bits and pieces

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Halibut Fish Tacos with Spicy Kimchi and Peanut Satay

Halibut fish tacos topped with peanut sauce, and homemade kimchi and a drizzle of siracha

Ahh spring.

As we know spring is not here so to speak. However, what IS here is halibut season. I work a few days a month at Pacific Fresh Fish, and one of my treats is halibut. Our store preps the halibut in house which means we have lots of left over scraps of halibut kicking around. Now I know 'scraps' doesn't sound astonishingly appetizing, but all it really means is the pieces of halibut that can't be cut into perfect sized fillets. While these little pieces may not be fillet sized, they're perfect for tacos, fish sticks, fish cakes, and any other little fish nibblies your heart might desire. The added bonus of the halibut trim is that it's probably 1/8th of the price of regular halibut. Eating tasty fish AND not spending 25$ for an 8 oz serving? Victory.

Now back to spring. Spring has decidedly NOT sprung. We thought it had, but ha-ha, tricksy winter. It was just hiding. There is still snow on the ground. Again - despite it being May. So I've been trying to eat bright and zippy summery foods to trick my brain into not being super depressed by the approach of our 7th month of winter.

Fish tacos for me are one of the easier and more filling but also healthy week night dinners. This particular iteration of tacos includes almost everything I love, as well as several recipes from this handy-dandy blog of mine.

fresh and yummy taco toppings

I breaded the halibut and baked it lightly in my oven and topped the tacos with fresh iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, homemade kimchi for some KAPOW flavour, cilantro, green onions, pickled ginger, and my super-fabulous homemade peanut sauce.

Switching out meat for fish once a week will do wonders for your bod as well as the environment. I  know some people don't know how to cook fish and get intimidated by the thought and worry about under-cooking it. First things first - if you can eat a steak rare and bleeding, having your fish slightly underdone is no big deal. Second - the easiest rule for fish is to cook each 'inch' of thickness for 10 minutes.

Other than the peanut sauce (which I keep a jar of in my fridge) and some chopping, all you need to do is bread the halibut which is a 7 minute process and then bake it which is a 10 minute process. End result? A fancy feast that makes you feel like you did a lot more work than you did.

tasty halibut, fresh out of the oven. 

I used about a pound of halibut, but you can use as much or as little as you want. You'll just have to adjust the breading amounts as needed. I used halibut trim, but if you're using fillets of fish, just ensure you cut them down to whatever size suits you. 
1 cup of panko bread crumbs
1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
a pinch of salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten with a splash of milk
1 cup of flour

taco or tortilla shells
Toppings! As noted, I used lettuce, cucumber, homemade kimchi, pickled ginger, cilantro, green onions, and super fantabulous peanut sauce. Really you can throw in whatever you have in the fridge

other things you will need: 
a baking tray (I line mine with parchment paper)
3 bowls for a breading station
knife and cutting board for assembling your fish taco fillings

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. 
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 
  3. Put your flour in one bowl, your egg mix in the second bowl, and your panko, sesame seeds and salt and pepper in a third bowl. 
  4. Dip a piece of halibut in the flour and roll to ensure it's covered. Then proceed to dunk it in the egg mix, and then in the panko. Repeat until you're out of halibut and your baking tray is covered with lovely little breaded strips of fish. 
  5. Drizzle lightly with canola oil. 
  6. Bake for 10 minutes or so. I peeked at 10 minutes and ended up leaving them in for a minute longer. Remember - your fish will cook for another couple minutes once its out of the oven, so do not over cook your fish, especially if you've shelled out for tasty tasty and tres cher halibut. 
  7. Assemble your tacos! Spoon that peanut sauce on as a base. Top with all your fresh and tasty greens! Add that fish and top with kimchi. Drizzle with lime and hot sauce and EAT. 

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