Happy Cinco de Mayo!: Ancho Chile Fish Tacos

Happy Cinco de Mayo!:  Ancho Chile Fish Tacos



I’m obsessed.

Maybe it was those awesomesauce steak tacos I had at Hugo’s a few weeks ago. Maybe it was all the Chipotle I ate at Stagecoach. Maybe it’s also because I realized Mexican food is my #1.

Since it’s Cinco de Mayo, I’m sidestepping the Middle East for the day and instead sharing my recipe for Ancho Chile Fish Tacos.



A little history: In case you thought Cinco de Mayo was just National Margarita Day, you are wrong.  It’s actually the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, when Mexican forces defeated the French forces of Napoleon III back in 1862. While France’s presence in Mexico lingered for another five years, victory on that particular day symbolized Mexican resistance to foreign dominance.

Pretty good reason to celebrate, so go ahead and raise that glass.


Inspired by the menu at Chicago’s finest Mexican food establishment (Frontera Grill/Topolobambo by Rick Bayless. You may have heard of him…he’s kind of a big deal), I came up with a sauce with a little kick, a little sweet and a whole lotta flavor. As a salad dressing or a marinade, you really can’t go wrong with this. Unless you decide NOT to try it. That would be wrong.


Ancho Chile Fish Tacos
Serves 2
Twist on normal fish tacos with a citrus and spice kick
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Prep Time
35 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
35 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
50 min
For the dressing/sauce
  1. 2 TB red onion
  2. 1 TB garlic
  3. ¼ cup orange juice
  4. 1/3 cup lime juice
  5. 1 TB Dijon mustard
  6. 1 TB Ancho chile powder
  7. ½ dried Ancho chile
  8. ¼ cup cilantro
  9. 2 TB olive oil
For the fish
  1. 8 ounces white fish (like, Tilapia or catfish)
  2. 1 tsp ground cumin
  3. ½ tsp allspice
  4. 1 tsp oregano (Mexican, preferably)*
  5. Salt and pepper
For the rest
  1. Greens
  2. Avocado
  3. Corn tortillas
  1. Take the fish and the fish spices (cumin, allspice, salt, pepper and oregano) and place them in a plastic bag. Toss it around and let marinate for about 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the fish on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake about 15 minutes until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
  3. In the meantime, make the dressing. Put all the dressing ingredients in to a blender and blend. That’s it. It’s ready.
  4. Toss the dressing with the greens.
  5. Once the fish is ready, assemble the tacos as you wish. I don’t think I need to tell you how.
The Hungary Buddha Eats the World http://thehungarybuddha.com/
* The Kitchn explains the difference between Greek/Italian or “Mediterranean” oregano and Mexican:  Greek oregano, aka wild marjoram, is savory and earthy, while Italian is milder and Turkish is more pungent. Used in dishes with strong flavors.  Mexican oregano, on the other hand, grows in Central and South America and is sometimes referred to as Puerto Rican oregano. Although this herb shares the basic pungent flavor of Mediterranean oregano, it also has notes of citrus and mild licorice. This pairs well with chile peppers, cumin, and paprika. Thanks to The Spice House, I can get both readily and my pantry is fully stocked.



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