Growing up in a land-locked state in the Midwest, it wasn’t until my mid 20’s that I first tried a few things. Boogie boarding in the ocean, sushi, wearing flip flops in January, and of course, FISH TACOS! Today I combined my favorite restaurant/fast food loves into one. If a Chipotle burrito bowl salad and a restaurant-favorite fish taco had a baby, it would be this blackened fish taco salad bowl.
Can I just venture off for a second and tell you a little story? No? Ok well I’m going to tell you anyway. The first time I tried sushi I was with my BFF Jess. We were gabbing away and I took the entire glob of wasabi in my clumsily-manuevered chopsticks and popped it in my mouth. Jess’ jaw dropped as my eyes started watering and my nose was running profusely.
“OMG what IS that?!” I said through tears.
“CHRISSA! That is wasabi!!” Jess said with her hand covering her mouth.
“What the H is wasabi?! I thought it was avocado. I feel like I might die, like here and now (cue deep breaths and coughing)”
I didn’t die. But I’m a bit scarred. And now that you now what an ignorant scatterbrain I can be, you can (sort of) understand my hesitation to try new things.
Flash forward a few years when my husband and I were newlyweds, living in San Diego. He encouraged me to try fish tacos. I was nervous. “Are they hot?” “Are they like, really fishy” “Will I almost die?”
I didn’t almost die, but I almost went to heaven. Fish tacos are DA BOMB. Not too fishy, not too hot, but the perfect lunch or dinner for any occasion, any craving. They have now become my go-to choice whenever I dine out.
So I decided to lighten my favorite fish feast up, and make the perfect blackened fish taco salad bowl for lunch. Not just lunch, THE lunch of all lunches. This bowl is epic people.
The blackened fish is so easy to make, and only requires searing 2-3 minutes on each side. Lunch in a flash. Adding sweet mango, creamy avocado, the fresh bite of cilantro, along with diced tomatoes and shredded romaine to this fish with a kick? Heavenly. Top it with a simple olive oil and lime drizzle for the perfect finish to every bite.
No wasabi here, although if you are so inclined, you could sub the avocado for it. I wouldn’t recommend it, unless you are clinically insane.
Time Saver Tip
Cut the mango and tomatoes beforehand and store in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. To take it an extra step, you could add all the components of the salad into their own container and refrigerate. Then when you are ready to assemble the salad, everything is cut and ready to go! As an options, double the tilapia in the recipe and refrigerate. Use the other half the the mango and avocado, along with extra tomatoes, romaine, and cilantro to assemble another salad a different day.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tilapia filets
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup romaine lettuce
- ½ cup diced tomatoes
- ½ mango, sliced
- ½ small avocado, sliced
- 4-5 sprigs fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- juice of ¼ lime wedge
- In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium/high heat
- Combine the chili powder, cumin, paprika, onion powder, and salt in a large bowl. Pat the tilapia filets with a paper towel to remove any moisture, then add the tilapia to the bowl, coating both sides evenly with the mixed spices
- Place the tilapia into the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes per side
- Meanwhile, arrange the salad in a large bowl. Add the romaine lettuce, diced tomatoes, mango slices, avocado, and cilantro
- Once the fish is done, let cool slightly then add cut into large pieces and add to the salad bowl
- Combine the olive oil and lime juice, then pour over the salad