Wednesday, April 15, 2009

fish tacos

So here is a super fantastic recipe for you. Many years ago Sunset magazine scoured the west in search of the best fish taco. A campy little joint in Salt Lake City called Lone Star Taqueria took the honors. The magazine published the recipe and history was made in our family. My sister started making them.

At the time her husband spent his summers on a fishing boat in Alaska. He would send home cratefuls of salmon and they would freeze it. Then when he returned they would throw a big fish fry and serve these tacos. They are unreal. Really. I mean they were dubbed the best in the entire western United States. Try them. You won't be disappointed. And if you are lucky, you'll get an invite to my sister's next fish taco party. Start shmoozing her now. It'll be totally worth it.

Here's the recipe as it appears on Sunset's website:

Notes: Susan Harries, owner of Lone Star Taqueria in Salt Lake City, makes waves with these tacos. Manager and chef Manuel Valdez also uses ahi or blue marlin on occasion; he marinates the fish overnight covered with oil, but less time and less oil provide ample flavor. Top cooked fish with shredded cabbage, Lone Star pico de gallo and Lone Star cilantro-jalapeño mayonnaise, and a squeeze of lime.

This recipe goes with Taco Bar for a Party


Makes enough for 6 tacos


  • 6 tablespoons ground dried New Mexico or California chilies

  • 3 tablespoons salad oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • About 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 2 whole cloves

  • 1 dried bay leaf, broken into pieces

  • 1 pound boned, skinned firm-flesh fish such as halibut, mahimahi, or rock fish (see notes)


1. In a large bowl, mix ground dried chilies, oil, pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, garlic powder, cayenne, cumin, cloves, and bay leaf.

2. Rinse fish and pat dry. Add to bowl and turn to coat with marinade; cover and chill at least 1 hour or up to 1 day, mixing several times.

3. Lift fish from marinade and arrange pieces in a single layer in a 9- by 13-inch pan. Discard marinade.

4. Broil fish 4 to 5 inches from heat until opaque but still moist-looking in center of thickest part (cut to test), about 5 minutes for 1/2-inch-thick pieces. With a slotted spatula, transfer fish to towels to blot oil, then set on a platter. Cut fish along the grain into 1/2-inch slices, and season to taste with salt.

Lone Star Cilantro Jalapeño Mayonnaise: In a blender or food processor, combine 1 3/4 cups mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons water, 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar, 1 rinsed and stemmed fresh jalapeño chili (remove seeds for more heat), 1 peeled garlic clove, 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Whirl until smooth. Add salt to taste.

Makes about 2 1/4 cups.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 163 (53% from fat)
Protein: 16g
Fat: 9.5g (sat 1.3)
Carbohydrate: 3.6g
Fiber: 1.5g
Sodium: 236mg
Cholesterol: 24mg

If you're lazy/live close enough, just stop in & have Lone Star make it for you. It's an experience for shizzle.



Through the Looking Glass said...

I've never eaten at Lonestar but literally everyone I know talks about these. I hear that the line for lunch is out the door and that they're famous from all ends of the valley. Awesome - I love a good fish taco.

Nicole said...

I've never tried a fish taco, but if these are mid-west renowned I might have to give them a whirl.

whit said...

Lone Star is the So yummy. How do I become friends with your sister? I am going to have to make these, unfortunately no one at my house will eat them except Joey and I. Maybe that is a good thing. Who wants to meet me at Lone Star?

Thanks Dove.

Heather said...

Lone Star is the bestest.

Justin said...

I love Lone Star! I used to live in their neighborhood and would frequent them for fish tacos. Thanks for reminding me of a blast from my past...

Through the Looking Glass said...


Let's make that our next dinner destination.

suzan said...

I love this recipe! Best Fish Tacos EVER!! I was going to make them tonight for some friends that are coming over, but I wussed out because I have too much work to do around the house first. mmmmmm...they are SO yummy! I am second guessing my decision to paint the bathroom at this point. Should've gone with the tacos :)

Leslie said...

OH, gosh, I'm pretty much famous now!!! :) That was a gooood topic for a post, Dove. These fish tacos have made me new friends. Seriously. And they are HANDS DOWN our all-time favorite meal. I usually double or triple the fish so that we can eat them ALL WEEK LONG. I am serious, you will not get sick of them. 7 days straight makes for a happy house in my family.
Also, we don't take away the spotlight from these beautiful tacos with any sides...they need to be eaten straight up, alone. Don't waste valuable tummy space with bland side dishes. Lone Star stands as the most delicious, low key restaurant I know of.

And, um, Dove...can I tempt you to make the 5 hour drive for dinner tonight if I bust some Mahi tacos?

Leslie said...

Oh ya, and thin slice of avocado are mandatory.

Mrs. Olsen said...

what about tilapia. would that fish be delicious in this recipe?

Anonymous said...

When I go to Lone Star and Tilapia or Red Snapper are the fish of the day I nearly pee myself it is so good.