Baja-Style Fish Tacos with Grilled Slaw and Chipotle Mayo
40 to 45 minutes
Traditionally the fish for Baja-style tacos is batter-fried, but cooking the fillets on the grill makes more sense. It’s much quicker and a lot less messy. And grilling the cabbage before turning it into slaw adds another layer of smokiness. To retain heat for cooking the fish, keep the lid of the grill down while you put together the slaw and chipotle mayonnaise.
1 quarter-wedge of 1 medium head green cabbage, cored
Good-quality olive oil for brushing
Salt and pepper
1 ⁄ 2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 2 limes
1 ⁄ 2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon canned chipotle chile mashed with some of its adobo, or to taste
1 1 ⁄ 2 pounds skinless white fish fillets
8 6-inch corn tortillas (or 16 if you like to double ’em up)
Lime wedges for serving
1. Start the coals or heat a gas grill for hot direct cooking. Make sure the grates are clean.
2. Brush the wedge of cabbage on all sides with 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with salt. Put on
the grill directly over the fire. Close the lid and cook, turning once or twice, until grill marks develop, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board until cool enough to handle, then cut across into thin ribbons. Put in a serving bowl along with the cilantro and lime juice and sprinkle with pepper. Toss to combine; taste and adjust the seasoning.
3. Put the mayonnaise and chipotle in a small serving bowl and whisk until combined; add a little salt if you like. (You can make the slaw and sauce up to a day before. Cover and refrigerate them until you’re ready to serve.)
4. Pat the fish dry with paper towels. Brush with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides.
5. Put the fillets on the grill directly over the fire, at an angle or perpendicular to the grate. Close the lid and cook until the bottoms brown and release easily, 3 to 7 minutes. Carefully turn the fillets, using a second spatula to keep them from breaking apart. Close the lid and cook until a skewer or thin knife inserted at the thickest point of a fillet easily pierces it all the way through, 2 to 4 minutes, depending on the fish and the thickness. Transfer the fillets to a platter.
6. Heat the tortillas on the grill (see page 100) and wrap in foil or a clean kitchen towel to keep warm. Break the fish into large pieces and serve, passing the tortillas, slaw, mayo, and lime wedges at the table for building the tacos.