Grilling is one of the best ways to cook fish. When baking or broiling, your grill can get busy so it’s important to know how to grill fish so that you don’t have to do too much per piece.
With grilled fish tacos, however, there are only limited pieces involved so timing isn’t as crucial. Since most people don’t grill fish very often, let us teach you some easy tricks of the trade!
We will go over everything from what kind of fish is needed, to tips for cooking the fish, and finally how to make the perfect soft and fluffy taco shells. Let’s dive in now!
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Grilled Fish Tacos
Making grilled cheese doesn’t quite require chocolate chips either, does it? Same goes for making chicken parmesan… I mean, why would you put tomato sauce on pizza?!
So when it comes to grilling, same thing applies.
Buy the right kind of fish taco shell
There are two main types of grill or tortilla shells that can be used in making fish tacos. The most common type is made of soft, thin wheat flour or white corn dough that has been pressed into a thinner shape. These have become very popular because you do not need special equipment to make them! You can buy these dry-packaged whole grain breads at your local grocery store or cook shop and then toast and fry them in olive oil until golden and crisp.
The other more expensive style of grilled tortilla is one that is baked instead of fried. This is typically zesty garlic flavored rice which has been pressed into the shape of a circle. These are almost always vegetarian and often contain nutritional yeast as an ingredient. They are much costlier than the crispy browned ones, but they are excellent quality so it’s worth the extra money.
Which one you use depends mostly upon what kind of fish you are using and whether or not those ingredients are important to you. If you like spicy food, stick with the plain white corn ones since they tend to taste less strong of spice.
Make a marinade
While most people agree that there is no wrong way to cook fish, how to grill or broil it does vary slightly from person to person and recipe to recipe. Grilling meat at high temperatures will dry out the outside while leaving the inside raw and/or burnt. This doesn’t apply to cooking fish, because fish are already dried up!
When grilling fish, your goal should be to achieve an evenly cooked surface with just enough crispiness. The best way to do this is by using a good quality oil or butter as a medium for browning. You can also fry the fish in these liquids but remember, fat will keep the fish moist.
Another tip is to use a pan which has holes in the bottom; this allows some of the liquid to evaporate, keeping the food more crispy. If you don’t have such a pan, then cover the whole thing with either a baking sheet or another container. This way, all the moisture gets transferred to the other item, creating an even lower risk of waterlogging.
Know how to properly season and cook the fish
When it comes to grilling, there are two main types of cooking methods: direct or indirect grill. Direct grill cooks foods directly over heat, while an indirect grill does not have a burner under the food so it can roast and toast slightly higher.
With grilled fish tacos, most people use white fish such as flounder or cod because they think that will taste better than other kinds of fish like salmon or tilapia.
When baking or broiling fish, make sure to check it every few minutes to see if it is cooked all the way through. You may want to try rubbing it between your hands or cutting into it to determine this!
This article will talk you through some tips for grilling fresh fish either whole or in pieces.
Use the right oil to cook with
When cooking fish, what kind of oil you use makes a big difference! Cooking oils can be olive oil, coconut oil, or another type of neutral oil like vegetable oil.
Olive oil is the most common grill oil used when grilling meat. However, it will probably not work well for frying fish as it has a higher smoke point than necessary to brown the flesh properly. That’s why people often use peanut oil instead– it fries at a lower temperature.
But if you want to keep that extra oomph flavor of grilled fish, then use safflower or sunflower oil! They are both edible and taste great. Just make sure they are fresh so there are no burnt flavors.
Once the oil is hot, pour some onto your hands and knead around for a few seconds to warm up slightly.
Know the different types of fish and what they taste like
Grilling any kind of meat or seafood is your best bet for perfection. With fish, however, there are some slight differences in how to cook it.
Fish must always be cooked until completely done — no dry pieces! This can sometimes be tricky because most people seem to have different ideas of when a fish steak is fully cooked.
Making sure your grill is pre-heated as well as having a good source of fuel can prevent burnt or undercooked fish. The same goes for making sure the plate you use to put the fish onto is hot so that the other ingredients stick to it.
There are several recipes that call for cooking fish on a baking sheet with olive oil and salt – this method works but requires taking extra precautions to ensure perfect grilled fish every time.
Use the right amount of oil or batter
When baking fish in tacos, there are two main things you must remember. One is how to grill the fish properly, and the other is having enough toppings to eat them all!
When cooking the fish either as individual pieces or as a full plate size piece, make sure it does not stick to the pan when frying it. This could potentially burn your food which would be very unappealing.
Also, let the cooked fish rest until completely cool before slicing or tearing into pieces. The warm temperature may break down the muscle fibers making it more likely to crumble apart.
When prepping fish for cooking, you want to make sure that it is seasoned properly. This will help promote flavor while also giving your food more of the nutrients in the seasonings.
For grilled fish tacos, start with dry-brining the fish by mixing together salt and pepper or other grill seasoning ingredients such as smoked paprika, chili powder, and/or garlic powder. Then, coat the entire surface of the fish with this mixture.
Next, let the fish sit in the refrigerator until ready to cook. The cold brine will help keep the meat moist during grilling.
Once the fish is cooked through, remove it from the grill and place it in the fridge to cool further. Once cooled, thinly slice the fish and put it into the pan to warm up again. Repeat this process once more!
To cook the fish taco shells, either use premade soft tortilla chips or make your own using whole wheat flour and olive oil as our rising agent.
Know the difference between pan-fried and deep-fried
Grilling is another way to prepare fish. There are two main types of grilled fish: pan-fried, where parts of the fish are cooked by heat that has direct contact with the meat, and deep-fry, where the whole piece is submerged in hot oil until crispy and delicious!
The most common type of grill used for both pan-frying and shallow-basting (where dry spices or sauces are sprinkled onto the surface) is the stovetop grill. These usually consist of either an open flame or a heated element attached directly to a plate or skillet that contains the food.
By adding some kind of cover, like a pot lid, or greasing the top of the grill, you can create an oven-like environment which helps cook the fish more evenly. This covers up part of the fish so it does not fry completely while also creating darker, richer flavorings due to the high amount of browning happening.
For grilling raw fish such as tuna, mackerel, or salmon, there are special racks or plates designed just for this. These are often made of wood or bamboo and have very thin, non-stick surfaces.