Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tuesday, oh Tuesday. - Ahi Fish Tacos with Green Apple Slaw

Tacos and Lagunitas make Tuesday worthwhile...

In the very early hours of this morning rain was tapping timidly on my windows. I awoke reluctantly but with the best of intentions, tried to force my foot to the floor, and then sank deeper into the warmth of my sheets and covers. I sighed heavily and closed my eyes. Once the rain had tapered off, a couple short hours later, I was somehow able to muster the strength to pry myself from the warmest of beds, grab a granola bar and shuffle off to the bus stop. A few seconds later the 51 arrived and dropped me unceremoniously at work, and when 5 o'clock finally rolled around, I left my office with umbrella in hand, prepared once more for the rain. Instead I stepped into glorious sunshine and bright blue skies. Storm clouds just clearing the Berkeley Hills.

Oh Tuesday. What to do with you? It's a bit of a lonely day. Not the first day of the week, not hump day, not even the second to last day. Tuesday just sits there alone and seemingly unimportant. Just the second day to tick off in a series of five till freedom. I decided to celebrate Tuesday (this particular day was Cinco de Mayo after all) and to mark it with fish tacos. I stopped at my corner butcher shop Ver Brugge for a serious piece of ahi sushi-grade tuna, and Yasai Produce just a few doors down for fresh tortillas, crème fraîche and all the fixings for an epic taco. It did strike me how incredibly lucky I am to have such culinary treasures mere steps from my front doorstep. It makes spur of the moment Tuesday celebrations far too easy.

I've been forcing myself to experiment more in the kitchen, and I think I must be onto something, because this is now a recipe that will be in my repertoire for a good. long. time. And I cannot wait to make it for a large group of friends. I am, by no means, an authority on fish tacos, but I can say with complete certainty, that tonight, I made the best fish tacos I have ever tasted. I am prideful tonight. I am full, and I have earned it. I can also prove it with pictures.

If this were an episode of Top Chef, I would have made Tom Colicchio proud. Even Bourdain, I would venture to say.

Seared Ahi Tacos with Apple Slaw and Crème fraîche
Serves 3 (2 for each) or 2 (3 for each)

1 lb Ahi Tuna
1 tsp canola oil
1/2 mango
1/2 avocado
4 radishes
6 small corn tortillas

For the Apple Slaw
1 cup green cabbage (sliced into ribbons)
1 cup red cabbage (sliced into ribbons)
1/2 red onion
1/2 green apple
1/2 cup red wine vinegar

For the sauce
1/2 cup crème fraîche (sour cream would also work)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp cilantro
pinch of salt

Green Apple Slaw

Thinly slice the red onion. Put into a bowl with the all the red wine vinegar and set aside for at least 20 minutes to macerate. Meanwhile, thinly slice the cabbages, apple, mango radishes and avocado. Put the cabbages and apple into a large bowl. Discard the red wine vinegar from the onions and add the onions to the cabbage mixture. Toss together and set aside. Plate the mango, radish and avocado and set aside.

Blend all the ingredients for the crème fraîche sauce into a blender, food processor or bowl for a hand blender (the hand blender works especially well for this and is the least messy) blend until combined and set aside.

crème fraîche sauce

Heat 1 tsp of canola oil over high heat. Sear the ahi for about 2 minutes on each side. You don't want to cook it all the way through, good quality ahi is best when slightly rare. Once it has been seared on each side, remove from the pan and set aside to rest. Clean the pan and heat one more tsp of oil in it. Heat the tortillas over medium high heat, one at a time turning until brown spots form on each side.

Once the tortillas are done, assemble, starting with the slaw, tuna, mango's, radish's, avocado and finishing with the sauce. Serve and enjoy!


  1. Can we make this when I come visit?

  2. Gorgeous. And now I'm hungry...

  3. yeah, i agree. i've never thought much about the aesthetics of tacos but those are beautiful! and apple slaw sounds yummy!

  4. Thanks Guys! B, of course we can! K, I might have to borrow your grill sometime soon to make these again!