Mexico is a place and culture dear to our hearts, and also a huge culinary inspiration to us. As a result tacos are one of our favorite summer staples (though you’ll often find them at the studio any time of year). Though endlessly maleable, we like to keep our tacos simple and bright using seasonal market finds and plenty of fresh herbs to infuse flavor. Pickled radishes provide a pop of color and acid, while the combination of cilantro and buttermilk here adds an unexpected zest to an already delicious and beautiful dish. Add some sprigs of fresh cilantro and a key lime for an added layer of freshness. We recently served this at our summer dinner, inspired by street food and celebrating the season.
Market Fish Taco
with cilantro - lime crema, cotija + pickled radish
1 pound fresh salmon fillet
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 small bunch fresh cilantro: whole leaves plus chopped leaves for garnish
Juice of 1 lime
18 to 24 small corn tortillas
Lime Crema (recipe follows)
Pickled Radishes (recipe follows)
Crumbled Cotija cheese
Key limes, halved, for serving
Season the fish generously with salt and pepper. Place the fish in a shallow bowl, and add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, the garlic, whole cilantro leaves, and lime juice. Marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the fish and the liquid from the marinade (discard the garlic and cilantro leaves). Fry the fish for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a serving platter or board and season again with salt and pepper.
Using tongs, hold each tortilla a few inches above a gas flame to create a charred edge.
To serve, lay a tortilla on a plate, and add a small dollop of the Lime Crema. Top with a small portion of fish, Pickled Radishes, Cotija cheese, and a sprinkling of the chopped cilantro leaves. Serve each taco with a half of a key lime.
5 tablespoons crème fraîche
6 tablespoons buttermilk
Juice of ½ lime
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ teaspoon salt
Combine the avocado, crème fraîche, buttermilk, lime juice, cilantro, and salt in a blender and blend on medium-high speed until smooth.
1 ¼ cups distilled white vinegar
Juice of 2 limes
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup sugar
½ bunch radishes, greens removed and thinly sliced
In a small saucepan, combine all the ingredients except the radishes and bring to a simmer over low heat. Place the sliced radishes in a large bowl and carefully pour the brine over them. Let cool, then transfer to a clean pint-sized jar; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Recipe: adapted from the cookbook Sunday Suppers: Recipes + Gatherings
Photos + Styling: Karen Mordechai