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207 Kitchen: Monique Coombs makes white fish tacos with cilantro corn pesto

The recipe is part of the "Catch" cookbook from the Maine Coastal Fishermen’s Association.

PORTLAND, Maine — "Catch" cookbook from the Maine Coastal Fishermen’s Association features recipe contributions from those in the fishing industry up and down the Maine coast. The recipes focus on using fresh Maine seafood.  

Monique Coombs joined 207 to share a recipe for cod tacos. Christine Burns Rudalevige, editor of Edible Maine, contributed the recipe to the book.

White Fish Tacos with Cilantro Corn Pesto 

This recipe serves 4.


  • 2 cups loosely packed spinach leaves
  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 1/3 cup toasted pepitas
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ cup neutral oil, such as grape seed or canola, plus more for cooking fish
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup finely grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup corn flour
  • 1-1/2 pounds of flaky white fish fillets (cod, cusk, hake, pollock), cut into about 4-inch pieces
  • 8 small corn or flour tortillas, warmed
  • 1 cup thinly sliced purple cabbage
  • Lime wedges for serving


  • Combine spinach, cilantro, corn, pepitas, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. 
  • Pulse until the mixture is a fine paste. 
  • With the machine running, slowly pour in the oil until it is fully incorporated.
  • Stir in lime zest and juice. 
  • Add salt and cayenne to taste. Stir in cheese. Set pesto aside.
  • Combine flour with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon cayenne on a plate. Dredge fish pieces on all sides in the seasoned flour. Set aside.
  • In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil. Arrange the pieces of fish in the hot oil. 
  • Fry the fish until it is slightly browned on one side, about 4 minutes, flip the pieces and cook until they are opaque at their centers, about 2 minutes more for thinner flounder, haddock, and redfish fillets, or 4 minutes for thicker pollock, hake or cod fillets. 
  • Set the fish on paper bags to drain.
  • To build the tacos, slather each tortilla with 2 tablespoons of pesto and top with 1/8 of the fish, a tablespoon or so of cabbage, and a lime wedge.
  • Serve immediately.

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