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Perch Tacos

Serves 4.


    Perch Tacos

    Fairly easy to catch and blessed with great texture and delicious flavour, lake perch has long been a cherished ice fishing prize. It cooks in a flash under the oven broiler, and when stuffed into tortillas along with punchy pickled vegetables and creamy avocado sauce, you have the makings of a tasty taco night as a fitting reward for a long day on the ice.


    Other fish to try

    Pickerel is a good alternative catch of the day here, but you can also source out halibut or ocean perch from the fishmonger for these tacos.

    Hot stuff

    Warming tortillas makes them more flexible and prevents them from cracking and breaking. Using your stovetop, turn a gas or electric burner on high. Using tongs, glide one tortilla at a time over the burner for a few seconds, alternating sides, until it’s softened and beginning to darken in spots. Cover tortillas to keep warm. Or wrap a stack of tortillas in a slightly damp kitchen towel (or paper towel) and microwave on high for about 30 seconds.


    Perch Tacos


    • 1 cup (250 mL) cider vinegar or rice vinegar
    • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) turbinado or other raw style sugar
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) mustard seeds (optional)
    • 2 cups (500 mL) thinly sliced red cabbage
    • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 lb (450 g) perch (or see ìOther fish to tryî)
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) lime zest
    • Salt and black pepper, to taste
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) sour cream
    • 1 avocado
    • Juice of 1/2 lime
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cumin
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne
    • Pinch of salt
    • 8 corn tortillas, warmed
    • 1/3 cup (80 mL) cilantro


    Per serving:

    • calories366
    • protein27g
    • fat12g
      • saturated fat3g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates39g
      • sugars8g
      • fibre7g
    • sodium443mg



    Place vinegar, sugar, salt, and mustard seeds, if using, in heatproof bowl. Bring 1 cup (250 mL) water to a boil in saucepan or kettle. Add boiled water to bowl with vinegar and stir until sugar has dissolved. Stir in cabbage and red onion; cover and let stand for at least 2 hours at room temperature, or overnight in refrigerator.


    Preheat oven broiler and set oven rack about 6 in (15 cm) from heating element. Grease heavy baking sheet and place perch on greased pan. Season perch with lime zest, salt, and black pepper, to taste. Broil fish until just cooked through in the middle, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove perch from oven and gently break apart flesh.


    Place sour cream, avocado, lime juice, cumin, cayenne, and pinch of salt in blender or food processor container and blend until smooth.


    To serve, divide fish, pickled vegetables, and avocado cream among tortillas. Garnish with cilantro.


    Like this recipe?

    This recipe is part of the Go (Ice) Fish collection.



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    Mussels with Tomato, Saffron, and Fennel

    B12-rich mussels are a very good and economical source of protein and iron. Steamed mussels are a classic way to enjoy seafood—and so is this rich, aromatic broth of tomato, fennel, and saffron. Be sure to allow saffron to fully infuse to get the full flavour benefit, and finish off the dish with the fragrant fennel fronds. Sustainability status Farmed mussels are considered highly sustainable due to their low impacts on the environment. They are easy to harvest, require no fertilizer or fresh water, and don’t need to be fed externally, as they get all their nutritional requirements from their marine environment. Mussel prep Selection: Look for mussels with shiny, tightly closed shells that smell of the sea. If shells are slightly open, give them a tap. Live mussels will close immediately. Storage: Keep mussels in the fridge in a shallow pan laid on top of ice. Keep them out of water and cover with a damp cloth. Ideally, consume on the day you buy them, but within two days. They need to breathe, so never keep them in a sealed plastic bag. Cleanup: In addition to being sustainable, farmed mussels tend to require less cleaning than wild mussels. Most of the fibrous “beards” that mussels use to grip solid surfaces will have been removed before sale. But if a few remain, they’re easily dispatched: grasp the beard with your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward the hinge of the mussel and give it a tug. Afterward, give mussels a quick rinse and scrub away any areas of mud or seaweed, which, with farmed mussels, will require minimal work.