I can't tell you how many times I heard my dad say "Variety is the spice of life" and like so many of his ideologies, it has really formed who I became as an adult. When William Cowper wrote "Variety's the very spice of life/That gives it all its flavour", he wasn't talking about food, but that philosophy certainly applies to cooking. All this preamble is all a flowery way of saying that when I had red cabbage and corn tortillas to use up (and tacos on the brain), I wanted to do it in as diverse ways as possible. Despite a number of common ingredients (cabbage, cilantro, corn tortillas), these tacos couldn't be more different. I started on a heartier note with chicken, barbecue, and smoky cheddar, but also found a different success with these light, crunchy, spicy fish tacos. Although fish tacos usually use some kind of white fish, I found that the salmon I already had on hand worked beautifully in this quickly thrown together dinner. The light and crunchy slaw cuts through the fattiness of the salmon so the taco doesn't end up feeling heavy (and you get a lot more omega-3s to boot!). Easy enough to be thrown together at the last minute, but delicious enough to deserve a little special effort, these simple tacos are a great example of how to eat well on the cheap.
Fish Tacos with Quick Asian Cabbage Slaw
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 tablespoon honey
4 ounces finely shredded cabbage (red, green, or napa)
1 medium carrot, shredded (about 2 ounces)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Two 4- to 5-ounce fish filets (tilapia, whitefish, mahi mahi, or even salmon)
4 small corn tortillas
Sriracha or other hot sauce, for serving
1. In a medium bowl, combine oil, vinegar, and honey and whisk well to combine. Add cabbage, carrots, and cilantro, toss well to coat, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. Preheat a pan to medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Season fish fillets with salt and pepper and add to pan. Cooking to desired level of doneness, about 3 to 4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness and type of fish. Set cooked fish aside to rest briefly, then break into bite size pieces.
3. Warm corn tortillas in the oven or microwave. Add cabbage slaw to each tortilla, leaving excess liquid in the dish, and top with fish and a squirt of hot sauce.