No. 244 & 245: Quick-Pickled Red Onions & Simple Fish Tacos

After a long afternoon of meetings, Mr. McC and I were excited to settle into a relaxing evening of dinner and then DVR catch-up. This is our regular Sunday night routine, which I adore.

I wanted to branch out a bit and try something different for dinner - something that I love to order on menus but haven't made myself.

Fish tacos are just such a dish. I love them and routinely eat them, just not at home. This is mainly because Mr. McC isn't a huge fish fan. Still, I thought doctoring them up a bit with some fancy sides would help him see the light.

Quick-Pickled Red Onions

Pickled red onions are one of my favorite taco toppings (they're also great in sandwiches or potato salad). They can be done nice and slow in a saucepan, but I loved the idea of this speedy approach from The Kitchn.


1 medium red onion, about 5 ounces
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup rice vinegar, white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 small clove of garlic, halved
5 black peppercorns
1/2 serrano, with seeds removed

To make

Start 3 cups of water on to boil in a kettle. Peel and thinly slice the onion into approximately 1/4-inch moons.

In the container you will be using to store the onions, place the peppercorns, garlic, sugar, salt, and vinegar. Stir to dissolve.

Place the onions in a sieve that is in the sink. Slowly pour the boiling water over the onions and let them drain.

Par-boil onions

Add the onions to the jar and stir gently to evenly distribute the flavorings.

Jarred and ready

The onions will be ready in about 30 minutes, but are better after a few hours. Store them in the refrigerator and they will keep for several weeks, but are best in the first week.

Simple Fish Tacos

Simple is best when you're trying something new, so we went with a basic recipe from Bobby.


1 pound white flaky fish, such as mahi mahi or orata
1/4 cup canola oil
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoons ancho chili powder
1 jalapeno, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, divided
1 avocado, sliced, for topping
Tomato slices, for topping (optional)
8 flour tortillas

To make

Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Place fish in a medium size dish. Whisk together the oil, lime juice, ancho, jalapeno, and cilantro and pour over the fish.


Let marinate for 15 to 20 minutes. When ready to cook, remove the fish from the marinade place onto a hot grill, flesh side down. Grill the fish for 4 minutes on the first side and then flip for 4 minutes and remove.


Let fish rest for 5 minutes then flake with a fork. While fish rests, place the tortillas on the grill and grill for 20 seconds.

Prep toppings, then divide the fish among the tortillas and garnish with any or all of the garnishes.

The results

What a neat little trick this pickled onion recipe is. I still prefer the method I regularly use over the stove, but this was great in a pinch.

Even better, these pickled onions made a lovely topping for the fish tacos along with some avocado, cilantro and lime. I loved these little guys. They were light, refreshing and super yummy. I also love the marinade.

Fish tacos

Mr. McC put on a brave face and ate a couple:) He's still not a massive fish fan, but I appreciate him trying these for me!

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Amelia McCormick

Kansas girl transplanted to Asheville, North Carolina. Smiler, lover of great food and wine, facilitator, runner, storyteller, wife, optimist, and mother of sweet twins:)

Asheville, North Carolina