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Fish Tacos with Tomato and Orange Salsa

Orange, lime, jalapeño and cilantro add a quartet of bright, fresh tastes to this low-fat dish. Pacific cod, halibut or flounder would be excellent stand-ins for the salmon.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. salmon fillet, skin removed 
  • Kosher salt, to taste, plus 1/4 tsp.
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  • 1/2 cup diced peeled English cucumber 
  • 2 Tbs. thinly sliced green onion 
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. minced jalapeño chili, or to taste  
  • 1/2 tsp. grated orange zest 
  • 3 Tbs. fresh lime juice 
  •   

For the tomato and orange salsa: 

  • 1 large navel orange 
  • 1 large tomato, cut into 1/2-inch dice 
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh cilantro  
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. minced jalapeño chili, or to taste 
  • 1/2 tsp. grated orange zest 
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice 
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt 
  •   
  • 4 large or 8 small soft white or yellow corn tortillas 
  • 1 cup loosely packed chiffonade-cut romaine lettuce, outer leaves only  

Directions:

Preheat a broiler, or preheat an oven to 425°F. Season the salmon lightly on both sides with salt and pepper.

By broiler: Place the salmon on a broiler pan and slip it in the broiler about 3 inches from the heat source. Broil, turning once, until the salmon is slightly translucent in the very center at the thickest part, about 4 minutes per side.

By oven: Place the salmon in a baking pan in the oven and bake until slightly translucent in the very center at the thickest part, allowing slightly less than 10 minutes per inch of thickness.

Transfer the salmon to a plate and let cool to room temperature. (The fish will continue to cook away from the heat until opaque.) Flake into a large bowl, discarding any errant bones.

Add the cucumber, green onion, jalapeño, orange zest and the 1/4 tsp. salt to the fish. Sprinkle with the lime juice and toss lightly to combine.

To make the salsa, cut a thick slice off the top and bottom of the orange to reveal the flesh. Stand the orange upright on a cutting board. Following the contour of the fruit and rotating it with each cut, slice downward to remove the peel, pith and membrane. Holding the fruit over a bowl, cut along each side of the membrane between the sections, letting each freed section drop into the bowl. Cut the sections into bite-size pieces and return them to the bowl.

Add the tomato, cilantro, jalapeño, orange zest, lime juice and salt to the bowl holding the orange pieces. Stir gently to combine.

To assemble the tacos, set the tortillas on a work surface. Place some of the lettuce on each tortilla, dividing it evenly. Add some of the salmon mixture to each, then top with some of the salsa, again dividing evenly. Fold or roll the tortillas, arrange on a platter and serve. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Healthful Cooking, by Mary Abbott Hess, Dana Jacobi & Marie Simmons (Oxmoor House, 2003).