, shredded cabbage (or slaw), pineapple salsa, avocado cream. Enjoy!

Grilled Pineapple Salsa

½ large pineapple, cut into spears

1 small red onion, sliced into ½ inch rings

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

2 limes, juiced

Kosher salt to taste

Heat grill to medium high. Brush pineapple spears and red onions with vegetable oil. Grill approximately 3 to 4 minutes per side until grill marks are golden brown and pineapple is fragrant.

Allow pineapple and red onion to cool, and dice into small bite-sized pieces. Combine all the ingredients into a medium mixing bowl and serve.

Avocado Cream (optional)

1 large ripe avocado

1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt

Juice of 1 lime

2 tsp. of your favourite hot sauce

½ tsp. garlic salt

½ tsp. celery salt

Peel and seed avocado. In a medium mixing bowl mash avocado with the back of a fork. Stir together with remaining ingredients. Serve.

Cabbage Fish Taco Slaw (optional)

1 cup green cabbage, shredded

1 cup red cabbage, shredded

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

Black pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, stir ingredients together.  Serve on fish tacos.


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