Fresh Alaskan True Cod Tacos with Fennel & Pancetta

This take on fish tacos has a little sweetness from the beautiful flaky flesh of Gemini’s fresh Alaskan true cod and caramelized fennel, richness from the mayo and homemade flour tortillas, freshness from a fennel & red onion slaw and saltiness from crispy pancetta. It hits all the good spots!

True Alaskan Cod Fish Tacos with Fennel and Pancetta

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of fresh Alaskan true code fillet
  • 1 bulb fennel
  • ~ 5 – 6 oz. pancetta (if you can’t find pancetta, diced pork belly fat works would work great)
  • 2 bulbs garlic, diced
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1 tsp vinegar (red or white wine, apple cider – chose your favorite!)
  • Mayonnaise
  • Tortillas (if homemade, you’ll need bacon fat (optional), vegetable oil, milk, baking soda, salt and flour)

Preparation

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

*if you’re using store-bought tortillas and mayonnaise – skip ahead to the slaw!

Tortillas

If you wanna be a little fancier, making homemade tortillas will bring your tacos to a new level of deliciousness. They’re quick to whip up – just be sure to plan an extra hour to let the dough rest. I like to use this recipe (if you don’t have bacon fat, just use vegetable oil):

https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/taco-nortenos-with-bacon-fat-flour-tortillas/amp

Mayonnaise

While store-bought is fine, homemade mayo has a silky, luscious consistency and flavor that you just don’t get with the processed stuff.

J. Kenji López-Alt (author of The Food Lab), has a quick, fool-proof recipe that is a regular in our home:

Spice it up with hot sauce if you like.

Slaw

Thinly slice about 1/4 of your fennel bulb & 1/4 red onion. Mix together with a dash of vinegar (about 1 tsp), salt and pepper. Set aside.

Fennel, pancetta & cod

Roughly slice the rest of your fennel. Mix it up with the pancetta, 1 tsp salt, a few generous twists of black pepper, garlic, olive oil and brown sugar. Get out a baking sheet, and put about half of your fennel & pancetta mix on your sheet (try to lay it out a little so the pancetta gets nice and crispy as it cooks, and leave some space for your cod). Put your filet of cod on the sheet, and top it with the rest of the fennel & pancetta mix. Slide in the oven and bake for around 20 minutes (for a fat piece of cod), or until your cod is flaky and comes apart easily when poked with a fork. Once it’s done, you can roughly cut up the cod, and mix it in with all the fennel and pancetta.

Assemble!

Warm up your tortillas (pan fried in oil is great), top them off with mayo, your cod mix, the slaw and (if you have any from your fennel) – use the tops (also called fronds)! They give a fresh licorice-like flavor to your taco, and they look good, too. 

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