Keep Calm and Eat Fish Tacos

There’s something wonderful about traveling and experiencing different foods and flavors. Two weeks ago, my family and I spent time in Florida, and one item that I noticed as a staple on every menu is fish tacos.

Mahi Mahi Tacos seem to be one of the most popular fish tacos in Florida. Not only are they delicious, but very nutritious. Mahi mahi is a complete protein, which means it contains all the essential amino acids your body needs for survival; it is also a source of heme iron, which is a type of iron that is more readily available for absorption in the body.

When making fish tacos at home, you can choose from a variety of fresh and Responsible Choice fish from your local Hy-Vee seafood counter. Some of my favorites are halibut, tilapia, shrimp and, of course, mahi mahi!

Blackened seasoning adds a lot of flavor to fish tacos. For a basic blackened seasoning, try mixing 1 teaspoon each of:

  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • chili powder
  • cayenne pepper
  • paprika
  • white pepper

Just stir the spices together and store in an air-tight container until ready to use. Pat or sprinkle the seasoning on the fresh fish of your choice, prior to baking, pan-frying or grilling.

One way to add delicious nutrition to your tacos is to add a fresh topping. Two of my favorites include mango salsa and avocado cream sauce.

Just one cup of mangoes provides you with 12 percent of your daily fiber needs which helps you feel full faster and may help support weight management. Mangoes also contain more than 20 different vitamins and minerals.

Avocados are an excellent source of potassium, vitamins C and A, and folic acid.

I’ve included my favorite fresh fish taco topping recipes below. Perhaps you and your family and friends can try a new spin on tacos.


Mango Salsa

Serves 8.

All you need:

  • 2 firm but ripe mangos, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 2 firm but ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 2 tbsp seeded and minced Serrano pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

All you do:

  1. Combine mangos, avocados, Serrano pepper, red onion, red bell pepper and cilantro. Whisk together lime zest and juice, chili powder and olive oil. Stir into mango mixture.
  2. Allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving to allow flavors to blend.

Avocado Cream Sauce

All you need:

  • ½ cup 0% plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt

All you do:

  1. Pulse yogurt, avocado, lemon juice, garlic powder and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade until smooth.

Don’t Be A Chicken About Seafood!

There’s no need to be afraid when it comes to cooking and eating seafood. If you select the right seafood, and choose simple cooking methods, you can rest assured your dish will not only please your family’s taste buds, but also put them on the path to a healthy future.

Why is seafood the superhero of the kitchen? Eating seafood two to three times per week may reduce your risk of heart disease and can help maintain brain health. Seafood contains several healthy nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and vitamins like A, E, D and C, and it doesn’t have all the saturated fat as the same serving of other protein choices.

Here’s even more good news— anyone can cook seafood! The key to whipping up a spectacular fish-based dish that satisfies the entire family is to make the right selections: the right type of fish, the right cooking methods and the right recipes.

If you think you don’t like fish, remember that the flavor of these foods is considered to be the most variable among our basic foods. Different types of fish have completely different flavors and textures —“fishy” does not describe the majority of fish. Explore the sea and you’ll soon see the deliciousness it has to offer.

Fish cook differently than meat; they are more delicate and cook at a faster rate. The best tool that any chef or home cook has in cooking fish is an instant-read thermometer, because fish can quickly go from being undone to overdone in a matter of minutes. Periodically check the temperature with a thermometer so you know when the final cooking point is nearing. Fish should be cooked to 145 degrees Fahrenheit, or until flesh is opaque and flakes with a fork.

If you are dealing with picky eaters, try incorporating fish into recipes that are familiar—such as tacos or burgers. The familiarity of those foods may make it easier for fish “newbies” to try (and hopefully enjoy) eating fish. Also, be sure to choose fresh, Responsible Choice fish from your Hy-Vee Seafood department. Fresh fish should never smell “fishy;” instead they should smell like saltwater and the sea coast or have a very faint (not strong) fish odor.

Your local Hy-Vee seafood department is here for all your seafood needs. Our commitment to protect the ocean resources through our Responsible Choice program is an integral part of our sustainability mission to do business in a manner that promotes the well-being of our customers, employees, communities and the global environment. It’s just one reason why I’m so proud to be a part of the Hy-Vee team! Look for Responsible Choice seafood at your Hy-Vee today.