HOUSTON – Cajun Fish Tacos with Asian Slaw





Like Cleveland a couple of weeks back I don’t really have a go to recipe for the city of Houston due to the lack of success of the pro sports teams.  Well that has finally changed and congratulations to the Astros for a magnificent season and their first championship.  My heart goes out to the citizens of Houston affected by the horrible flooding caused by the hurricanes.  I hope the World Series victory was some small reprieve for y’all.  But we are talking football here and looks like another tough season for the Texans and their devastating injuries suffered by their marquis players.  Since Houston is such a physically large city it encompasses so many different cultures I thought I would blend a few notable cuisines together to produce this one dish.  You will get a lot of that from me in the future.  Houston, because of its location, has a high percentage of Mexican influence as well as Cajun.  But the city also has a large population of immigrants from southeast Asia too so this week we are combining all those ideas into one delicious recipe.

Fish tacos have grown in popularity over the years.  You can use a lot of different types of white flaky fish.  Shrimp are also an excellent choice, but they are shellfish and have their own distinction.  I am using cod for this recipe as it’s very affordable and widely available.  Redfish, grouper, or red snapper might be more the local choice in Houston and they would work very well too.  I love pan seared or grilled fish with Cajun and/or blackening spices.  I’ve given you a basic recipe for blackening spices you can create on your own or you can buy a blend at your grocer or spice shop.  Yes, even Emeril’s blend is acceptable.  It makes an excellent combination with the sweet Asian slaw and spicy aioli.  I strongly suggest you use soft taco shells as I have this year as the hard shell is tough to keep together.  This makes a great snack for the game or a great pre-game lunch.





For the Asian slaw:

¼ head of Purple Cabbage, sliced into thin strips 3” long

¼ head Savoy Cabbage, sliced into thin strips 3” long

½ Carrot, thinly julienne sliced

½ medium Red Onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1 small Red Bell Pepper, seeded and thinly julienne sliced

½ small Jalapeno or Serrano Pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1 TBSP finely chopped fresh Ginger

1 TSP finely chopped Garlic

1 TBSP Olive Oil

1 TBSP Sesame Oil

½ TBSP Rice Wine Vinegar

1 TBSP Soy Sauce

1 TBSP Vietnamese or Thai style Fish Sauce

1 TSP Lime Juice

2 TBSP Dark Brown Sugar

Salt, to taste

Fresh ground Black Pepper, to taste

For the Aioli:

½ cup Mayonnaise

1 Garlic clove finely chopped

1 TSP Chipotle powder

1 TSP Lime Juice

Salt, to taste

Freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste

For the Fish Tacos:

8 Soft Tortillas

12 oz. Cod Fillet

2 TBSP Unsalted Butter

2 TBSP Cajun Blackening Spice Blend (recipe follows)

2 TSP Lemon Juice

2 TBSP Cilantro chopped (optional)


  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F
  2. Make the slaw. In a medium or large bowl combine the Cabbages, Carrot, Onion, Red Bell Pepper, and Jalapeno.
  3. In a small to medium bowl combine the Ginger, Garlic, Olive Oil, Sesame Oil, Vinegar, Soy Sauce, Fish Sauce, Lime Juice, and Sugar and whisk until blended.
  4. Pour the liquid over the vegetables in the larger bowl, season with Salt and Pepper, stir, and let marinade while you cook the fish and warm the tortillas.
  5. Make the Aioli. In a small bowl combine all the ingredients and stir with a spoon or fork until blended.
  6. Pat dry the Cod fillet and season all over with the Blackening Spice Blend. Let rest on a plate.
  7. Wrap the tortillas in aluminum foil. Place directly in the oven and warm for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven.
  8. While the tortillas warm. Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat.  Melt the Butter in the pan.
  9. Place the Cod fillet top side down and fry for about 5 minutes
  10. Flip the Cod over and fry for 4 minutes longer. Turn off heat and squeeze the Lemon Juice over the top of the fillet.  Let stand in the pan for 1 minute.
  11. Remove the Cod from the plan to a cutting board. Chop or slice into bite sized pieces.
  12. Fold Tortilla in half into a taco and spoon in a little Aioli
  13. Add the chopped Cod and top with the Asian Slaw. Garnish with a little chopped Cilantro if desired.


Serves four as an appetizer or snack or two for lunch.  Serve with Mexican or Cajun beans and rice on the side.


WINE PAIRING:  Two options here.  I would suggest a Corona Beer that you add a lime or piece of fruit or something like it.  If you prefer wine, you can go in a few different directions, but it must be White Wine.  A dry fruity wine like a Chablis or Sauvignon Blanc is always a good choice.  A German Riesling is also a good choice but stay on the dry side like a Kabinett or Spatlese.  There are also many good Spanish table wines that work well with these flavors.


For the Cajun Blackening Spice Blend:

1 TBSP Paprika

1 TSP Garlic Powder

1 TSP Onion Powder

1/4 TSP Salt

1/8 TSP White Pepper

1/8 TSP Black Pepper

1/8 TSP Cayenne Powder

1/8 TSP Ground Mustard

1/8 TSP Cumin

1/8 TSP Ground Thyme

1/8 TSP Dried Oregano

1/8 TSP Ground Sage

1/8 TSP Celery Salt


Mix together in a separate dish and blend evenly


Author: Steve Melchior

I am a lover of many eclectic things; food, wine, art, music, travel, sports, movies, literature and of course The Grateful Dead. I combine all these interests into great ideas for food preparation and entertaining with friends and family.

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