Fish Tacos with Avocado Sweet Corn Slaw are fresh and full of flavor. Feel like you’re on vacation right at home!
Another year, another state fair trip in the books!
Hey everyone, I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Ben, Lincoln and I hit the road early Saturday morning to beat the crowds for a fun day at the Iowa State Fair – a summertime tradition my family and I have had going strong for 25+ years. We were there so early that there were zero lines to order what I’ve been waiting months to chow down on – a gluten-free corndog, whee!
It was a tad drier than a normal corndog, but for a GF version it couldn’t have been better and was everything I’d been waiting nearly two years for. What can I say, the fair just isn’t the fair without battered and fried meat on a stick. Now if only they’d de-gluten their buckets of mini chocolate chip cookies. Ah, a girl can dream.
The ISF doesn’t change much from year to year, but that’s kind of the point. The crowds, heat, honey sticks, dill pickles, barns, giant slides, grand stand, JR donuts, egg on a stick, hot tubs, fairway, big boar, avenue of breeds, and deep fried cheese curds are perfect just the way they are.
Can’t forget the butter cow!
We made the rounds to eat/see/do all the aforementioned foods/sights/activities, including giving Lincoln a very up close and personal introduction to a very big pig (which he loved!) It was so cool to see him connect what he reads about to the actual thing in real life. He kept saying more, more, more!
We ran into my parents at one point and stopped for a little dance break in the shade at an outdoor stage (did I mention it was about 400 degrees?)
And “hydrated” at the Iowa Craft Beer tent which was offering gluten-free Sutliff Cider to sip on. I’d never heard of the cidery, which is apparently just a couple hours away, and am totally planning a trip to visit their tasting room sometime soon. The cider was really tart and not too sweet. Loved it!
We ended up skipping Lincoln’s nap to stay down at the fair until the early afternoon (he was having fun getting soaked in the fountains so we gave it a shot and, guess what? The world didn’t end like I sort of thought it would!) then came home and chowed down on Fish Tacos with Avocado Sweet Corn Slaw as a fair food antidote, though I sure wished I’d had another ice cold bubbly cider to wash this fresh, bright dinner down with!
I’ve had fish tacos on my “must make” list for YEARS now. The first fish taco I ever ate was when Ben and I were in San Diego in our early 20s, just hours before he popped the question by hiding my ring in the grass in the marina then having me accidentally stumble upon it. I was about to take it to the San Diego lost and found until I realized it was for me. That’s a joke about the lost and found thing, I…well, nevermind. Anyway, the spot was Tin Fish in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter and the tacos were UNBELIEVABLE. Fresh grilled mahi mahi topped with slaw, shredded cheese and their homemade white sauce. We each slammed a few each alongside an ice-cold Tecate and immediately started plotting our move to SoCal.
Well the move never happened, but luckily the wedding did, and now finally recreating Tin Fish’s delicious tacos in my Iowa kitchen!
The push to finally make these tacos was a hand-delivered batch of fresh-picked Iowa sweet corn from my friend Julie Kenney, whose farm I got to visit last October to harvest field corn. This year her family planted a few rows of sweet corn just for fun and the crop was so spectacular that they picked then delivered big bags of it to their friends all over town. It doesn’t get fresher than that!
I immediately peeled back the husk of an ear then sliced off a strip of corn and popped it into my mouth raw (the best way to enjoy summer sweet corn, if you ask me!) It was honest to goodness the sweetest bite of sweet corn I’d ever had. I stripped two ears to add to the crunchy red cabbage slaw that’s piled on top of these yummy tacos and it was phenomenal. Coupled with the creamy avocado in the slaw, and a hit of fresh lemon juice – mmm, on point.
Now, I ditched the shredded cheese that Tin Fish serves their tacos with but kept their creamy, tangy white sauce, which I can’t decide is more easy or tasty. There’s a nice restrained drizzle of it shown here in the photos but I feel compelled to tell you that I poured it over each bite with abandon when I finally dug in. This sauce is IT!
You’ll need 1-1/2lbs mahi mahi for the fish tacos. Mahi mahi is a fairly affordable fish – I got mine frozen in a vacuum-sealed pack for $8.99/lb which is about half of what wild salmon was selling for the day I bought it! – and is really sturdy. If you can’t find mahi mahi, halibut is a great swap, or shrimp if you aren’t feeling white fish.
Add the mahi mahi to a large Ziplock bag then add the juice of 1/2 lemon, 2 Tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral-tasting oil, plus a few spices and seasonings including garlic salt, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and pepper. Gently squish the bag to make sure all the fish is coated then stash in the fridge while you get the white sauce and slaw ready.
THIS WHITE SAUCE! Like I said, Tin Fish had their house-made white sauce drizzled on their fish tacos but I pretty much poured it onto mine.
All the white sauce is is 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I like Hellman’s Mayo with Olive Oil,) mixed with 2 Tablespoons each fresh lemon juice and milk (any kind – I used unsweetened almond milk,) 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Mix it all up then stash in the fridge. You could make the sauce a couple days in advance to save time, plus it just gets better as it sits.
Finally make the Avocado Sweet Corn Slaw – crunchy, creamy, crisp, sweet, savory – so good. Tin Fish used a standard green cabbage slaw, but this version is so fab. First shave 4 cups red cabbage by using a really sharp knife to get the slices as thin as possible.
Add the cabbage to a bowl with 1 chopped tomato, 1/4 cup minced red onion, and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro.
Next add 1-1/2 cups sweet corn, about 2 ears, plus 1 chopped avocado, the juice of 1/2 lemon, a pinch of sugar, and lots of salt and pepper. Toss everything together then add the juice from the other lemon half if you need it.
Last step is to cook the fish. Mahi mahi is extremely easy to cook – treat it just like chicken. Spray a very large skillet over medium/medium-high heat (we’re looking for a 6/10 on the heat scale) with extra virgin olive oil or nonstick spray then add half the fish and saute for 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the fish to a plate, saute the other half, and then flake everything with a fork when it’s all cooked.
See? So tasty!
Taco time! Place a scoop of fish onto a gluten-free corn tortilla, if you need it, then top with a forkful of slaw and spoonful (or 7) of the white sauce, then open wide!
Fish Tacos with Avocado Sweet Corn Slaw
Fish Tacos with Avocado Sweet Corn Slaw are fresh and full of flavor. Feel like you're on vacation right at home!
- 8 gluten-free corn tortillas
- 1-1/2lb mahi mahi or halibut
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 Tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral tasting oil
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- For the White Sauce:
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons milk, any kind
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- For the Avocado and Sweet Corn Slaw:
- 4 cups shaved purple cabbage
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 1 tomato, seeded then chopped
- 1-1/2 cups sweet corn kernels (2 ears)
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 1/4 cup packed cilantro, chopped
- juice of 1/2 - 1 lemon
- salt and pepper
- pinch of sugar
- Place fish into a large Ziplock bag then add lemon juice, oil, garlic salt, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, and pepper then gently squish to coat fish and place into the refrigerator to marinate for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine ingredients for the White Sauce in a small bowl then place into the refrigerator. Add ingredients for Avocado and Sweet Corn Slaw into a large bowl, starting with the juice from 1/2 lemon, then toss to combine and taste. Add remaining 1/2 lemon if needed for flavor then set slaw aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium/medium-high heat (6/10 on the heat scale) then spray the bottom generously with extra virgin olive oil or nonstick spray. Add half the mahi mahi then saute for 3-4 minute a side or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate then saute remaining mahi mahi.
- Flake fish then place in the center of corn tortillas, top with Avocado Sweet Corn Slaw, and then drizzle with White Sauce and serve.
- You will need 3 lemons total for this dish.
- Scoop slaw onto plates then top with fish and sauce, omitting corn tortillas, for a low-carb option.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
I adore corn tortillas for these fish tacos, but if you’re looking for a lower carb option you could use lettuce wraps, or just heap a mound of Avocado Sweet Corn Slaw onto a plate then top with the flaked mahi mahi and white sauce. So, so delicious.
Either way you have at it – enjoy!