As a Southern Californian, I grew up eating a lot of tacos. Once I moved away to New England, I found myself making a lot of tacos. They’re quick & easy to make, deliciously filling, & can be pretty healthy. They can also be a great source of protein, carbohydrates, amino acids, & vegetables. I used Atlantic cod for my tacos, but I’d highly encourage you to use barramundi to make this recipe, but any sustainable & seasonal white fish will do. Sablefish, barramundi, arctic char, & hake are good alternatives to the overfished & very expensive sea bass. Check with your local fishmonger to inquire about the most sustainable & seasonal catch of the day!
It’s important that you bring your fish to room temperature before cooking it. Fish is easy to overcook, so don’t make the mistake of trying to make this when the fish is very cold. Your goal is to maintain the fish’s natural flakiness.
Blackened Cocoa Fish Tacos
- Total Time: 30
- Yield: 2 1x
- Diet: Low Lactose
- 1 Tbsp coffee, ground
- 3 tsp cocoa powder, unsweetened
- 2 tsp coconut or palm sugar or honey
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¾ tsp cayenne
- ¼ tsp cumin
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 whole-wheat tortillas
- 2 cod fillets
- 1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
- ½ avocado, sliced
- 1 Tbsp cherry tomatoes, chopped (salsa is a good alternative)
- 1 cup green or red cabbage, thinly sliced
- ½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
- 2 tsp mayonnaise
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1¼ tsp honey
- ⅓ cup white vinegar
- salt to taste
- Combine ingredients for cabbage slaw in a bowl, cover, & set aside.
- Bring your cod to room temperature & sprinkle with sea salt. Combine the cocoa seasoning in a large mixing bowl. Place the room temperature filets into the mixing bowl & rub cocoa seasoning evenly on both sides.
- Heat a medium-sized skillet with oil on medium-high, spreading oil about to cover the pan. Quickly heat the tortillas on each side for about 2 minutes to give it a nice crispiness. Pat down oil with paper cloth.
- Place both filets on the skillet & cook on medium-high for no more than 2 minutes on each side. Remove from heat after both sides are finished & place them on a separate plate. Cook the fish one at a time if you’re scared of overcooking the fish.
- Assemble your taco! Layer your tortilla with the slaw, avocado, tomatoes/salsa, fish, & top with cilantro. Enjoy with a side of refried beans &/or Spanish rice.
- It’s important you make the slaw first so that the vinegar can break down the cabbage & onions, rendering a nice picklin’!
- Cook fish at ROOM TEMPERATURE. Not freshly thawed, not barely thawed, not frozen, not fresh out of the refrigerator, ROOM TEMPERATURE.
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 10
- Category: Mains
- Method: Pan-Fry
- Cuisine: Latin
Keywords: blackened, cocoa, coffee, fish, tacos, sustainable, mexican, seafood, latin, mains, entrees, pescetarian, pescatarian
An interesting idea. I was curious where your idea of using cocoa to season fish. Unfortunately, Cod too is becoming an endangered species.
http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/endangered_species/cod/ On the good side Norway is at the forefront of farming Cod
Cod farming is not without it’s critics but I thing the long term future of seafood needs a marriage of both wild and farmed to be truly sustainable.
My coffee has cocoa infused in it, so I added a bit extra cocoa to my seasoning to give an interesting contrast between the light & buttery fish to a darker & sweet coat. Thanks for sharing that information with me, I meant to specify that sablefish is not overfished, but that Atlantic cod is, which was why I was looking for it in my grocery store rather than Atlantic cod. I am going to edit my blog to reflect that. I hope this was not the only thing you were hung up on my post though.
No, I wasn’t hung up at all, I just try to make my comment of value, which hopefully adds something. Food is such a wide subject everyone can learn,even crusty old chefs like me.
Really late reply, but thank you for contributing valuable information, Kevin! 🙂
Thao @ In Good Flavor
This is new for me. I have never had fish blackened with coffee/cocoa powder, but it sounds interesting and really good!
Thanks for sharing. Seems like a nice recipe to try.
Thank you, Shazia! Let me know if you ever give it a try. 🙂