Soft Tacos with Mexican Fish (and all the garnishings)

After a recent fishing trip in Hawkes Bay, we returned to Wellington with a stack of fish. Fish and chips go down a treat, but after a few days of this I thought it would be nice to mix it up a bit. The core of this recipe is adapted from New Zealand’s very own Masterchef, Chelsea Winter, with the addition of some other recipes that I have amended slightly. All of the proportions are decent; so I invited a bunch of people over and we had a wee taco party! Yum, fresh, colourful and delicious – they went down a treat.

Collect for the fish

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 t cumin
  • 2 t ground coriander
  • 2 t paprika
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 1 T lime zest
  • 600 g fish

Collect for the tacos

  • 1/4 c mayonnaise
  • 1/4 c sour cream
  • 2 garlic
  • juice of 3 – 4 limes
  • 2 – 3 cups of red cabbage (+ any other slaw ingredients you fancy – we added carrot)
  • 6 – 10 tortillas
  • 2 avocados
  • hot sauce
  • 25 g butter
  • fresh coriander
  • chopped jalapenos (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 100°C.
  2. For the fish, combine the oil, cumin, coriander, paprikas, oregano and lime zest in a bowl. Coat the fish and place it in the fridge.
  3. For the dressing, whisk the mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic and juice of 1 lime and season with salt and pepper. Place the red cabbage in a bowl and mix with dressing.
  4. Wrap tortillas in foil and bake in oven for about 10 minutes.
  5. Mash the avocado with juice of 1 lime, salt, pepper and a dash of hot sauce.
  6. Cook the fish in butter.
  7. Serve with Mexican Rice, Black Bean mix and Pineapple Salsa (recipes below).
Mexican spiced fish
Pineapple salsa
Mexican rice















Mexican Rice


  • 2 T butter
  • 1.5 c long-grain rice
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 garlic
  • 2 c water
  • 1 chilli
  • 1 t chilli powder
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 c cheddar cheese


  1. Melt the butter, add the rice, onion, peppers and garlic. Cook until the rice is browned.
  2. Add water, tomatoes, chilli and salt – bring to the boil.
  3. Simmer covered for about 15 minutes.
  4. Stir in cheese and ensure it is melted before serving.

Black Bean mix


  • 1 tin black beans
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 small onion
  • a dash of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 t honey
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • 1 t ground cumin


  1. Cook everything except beans until aromatic.
  2. Add beans.

Pineapple Salsa


  • 1 small pineapple (we used 2 tins because pineapples weren’t in season)
  • 2 chillis
  • 1/2 bunch mint
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 limes
  • extra virgin olive oil


  1. Fry pineapple pieces (dry) for about 4 minutes, turning occasionally.
  2. Chop finely and add the chilli, mint and onion (all chopped finely).
  3. Squeeze in lime and drizzle with oil.

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