Friday, October 8, 2010

Fish (or not) Tacos -- Inspired by Pure

I know I've mentioned one of my favorite local restaurants, Pure, many times in my blogging. You may remember the one catastrophic time I tried to get creative with my ordering and wound up with cheese in my burrito, but that incident was indeed the exception. This restaurant is so much fun and the food is amazing, and I have enjoyed going there with my husband. For years my favorite thing on the menu was fish tacos. I think it is still the best thing on the menu, but of course I'm not having it. At Pure, I now enjoy a bountiful salad, plus beans on the side, which  is a bit boring considering the salads I can make at home, but at least it has nothing offensive for me. But I have begun brainstorming about just why the fish tacos at Pure are so amazing, and I have come up with something delicious that is at least reminiscent of them.

My husband has eaten so much beef lately, and it worries me. He likes my vegan food as long as it contains no meat substitutes of any kind, but that obviously limits my options. So my fish tacos were a much healthier option than beef for him. He had them with fish, and I had them with avocado slices and purple hull beans.  Here's the recipe:

Fish (or not) Tacos -- Inspired by Pure
1 frozen tilapia filet, thawed in a bowl of cold water for 15 minutes
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 limes, halved
1 avocado, halved
3 Tbsp. vegannaise
3-4 small tomatoes, diced small
1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced
3 Tbsp. finely diced purple onion
1-2 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro, to your liking
1/2 cup thawed frozen corn, if you like
1 more Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 can of purple hull or other firm beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup finely sliced raw cabbage
4 radishes, thinly sliced (I used a mandoline)
5-6 corn taco tortillas

These are the ingredients for everything, and here are the simple instructions for each element of the tacos:

For the Salsa:
Combine chopped tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, corn, cilantro, olive oil, and the juice of half of the lime. -- (note: I usually like my salsa without corn, but I didn't have enough tomatoes, so I added the corn for bulk. It was good this way too, but would have been more like Pure's without the corn -- try it either way)

For the Avocado Aioli: (this is the idea I snagged from Pure and veganized)
Mash half of the avocado, and mix with the vegannaise and a generous squeeze from the other lime half. Mix thoroughly.

Heat the tortillas in foil in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes while you prepare the fish.

For the Fish:
Warm the oil in a nonstick pan over medium-high heat,  place the fish into the pan, add the juice of one lime, cover and cook for 3 minutes, then turn off heat and allow the pan to sit on the warm burner, covered, until you finish the rest of the dinner prep.

Meanwhile, arrange in separate bowls, the cabbage, the radishes, the beans and avocado slices, and squeeze the rest of the lime over each of them.

Once the fish and the tortillas are warmed fill your own tacos, buffet-style. I split the fish fillet into two pieces, lengthwise, with the serving spatula after it finished cooking, for two tacos.
Serves 2 - 1 carnivore and 1 vegan

As I have said, my husband had the fish tacos, and he said they were amazing! Score! He asked why I wasn't taking a photo of his tacos, and I explained that many of my readers would not want to look at a dead animal on a plate. I feel funny even giving cooking instructions, but here's the reality - I am just one vegan lady living with a carnivore and kids whose minds are open and undecided. I'm doing very well with my personal choice (loving it!!), and doing my best to offer healthy options for my loved ones too.

So that's that . . . now to the good stuff! My tacos were transcendent, and I do not exaggerate here! The first taco I filled had a couple of slices of avocado, plus the aioli, salsa, cabbage and radishes -- so delicious!  However, even better was my second taco -- with beans replacing the avocado slices. The flavor combination was amazing, and I guess it was much more delicious because the flavors were that much more diverse. I cannot believe how good these tacos tasted!

Stay tuned for the leftover salad the next day  -- there are no words . . .


  1. Cheryl, this looks really delicious. I love corn tortillas.

  2. I was on the fence...until you used the word 'transcendent'! Now I must try them. And if my temporarily vegan husband goes omni once again, I might have to steal some of the tilapia in the freezer (on reserve for my dogs) and give it a go, omni-friendly style.

  3. Stephanie -- Thanks for reading! Good luck with the tacos!