Hawaiian-Style Fish Tacos w/ Winter Citrus Pico

If you’re not in the habit of making tacos every Tuesday, it’s time to hop on the train.

Because not only are they fast, fun, and easy to make healthy, there are countless delicious ways to enjoy them.

These hawaiian-style fish tacos being a primo example.

These tacos are fast, simple, and genuinely tasty as hell, but that’s still not the best thing about them. What rocks the most is that they’re a necessary respite from comfort food overkill. I’m sure right now you’d had your fill of cozy, comforting, warm-your-belly nonsense. So this dinner is the perfect way to snag a taste of sunshine on a dark winter day. It’s citrusy, crisp, fresh, and light, making it the ultimate palate-cleanser for winter dining boredom.

Plus — It’s a TACO.

Everything’s better as a taco.

Poké bowls have become wildly popular in NYC, so I’m always trying to recreate their flavors at home. For those who don’t know, poké is a raw fish salad native to Hawaii. There are variations made with octopus, salmon, and shellfish — to name a few! — but my favorite is the ahi tune poké. Composed of cubed ahi tuna marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, and scallions, it’s an irresistible mixture of tart, sweet, and savory flavors. So seeing as this combo tastes incredible over brown rice, I knew it’d taste bomb in a taco. But to shake things up a bit more I seared my tuna rather than serve it raw, plus topped it with a pineapple-infused winter citrus pico.

It’s a mouthful, but in the best way possible.

To create that traditional poké taste with an even extra Hawaiian flare, I added fresh minced pineapple to the poké marinade. Doing so not only adds greater texture, sweetness, and overall pizzazz, it’s the harmonizing component between the tuna and the pico.

Blood and navel oranges are two of the few fruits in season, so obviously we’ve gotta eat them. This pico gets the job done by incorporating both varieties with the freshest tomatoes and pineapple I could find. The resulting taste is overwhelmingly crisp, with the pineapple tempering the blood oranges tartness into sweet, citrusy perfection.

And when that pineappley-pico meets pineapple-poké tuna?

We call that magic, hunni.

Wild caught ahi tuna is the core of this dish, so don’t be afraid to plunk down a bit of cash — The fresher the fish, the better this is going to taste. As for the cooking, I prefer my tuna on the rare side, so this recipe is written for a rare to medium-rare finish. But if you prefer your tuna a touch more done, do it! This is your meal, not mine. Once seared the tuna will steep in the pineapple-poké marinade for several minutes, then piled into soft corn shells.

Top with the pico, sprinkle with cotija, and dinner is freakin’ served. xo

Hawaiian-Style Fish Tacos w/ Winter Citrus Pico

Ingredients:

  • TACOS:
  • 1/4 small yellow onion, minced
  • 1 ounce fresh pineapple, minced (should yield 2 tbsps)
  • 1 scallion, diced
  • 2 tbsps soy sauce
  • 4 tsps sesame oil (+ more for searing)
  • 1 1/2 tsps honey
  • 1 lb ahi tuna
  • a few pinches of salt & pepper
  • 8 – 10 corn tortillas
  • 4 ounces cotija cheese
  • PICO:
  • 4 ounces cherry tomatoes, chopped (should yield 1/2 cup)
  • 4 ounces fresh pineapple, chopped (should yield 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 blood orange, chopped (should yield 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 navel orange, chopped (should yield 1/4 cup)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • a few pinches of sugar (optional)
  • a pinch of salt & pepper
  • fresh cilantro, torn

Directions:

  1. In a small mixing bowl combine the yellow onion, minced pineapple, scallion, soy sauce, sesame oil, and honey, whisking until well combined. Set aside.
  2. In another mixing bowl combine all pico ingredients, tossing well to combine and adjusting the seasoning (and sweetness!) as needed.
  3. On a large cutting board amply salt and pepper the tuna steaks on either side. Next, heat a cast-iron skillet over a high flame, then coat the bottom with sesame oil (about 2 teaspoons worth). Sear the tuna for one minute, then flip and sear for one minute more — I prefer my tuna rare, so that’s what I’m instructing for here. If you like it more well done, sear for two minutes on either side. Once cooked, let the tuna rest on a cutting board for a few minutes, then slice lengthwise. Lastly transfer the sliced tuna to a shallow bowl, then pour over with the soy sauce marinade. Allow it to marinate for 5 minutes.
  4. When ready, build the tacos with the corn tortillas, cooked/marinated tuna, winter citrus pico, and crumbled cotija cheese. Eat!

tacos!

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