Fish Tacos with Hot Wings Sauce Marinade and Garden Celery

by Amber on April 19, 2012

Celery—that crunchy veggie once reserved strictly as a holding device for peanut butter—is finally getting its day in the sun. This time, the beautifully peppery crunch accompanies a hot sauce drenched fish taco, adding a cooling palette cleanse in each bite.

Fish taco with hot sauce marinade. Topped with celery and seasonal veggies for crunch.

When I was little, I hated celery. I remember my daycare teacher making me sit alone at a table for “forever” because I hadn’t finished my celery. I was a stubborn child and couldn’t be told what to do.

When she turned her back, I crushed the celery and drowned it in the bottom of my milk. The daycare lady must have been on to me.

“Now, finish your milk,” she scolded.

No way, I thought. I wadded up my napkin and dropped it swiftly into my milk glass. “I’m all done,” I demanded, jumping down from my seat and running over to play with the other children.

Take that, celery!

Well, now I’m all grown up. While I still can’t be told what to do, I do eat my celery. Emphasis on my celery. I grow the wonderfully crunchy stuff in my garden. Homegrown celery is an entirely different food from its evil grocery store cousin. I pick it young, tender, and tiny. Sure, you can still spread a mass of peanut butter in its hallows, but it’s not a bottomless cavern of flavorlessness. It’s bright, crisp, and aroma-filled tasting of grass and pepper.

I grow celery in my winter garden and use the tiny stems and leaves as an herb as the plant grows. In spring I harvest the thicker stalks.

Here, I’ve diced my celery as a condiment for a hot sauced fish taco. I grilled wild Alaskan cod marinated in hot wing sauce, added a shot of ranch dressing and topped it with celery and chopped veggies. This is a great way to enjoy fish tacos! And I guarantee you won’t find your husband stuffing the celery in his milk glass.

Fish Tacos with Hot Wings Sauce Marinade & Garden Celery Recipe

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup hot sauce
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 wild Alaskan cod fillets, about 1 lb., skins removed
4 flour tortilla shells
2 Tablespoons ranch dressing
2 stalks celery, diced
4 radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced

Farmers’ market ingredients: celery, radish, red onion, carrot, butter, tortilla shells
Supermarket ingredients: hot sauce, fish, ranch dressing, brown sugar

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Add the hot sauce and stir to combine. Add the brown sugar and stir to combine. Bring to a low boil and remove from heat. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Pour 1/2 cup hot wing sauce into a large, flat-bottomed container with a lid. Rest cod in sauce and turn fillet to coat with sauce on all sides. Cover with a lid while it marinades for about 10-15 minutes.

Mix the celery, radish, onion, and carrot in a bowl and set aside.

Preheat grill to 450 degrees. Place cod on the grill and place the lid on the grill. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, and then flip fillets over. Grill on second side with cover on grill for 4-5 minutes more, until flesh is flaky through the middle.

Add a half tablespoon ranch dressing to the bottom of a tortilla shell. Add 1/4 of the grilled cod meat and 2 tablespoons of the celery mixture. Add extra hot wing sauce if desired. Repeat with 3 remaining tacos. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 celery-topped fish tacos

Learn more about Alaska Seafood.

Find other tasty fish recipes here.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Judy Van Acker April 21, 2012 at 6:35 am

I’ve never tried to grow celery in Colorado, but I do grow lovage and use for a celery substitute. I love your celery pics! Gonna try that recipe. Alex adores hot sauce and we have freshly caught fish in the frig from last night at the lake.


mjskit April 22, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Love these spice fish tacos! YUM!


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