Friday, March 8, 2013

fishy friday: fresh vs frozen + barramundi tacos!

it's friday during lent, which means i'm eating fish tonight! dining out has gotten so expensive, especially when i'm looking to eat a fresh fish dish once a week. so i decided to try my hand at cooking up something fishy at home. but i don't know the first thing about cooking fish (let alone buying fish),  so i did a little research, and found a helpful little infographic that breaks down whether you should buy fresh or frozen fish. before you jump to the answer below, what do you think you should buy?

surprise! if you're cooking at home, you should be buying frozen fish (not what i expected, if we're keeping score).

the more i started to read about where the fish on my plate comes from and what fish i should buy, the more i started to learn about sustainable fish. in a nutshell, choosing sustainable fish means purchasing fish from responsibly managed fish farms or fisheries that work to maintain healthy fish populations and ecosystems. overfishing is a serious issue, and when we choose to purchase fish from restaurants or grocery stores that support ocean-friendly seafood, we can play a part in preserving our oceans and making a change in the way large scale fishing industries farm and catch fish in the ocean. okay, i'm getting off my soapbox now, but here are a couple additional resources that i found helpful in learning about sustainable fish and what fish you should buy and avoid (there's an app for that, too): whole foods, monterey bay aquarium

okay, enough links (except for the next one below).

australis barramundi, the folks who made the above infographic, is a north american company that provides sustainable fish in the us market. i picked up some of their frozen barramundi to try in a super easy fish taco recipe i'm sure you all will love. i've never been very good at cooking fish, but this recipe is really easy and nearly fool proof. and, if you're like me and you don't like fish that tastes fishy, this is a good recipe for you. plus, this recipe is full of healthy omega-3's, it's low cal, low fat and high protein (18 grams a serving)! you can't go wrong. give it a try and tell me what you think!

barramundi tacos with pineapple relish

calories per serving: 178
carbs per serving: 18
fat per serving: 5
protein per serving: 18
makes 4 small tortilla tacos

You can find this recipe on My Fitness Pal! Just search: Barramundi Fish Tacos with Pineapple Relish


  • 1 large barramundi fillet (you can substitute your sustainable fish of choice, if you'd like)
  • 4 small tortillas (use corn tortillas to make this gluten-free!)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground sea salt (i used pink himalayan salt, regular table salt will work okay) 
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp old bay seasoning (optional)

for the relish:

  • handful fresh cilantro, chopped and diced
  • juice of one fresh lime
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced pineapple


if you haven't thawed your fish, thaw according to directions. most often, you can thaw by placing fish in its packaging in a pot of cold water for 15 - 20 minutes.

use the thawing time to prepare your fish seasoning and relish.

first, combine the ingredients for the seasoning: salt, chili powder, cumin, paprika and old bay seasoning. i find it easiest to mix the spices together and spread them out as evenly as possible on a plate, so that i can just plop my fish on the plate to coat later.

to make the relish, combine the fresh cilantro, lime juice, tomato and pineapple. mix well and stir every few minutes or so to get the lime juice thoroughly infused with all the ingredients. allow to sit while you're cooking the fish.

once your fish is thawed, time to cook it! heat up the tablespoon of olive oil in a pan on high heat. using a spatula, take a little of the olive oil from the pan and spread on each side of the fish, giving it a light coating. when coated, plop your fish fillet into the seasoning, making sure to cover both sides. if you're worried that you've over coated your fish in seasoning, press the fillet between two pieces of paper towel and the excess seasoning will come right off!

when you hear the pan of olive oil crackling, put your fish in. cook the fish on each side for 3-4 minutes. the fish will be done when it starts to flake easily and doesn't look super wet inside.

now that your fish is cooked, separate the fish into four servings, one for each tortilla. top the fish with the pineapple relish and prepare to enjoy!

bonus: cook up some quinoa and add to your taco. quinoa is a great substitute for rice here, and it's a combo i promise is delicious! 

chef tested and approved!

fish: friend or foe? will you give sustainable fish a try? have a favorite fishy recipe to share?


  1. Yum! Thanks for this delicious and informative post.

  2. I love fish! I buy frozen tilalpia and pollock a lot. Very inexpensive and quick and easy to make. I bought fresh salmon on sale about a week ago and froze what was left over. Hoping it thaws well!

  3. Look at you! I need to ask you for more fish cooking tips. I had one bad experience cooking at home, and I hadn't tried again until this week with the tacos. How do you prepare your fish, normally?

  4. I know I'm in the minority but I don't eat seafood! Good think I'm not catholic, I would starve on Fridays during lent lol!

  5. I know a lot of folks that don't eat seafood! If you were Catholic, you'd have to love lots of beans and nuts for your protein intake, which isn't a bad thing either! :)

  6. Brush with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and bake in the oven at 425. The fish always comes out flaky and delicious!

  7. That sounds too easy to be true. I'm going to have to try it. Thanks lady!


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