Sweet and Sour Fish Tacos

Makes 10-12 tacos

Prep time: approx 30 mins | Cooking time: approx 1 hour

Another contemporary twist on a traditional dish, these tacos are inspired by the Italian-Jewish custom of eating sweet and sour fish for Rosh Hashanah. Pesce All’Ebraica (lit. Jewish Fish) is normally made with fillets of white fish cooked in oil, honey or sugar and vinegar, and flavoured with raisins or sultanas and toasted pine nuts.

We have seasoned our fish with South American flavours of agave and lime, bringing sugar and vinegar into the dish with pickled onions, and throwing juicy sultanas and tart green apples through a crunchy red cabbage slaw. All this is stuffed into homemade corn tacos for the perfect mouthful. (N.B. You will require a tortilla press for the tacos. If you haven’t got the time, equipment or patience to make your own corn tortillas, you can use store-bought flour tortillas, or forego the wraps altogether and serve as a plate of fish and salad with chips!)

Our tacos have been served alongside sweet potato and squash chips with oregano to include one of the Rosh Hashana Simanim and to add a further hit of Mexican flavour.


For the Fish

  • 6 Cod fillets, patted dry
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 2-3 tbsp Honey
  • Juice of 2 Limes
  • 1 tbsp Dried Oregano
  • Salt and Pepper

For the Slaw

  • 1 small Red Cabbage, shredded and salted
  • Juice of 2 Limes
  • ½ cup fresh Coriander, finely chopped
  • ½ cup of Sultanas, soaked in hot water for 30 mins then drained and patted dry
  • 1½ to 2 tbsp Agave Nectar (or honey)
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple
  • Mayonnaise (optional)

For the Pickled Onions

  • 2 Red Onions, ribboned and salted
  • 1½ tbsp Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Rice Vinegar

For the Tortillas

  • 1½ cups Masa Harina Flour
  • 1 cup Water


For the Fish

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C / 180°C fan (Gas Mark 6 / 400°F) 
  2. In a bowl mix honey, lime juice, oil and oregano, and season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  3. Place the cod fillets into an ovenproof dish, then pour over the honey-lime mixture , thoroughly coating both sides of the fish.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes until cooked through and ready to gently flake into your tacos.
  5. You may wish to pop it under a grill for a couple of minutes (keeping a close eye on it) to char the top a little.

For the Slaw

  1. Combine the shredded cabbage, lime juice, chopped coriander, agave nectar and pre-soaked sultanas in a bowl and mix together. For a creamier consistency, you may wish to add mayonnaise.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to serve – can be prepared up to a day before.
  3. When ready to serve, julienne a Granny Smith apple and mix into the slaw.

For the Pickled Onions

  1. In a small bowl or airtight container add the onions, sugar and rice vinegar. If required, add a little water to ensure the onions are completely covered.
  2. Cover and leave to pickle for at least 1 hour, but longer if possible.
  3. When ready, drain liquid and serve.

For the Tortillas

  1. Thoroughly mix together the water and masa harina to form a dough. The dough should be as moist and soft as possible without sticking to your hands. If the dough cracks when lightly squeezed add a spoonful of water at a time until the dough takes on the consistency of Playdoh and easily forms a ball. 
  2. Cover the bowl with a damp towel.
  3. Heat a cast iron skillet or heavy-based frying pan over medium-high heat for around 5 minutes
  4. Cut two squares of greaseproof paper or heavy plastic (e.g. a freezer bag) large enough to cover the plates of the tortilla press.
  5. Place one on the bottom plate and the other on the top plate, ensuring that the paper/plastic doesn’t wrinkle.
  6. Take a small handful of masa and roll it to about the size of a golf ball, then slightly flatten it in your palm and place it between the two plates of the press and the paper/plastic sheets.
  7. Close the press and pull the handle across firmly to flatten the tortilla.
  8. You should have a thin, even disk around 1mm thick and 8-10cm in diameter between the two sheets.
  9. Remove the top sheet and pick up the bottom sheet, keeping your tortilla stuck to it. Resting it in the palm of your less-dominant hand, carefully flip it over into the opposite palm. 
  10. Peel off the paper/plastic, position your hand above the hot pan, and quickly (and carefully) flip the tortilla into the pan. The tortilla will start to stick to the surface and cook immediately. Be aware that the first tortilla may not go to plan, and that’s ok!
  11. Cook for 15 seconds. The tortilla should change colour after 10 seconds and then start to lift slightly from the pan.
  12. Using a metal spatula, flip the tortilla into the hottest part of the pan and cook for 30 seconds.
  13. Flip the tortilla again and cook for 10 seconds. You may notice air pockets forming and the edges starting to lift from the pan. Flip and cook for a final 10 seconds, then wrap in a clean tea towel, trapping in the heat. The tortillas will steam, making them lovely and soft.
  14. Repeat the process with the remaining dough (it should make about 12 tortillas in total).


Spicy Chipotle Mayo:

  • 2 tbsp mayo mixed with 1 tbsp chipotle sauce or 1/4tsp chipotle chilli powder

Easy Guacamole

  • 3-4 avocados mashed with lime juice, salt and pepper and a little roughly chopped fresh coriander.

Photo by Yaffa Judah

sweet and sour fish tacos - image by Yaffa Judah