So it’s 1991 and I’m in Austin, Texas with my band to play a showcase for the annual South By Southwest Music Festival. Somehow we ended up hanging out with a British punk band, the lead singer of which enthusiastically announced one day that he was going out for FISH TACOS!
First of all, back in 1991, we’d never heard of such a thing, so it seemed really odd and frankly, kinda gross. And secondly, the way he said “fish tacos” was hilarious. He pronounced the word “taco”, not in the way we would; his version rhymed with “wacko”. But to tell you the truth, it all kinda made sense after he took us to a little Tex-Mex place that served up the most delicious lightly battered and fried fish topped with pico de gallo, slaw, cilantro, a slightly spicy, yet cool and refreshing sauce, anointed with a squeeze of lime, that we went from oblivious to wacko about the things.
Since then, we’ve had them all over the country, most notable of which were in San Francisco on Pier 39 and here in Edison, New Jersey at Skylark Diner.
I’ve even made them at home. Here’s my favorite recipe, courtesy of Food.com.
1⁄2 cup sour cream
1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 package taco seasoning mix, divided
1 lb cod or 1 lb white fish fillet, cut into 1 inch pieces (about 4)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 (12 count) package taco shells, warmed or 1 (12 count) package flour tortillas
Combine sour cream, mayonnaise, cilantro and 2 tablespoons seasoning mix in small bowl.
Combine fish, vegetable oil, lemon juice and remaining seasoning mix in medium bowl; pour into large skillet.
Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until cod flakes easily when tested with a fork.
Fill taco shells with fish mixture.
Top with toppings.