Monday, April 30, 2012

Halibut Tikka Tacos

This is another in the series of posts on Alaskan fish tacos.  I agreed to blog some posts for the Alaskan fish taco board, or some such organization, and was compensated for doing so.  Truthfully, the compensation wouldn't be enough to get me to do the posts if I didn't like Alaskan seafood and feel it were important to promote sustainable fisheries.  In addition, Sunh Fish in Sacramento has moved and expanded and they have some of the freshest fish available.  The halibut for these tacos was pristine, one of the nicest pieces of fish I have ever had.

Halibut marinated in Indian spices, then quickly grilled and served with a cilantro garlic yogurt sauce seemed like a good idea for a taco with a twist.  This was a simple dish to prepare and could have been even easier had I used a packaged tandoori spice mix.  I made up my own, a simple mixture of cumin, coriander, paprika and cayenne.  This I mixed with some fresh ginger, garlic, salt, and yogurt.  I marinated cubes of the halibut in this for about two hours before grilling over coals on my sate grill. As this was for tacos, I served this in a homemade flour tortilla with shredded cabbage, a simple mango salsa, and the cilantro garlic yogurt sauce, but it would have been equally delicious with rice.

Halibut Tikka Tacos

1 pound of fresh halibut fillet
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 thumb of ginger, peeled and sliced
juice of one lime
1/2 cup of plain yogurt
1 TBS garam masala
1 TBS coriander seeds, toasted, cooled and ground to a fine powder
1 TBS cumin seeds, toasted, cooled and ground to a fine powder
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 1/2 TBS paprika

Skin the fillet and cut into 1-inch cubes.  In a mortar, crush the garlic and ginger with the salt to a smooth paste.  Transfer this to a glass container, or baggie, and stir in the remaining ingredients.  Marinate the fish in this mixture in the refrigerator for up to two hours.  You don't want to marinate too long because the lime and yogurt will begin to affect the texture of the fish.

Thread the marinated cubes of fish onto bamboo skewers.  Grill briefly, maybe about 5 minutes altogether, over hot coals.  Place several pieces of fish into a warmed flour tortilla.  Add some finely shredded cabbage, mango salsa, and thinly sliced pickled red onion.  Add the cilantro garlic yogurt sauce.  Serve with black beans and rice.  A good cold beer or a well made margarita is the perfect drink to accompany this.  Enjoy.

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