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Grilled Fish Tacos Recipe

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This recipe for Grilled Fish Tacos, by , is from Chris Van Houten Family Cookbook Project, one of the cookbooks created at We'll help you start your own personal cookbook! It's easy and fun. Click here to start your own cookbook!

Christopher Van Houten


3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp ancho chile powder
2 tsp chipotle chile powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground coriander
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
c orange juice
juice of 3 limes
2 lbs skinless swordfish steaks, 1-inch thick, cut lengthwise into 1-inch wide strips (you can substitute mahi-mahi, tuna, or halibut if you prefer, but for best results keep the fillets about an inch thick and cut as described for swordfish)
1 pineapple, peeled, cored, quartered lengthwise, and each quarter halved lengthwise into 8 long strips
1 jalapeno pepper
18 6-inch corn tortillas
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into -inch pieces
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, minced, plus more for serving
head iceberg lettuce, cored and thinly sliced
1 avocado, halved, pitted, and sliced thin
Lime wedges for serving

1. Heat 2 Tbsp oil, ancho chile powder, and chipotle chile powder in 8-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and some bubbles form, 2 to 3 minutes. Add oregano, coriander, garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt and continue to cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds longer. Add tomato paste and, using spatula, mash tomato paste with spice mixture until combined, about 20 seconds. Stir in orange juice and 2 tablespoons lime juice. Cook, stirring constantly, until thoroughly mixed and reduced slightly, about 2 minutes. Transfer chile mixture to large bowl and let cool for 15 minutes.

2. Add swordfish to bowl with chile mixture, and stir gently with rubber spatula to coat fish. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

3a. FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter mounded with charcoal briquettes (7 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.

3b. FOR A GAS GRILL: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Turn all burners to medium-high.

4. Clean cooking grate, then repeatedly brush grate with well-oiled paper towels until grate is black and glossy, 5 to 10 times. Brush both sides of pineapple with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Place fish on half of grill. Place pineapple and jalapeño on other half. Cover and cook until fish, pineapple, and jalapeño have begun to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Using thin spatula, flip fish, pineapple, and jalapeño over. Cover and continue to cook until second sides of pineapple and jalapeño are browned and swordfish registers 140, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer fish to large platter, flake into pieces, and tent with aluminum foil. Transfer pineapple and jalapeño to cutting board.

5. Clean cooking grate. Place half of tortillas on grill. Grill until softened and speckled with brown spots, 30 to 45 seconds per side. Wrap tortillas in dish towel or foil to keep warm. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

6. When cool enough to handle, finely chop pineapple and jalapeño. Transfer to medium bowl and stir in bell pepper, cilantro, and remaining 4 tablespoons lime juice. Season with salt to taste. Top tortillas with flaked fish, salsa, lettuce, and avocado. Serve with lime wedges and extra cilantro.

Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
Preparation Time:
Preparation Time:
2 hrs, plus marinating
Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
This recipe brings together so many family staples. Swordfish steaks remind me of Bob and Val's cooking in Essex. Fish tacos are of course the signature dish of San Diego. And anything grilled will remind me of Pioli home cooking! I made these with my parents the most recent trip I made to San Diego and they were a big hit.




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