Braaied Fish taco’s with Papaya salsa
by Jan Braai
WHAT YOU NEED: (serves 6)
For the fish:
1 yellowtail (or similar fish fit for braai)
salt and pepper
For the salsa:
1 large Neofresh papaya
1 green bell pepper
1 red onion (chopped finely)
1 red chilli (chopped)
2 limes (or lemons)
1 tot olive oil
fresh coriander (chopped)
1 mielie (corn)
1 tub sour cream
WHAT TO DO:
1. Light a big fire. If you have doubt whether the fire is big enough, then the fire is too small and you should add more wood.
2. Peel the Neofresh papaya, scrape out the pips and cut into small blocks. Also peel, seed and otherwise prepare the pepper, onion, chilli and coriander respectively and chop all of that into small blocks. Toss these together in a bowl and squeeze the juice of two limes or a lemon over that and also add the olive oil.
3. Braai the mielie over hot coals to char the kernels on all sides. Use your sharpest knife and slice the kernels off the cob mielie and mix with that with rest of the salsa. Gently. We’re looking for papaya salsa not papaya gazpacho. Taste and add salt and black pepper as you see fit.
4. Yellowtail and most similar fishes benefit most from a braai fire when braaied ‘open’. An ‘open’ fish has two sides, a flesh side and a skin side. How to get it from swimming around in the sea to that state is beyond the scope of this recipe. Rub or paint olive oil onto both sides and then season your fish with salt and pepper onto the flesh side.
5. Place the fish in a hinged grid and braai it on medium-to-hot coals, erring on the side of hot. Flesh side down, for about 3–4 minutes until the flesh gets a light golden colour and once you think that side looks perfect, you are right but the fish is not done. Now turn the grid over and braai the fish skin side down until done. Total braai time should be between 10 and 20 minutes depending on the size of the fish, the height of grid and the heat of the fire. Although you should try and keep it to a minimum, don’t worry if the skin side burns slightly here and there – you’re not going to eat the skin. I treat fish skin at the braai as a natural tinfoil.
6. The fish is ready when it has turned white, comes away from the bones when you try to loosen it or flakes when you insert a fork into it. Remember the golden rule: If you think it’s ready, it probably is. Slightly underdone fresh fish is obviously absolutely acceptable.
7. Use your fireproof pan or potjie lid to heat the tacos for about 15 seconds on each side. Fill with pieces of fish and top each off with papaya salsa and a spoonful of sour cream.