Kokanee Fish Tacos? You've Got To Be Kidding!

Kokanee Fish Tacos? You've Got To Be Kidding!

By Randy Castello

I am not, I have two ways that I make kokanee fish tacos. I may have had a recipe at some point but over the years and after having made hundreds of fish tacos they just come to be. One of my favorite foods is street tacos and both the following recipes are simple, delicious and you eat them with your fingers, in my mind a requirement for any street food. My preference is to eat them on warm corn tortillas but warm flour tortillas works just as well. If you have cast-iron, now is the time to break it out. With the even heat distribution cast-iron is ideal for both the cooking the fish and warming the tortillas (no microwave here!). Use a tortilla warmer for table service and keep the cooked fish in a 200 degree oven until just before serving. Serve both styles with the chipotle fish taco sauce, tomatillo salsa and shredded cabbage. As with many foods, kokanee tacos should be served with cerveza and a room full of friends.

Chipotle fish taco sauce:

½ cup sour cream
½ cup Mayonnaise
½-1 lime squeezed for juice
A couple Tbls of sauce from a can of chipotle peppers or a dab from a tube of chipotle paste

Combine the sour cream, mayo, lime juice and whisk until smooth. Whisk in sauce from can of chipotle peppers or a dab from a tube of chipotle paste to your liking. The chipotle sauce can be omitted for white meat fish tacos.

Tomatillo Salsa:

6 tomatillos
1 poblano pepper
1 Jalapeno pepper
½ finely diced yellow onion
½ cup chopped Cilantro
1 lime squeezed for juice
Kosher salt to taste

Peel and quarter tomatillos. Stem, seed and coarsely chop Poblano and Jalapeno peppers. Add tomatillos, peppers and cilantro to blender and blend until it is a course liquid. Transfer to small sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes to blend flavors. Remove from heat and completely cool. Once cool, transfer back to the blender, add onion, lime juice and kosher salt to taste. Then pulse blend to combine. Transfer to serving bowl.

Fish-Baja style:

2-10 Kokanee, filleted and cut into ½ inch wide strips
1 Cup of all-purpose flour
1 Egg
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
¾-1 Cup of beer
Oil for frying

Preheat ½ inch of oil over medium heat until surface of the oil is rippling. While the oil is preheating in a bowl, wisk together flour, egg, Dijon mustard and beer until smooth and well blended. Coat sliced fish one at a time with batter and place in hot oil turning once until golden brown. Continue cooking fish in small batches until all fish is cooked. When fish is golden brown transfer to a rack or paper towel lined glass serving dish and keep in 200 degree oven until all the fish is cooked. Serve as noted above

Fish Tacos-Rseas style (easy-peasy):

2 Kokanee, filleted and cut into 1” wide strips
Lard, oil or butter for sautéing
A Mexican seasoning salt (Pico Mariscos or something similar)

Sprinkle seasoning salt over cut-up kokanee, toss and set aside. Over medium heat oil until it is hot but not smoking. Add seasoned fish and stir-fry just until fish is opaque. Only takes a minute or so, do not overcook. Serve as noted above.

Dang, now I’m hungry...

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