Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Tilapia Tacos

spiced tilapia tacos from melissa darabian sm

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with tilapia tacos from Food Network chef and local mom Melissa d'Arabian. She shares some of her favorite Mexican recipes, including two from her best-selling cookbook "Ten Dollar Dinners" (Tilapia Tacos and Black Bean Nacho Burgers).

I grew up in Tucson and probably ate my first fish taco before I could even talk! Serving fish tacos is a superb tactic for taking a relatively small portion of fish and making it seem abundant. Red cabbage quick-pickled with some white vinegar turns the most breathtaking shade of fuchsia and is a cheap and tasty thrill. If kids are joining you at the dinner table, consider omitting the jalapeños or removing the seeds for a less heat. The slaw keeps up to three days, during which time it will continue to be spicier and taste more pickled.

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes


Ingredients
for the slaw
½    small red cabbage, halved and sliced crosswise into thin strips (about 3 cups sliced cabbage)
¼    red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
1    small jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced crosswise
2    tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro
1    lime
½    cup white vinegar
1    teaspoon sugar
1½    teaspoons kosher salt

for the tacos

2    6-ounce tilapia fillets
1    teaspoon kosher salt
1    teaspoon ground coriander
1    teaspoon ground cumin
¼    teaspoon sweet paprika
2    tablespoons all-purpose flour
2    tablespoons vegetable oil
8    6-inch fresh corn tortillas


To make the slaw: Place the cabbage, onion, jalapeño, and cilantro in a medium bowl. Slice the lime in half lengthwise and then cut one half into 4 wedges; set aside for serving. Juice the remaining lime half into a small bowl. Add the vinegar, sugar, and salt and whisk to dissolve, then pour the vinegar mixture over the cabbage mixture. Toss and squeeze with your hand to combine and set aside. Stir and squeeze the slaw every 5 to 10 minutes while you prepare the fish.

To make the tacos: Divide each tilapia fillet in half along its center seam (so you have 4 long pieces) and then halve crosswise so you have 8 pieces. Set the tilapia on a plate and blot dry with paper towels. Sprinkle both sides of the 8 pieces with the salt. Mix the coriander, cumin, and paprika together in a small bowl and sprinkle the spices over both sides of the fish, patting them on gently. Place the flour on a plate and lightly coat both sides of the fish in flour.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fish and cook until golden and crisp on both sides, 4 to 6 minutes total. Use a spatula to transfer the fish to a plate and set aside.

Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat and place a tortilla in the pan. Cook the tortilla until it’s warmed through and pliable, 30 seconds to 1 minute, turning it over midway through. Place the tortilla on a kitchen towel–lined plate and wrap loosely, folding the edges of the towel over the tortilla to keep it warm. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, stacking and covering them as you go. Place 1 piece of fish inside each tortilla, top with cabbage slaw, and serve with a lime wedge.   


Reprinted from the book Ten Dollar Dinners. Copyright © 2012 by Melissa d’Arabian. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.

Also see these great recipes:
Arroz Con Pollo
Grilled Chicken Fajitas Platter
Grilled Tomato Salsa
Flour Tortillas
Chiles Rellenos  
Smashed Black Beans
Black Bean “Nacho” Burgers and more!

---------------
Ten Dollar Dinners by Melissa d'Arabian. Celebrity chef, television host, author, and mom expert Melissa d’Arabian earned her MBA and worked in corporate finance and strategy before becoming a stay-at-home mom to four daughters. After winning The Next Food Network Star in 2009, Melissa launched Ten Dollar Dinners—a popular Food Network television show followed by a New York Times best-selling cookbook. Her newest projects include a FoodNetwork.com web series, “The Picky Eaters Project: Melissa’s Mealtime Redesign” and serving as a regular judge on Food Network competition series, Guy's Grocery Games. Melissa lives in Coronado with her family. Stay in touch with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Snacking with Joy: Flower Box

Snacking with Joy: Flower Box

Looking for ways to jazz up snacktime at home? Have fun making healthy snacks with the kids. Let them get creative and design their own flowers made with fresh fruit. Have plenty of cut fruit availa . . .

Read more

Snacking with Joy: Butterfly Fiesta Snack

Snacking with Joy: Butterfly Fiesta Snack

Fly like a butterfly with this healthy snack that’s fun to make and eat! My family likes creating afterschool snacks together and making food allergies fun. We call it Snacking with Joy. This reci . . .

Read more

Iron Man Juice for Kids

Iron Man Juice for Kids

Looking for clever ways to include fruits and veggies in your kids' diet? Fans of Tony Stark (Iron Man) will be familiar with his healthy green juice. This juice is a rich red-gold, more like I . . .

Read more

Drink Pink: Healthy Juice for Kids

Drink Pink: Healthy Juice for Kids

Looking for clever ways to include fruits and veggies in your kids diet? Try this juice recipe from “Best 100 Juices for Kids” by food blogger and San Diego mom, Jessica Fisher. The beet lends a . . .

Read more

Flower Power Cake

Flower Power Cake

Kids will love surprising mom (or grandma) with this adorable flower cake for Mother’s Day or a birthday! Kids will need help with baking, but let them get creative when it comes to decorating. Th . . .

Read more

Spring Green Pistachio Torte

Spring Green Pistachio Torte

This Pistachio Torte is an easy green treat the kids can help make for St. Patrick’s Day or any springtime occasion — it's one of many delicious desserts featured in The Ultimate Kids Baking Boo . . .

Read more

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Try these delicious cinnamon roll pancakes for a Saturday morning treat! Recipe courtesy of Breakfast Republic in North Park. Ingredients for Cinnamon Roll PancakesServes 4 Pancake Mix4 c. Flour 1 . . .

Read more

Cinnamon Popovers with Cream Cheese Glaze

Cinnamon Popovers with Cream Cheese Glaze

Cinnamon Popovers with Cream Cheese Glaze from local mom and Food Network chef Melissa d’Arabian.Making treats from scratch is one of Melissa d’Arabian’s tricks to monitoring what her dau . . .

Read more

Buttermilk Scones

Buttermilk Scones

Buttermilk Scones from local mom and Food Network chef, Melissa d’Arabian.Makes 12. Ingredients2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more fordusting6 tablespoons granulated sugar2 teaspoons bakin . . .

Read more

Potato Bacon Torte

Potato Bacon Torte

Potato Bacon Torte is Melissa d’Arabian’s signature dish, and may even be the recipe that secured her own cooking show (Ten Dollar Dinners) on “The Next Food Network Star." Try making it . . .

Read more

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Tilapia Tacos

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Tilapia Tacos

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with tilapia tacos from Food Network chef and local mom Melissa d'Arabian. She shares some of her favorite Mexican recipes, including two from her best-selling cookbook "Ten . . .

Read more

Mexican Lettuce Cups

Mexican Lettuce Cups

Perfect on days you want a lower-carb alternative to a sandwich. Let’s face it—on most sandwiches the filling is the star, so using a lettuce leaf in place of bread makes sense. Find more health . . .

Read more

San Diego Family Magazine Logo

Be Family Informed – Sign up for our Newsletters below!