Simple paleo friendly fish tacos paired with a habanero berry salsa, topped with lime crema to cool things off. Seriously, this combo is delish!
This post is sponsored in partnership with California Giant Berry Farms. I am honored to be a CalGiant Berry Ambassador for the third year, and I thank you for continuing to support the brands that help Fit Mitten Kitchen bring you new recipes!
If you’re just here for the recipe, simply hit the “jump to recipe” button above.
These fish tacos are straight FIRE.
Literally due in part to the habanero berry salsa, but also figuratively because this combo is the bomb dot com.
Speaking of “fire” – Did I ever tell you about that time we were out to eat with friends, and a server described a dessert as “fire”…? We all looked at each other like, “So is the dessert ON fire or…?”
Que the face palm from everyone ages 12-20.
Come to find out, “fire” is now being used as a descriptor by the young kids to label anything they deem “cool as hell”, according to Urban Dictionary.
I am officially old.
Alright, anyways… Before I get to these
fire seriously delish fish tacos and habanero berry salsa, I MUST tell you all about my recent trip to Monterey and Watsonville, CA with California Giant Berry Farms!
California Giant Berry Farms Tour
I’m going on my third year of being a California Giant Berry Ambassador and I have loved getting to know more about this special brand over the years, and of course sharing their story with YOU.
At the end of June I had the opportunity to visit some of the CalGiant berry farms, in conjunction with their 2nd annual Chef Invitational.
Read more about the Chef Invitational here!
Touring the farms, meeting the growers, learning even more about who California Giant is and their mission, has made me fall in love with this brand (and berries!) all over again.
What you May Not Know About California Giant Berries
- California Giant Berry Farms is essentially made up of families of farmers, and everyone at California Giant is working towards the same mission – to deliver the best quality berries and give back to the communities.
- Just 16 strawberry growers supply California Giant Berry Farms.
- There also have a few blackberry and raspberry growers (however, just one locally in Watsonville-Salinas – the Navarro brothers ranch we visited) and the others are regional, just like their blueberry grower partnerships. Learn more about one of their blueberry growers here.
- California Giant is truly invested in their farmers! They maintain a close relationship with them, all working together to produce the best berries for us.
Having berry growers in various regions (including Oregon, Georgia, Florida, and Mexico, to name a few) allows California Giant Berry Farms to supply us with delicious, high quality berries year round.
I think we can all agree winter without berries (especially in the East and Midwest) would be pretty sad.
As with other farm tours I’ve been on (from beet farms to various dairy farms) farming is way of life, a passion.
It is a labor of love, but these berry farmers love what they do and love sharing their berries with us.
Click HERE to learn about more CalGiant farmers!
- PEST MANAGEMENT: California Giant Berry Farms focuses on “integrated pest management” which means the farmers control pests with nature first, using predator mites and growing pest resistant varieties through improved breeding practices, pest monitoring to prevent infestation, cultural practices and other methods to minimize the need for pesticides.
- The blackberries in particular are a very strong bush, and the California Giant growers take special care to only spray pesticides when absolutely necessary. John Navarro stated that on average, they actually only spray their blackberries about once per season.
- Strawberries are more prone to pests, but the farmers still take care to use integrated pest management by also using predator bugs, along with a bug vacuum, which sucks up the predators and lessens the need for pesticides.
- NO GMOs – California Giant Berry Farms does not use genetically modified organisms. If you see California Giant Berries in store (particularly the strawberries and blackberries) you may notice they are, in fact, GIANT. This is because the the growing conditions for the berries are perfect and produce high quality, beautiful berries.
- Crop Rotation – the crops are rotated with vegetable growers in the off season, which keeps the soil healthier.
Sustainability at California Giant Berry Farms
Seeing that I’ve been on both conventional and organic farm tours in the past several months, I wanted to make a note to say it’s been a personal challenge navigating it all. We’re constantly fed information from both sides and it’s easy for the statements to be misconstrued.
Bottom line, it isn’t black and white. But in regards to California Giant berries and what I know, I feel 100% confident buying their conventional produce.
Here is an article that was shared with me, that will maybe allow you to see things in a different light as well.
“Over 90% of people in the U.S. don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables so we should not be doing anything to discourage folks from enjoying any type of produce they like to eat, whether it is conventional, organic, fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juice. They all count toward your daily recommended fruit and veggie intake, are nutrient-rich and make you look and feel good. So, relax and enjoy the taste and fun of filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables.”fruitsandveggies.org
Side note: I’m continually learning about this topic and there is always new information coming out, from all sides. Your best bet is to do your research, and make the decisions you deem best for you and your family. And always wash your produce, regardless of whether it’s conventional or organic 🙂
Still have questions? Check out California Giant FAQ’s and feel free to reach out on their page.
Learning more about the people behind the ingredients in our recipes and food on our plates was truly a special experience.
After the farm tour and our first day came to an end, the next day was the Chef Invitational, where I was inspired to recreate some of the dishes from the top chefs to share with you on FMK.
You may not initially think fish tacos and spicy berries work together, but these chefs know what they’re doing 😉
I opted to make the battered fish tacos paleo-friendly, as is the berry habanero salsa – just use your choice of shells if grain-free!
Paleo Fish Tacos with Berry Salsa
But first things first, let’s talk about the berry habanero salsa. This is not your average fruit salsa – it’s flavorful with a kick.
How to make Berry Habanero Salsa
- First dice the strawberries, slice the blackberries in half and then add to a bowl with the blueberries; drizzle honey over berries and stir.
- Dice the habanero and remove the pith (the white part) and the seeds.
- Add minced mint, basil, cilantro.
- Finish off with lime zest and lime juice; stir again.
WARNING: The habanero pepper is *really* HOT. Apparently, if you soak them in tequila, the spiciness gets sucked into the tequila leaving the habaneros more mild. More on that here.
You can also sub jalapeños, or simply use bell peppers if you don’t want any heat at all.
Ingredients Needed for Paleo Fish Tacos
For the fish, I went with mahi mahi but you can use walleye or perch, cod, pretty much any mild white fish works here.
Paleo Nut Free Fish Batter
- Tapioca flour
- baking soda, salt, & garlic powder
- high heat oil for frying
The ingredients are simple, and the process is easy. Just make sure you have a deep skillet and add enough oil to the pan for the fish to fry properly, keeping the oil temperature at about 360º. Or use a deep fryer.
I did not test this in an air fryer though that would probably be delicious as well!
Once the fish has cooled on paper towel to remove excess oil, it’s time to make the tacos.
- berry salsa
- shells of choice (use grain-free if needed)
- shredded cabbage
- lime crema (recipe in card below)
Assemble the Fish Tacos with Berry Salsa and lime crema
And that’s that, my friends!
For coupon savings on California Giant Berries, click here
Thanks to the chefs from the California Giant Chef Invitational for inspiring me with this one!
If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and review. I love hearing from you and it helps others learn more about the recipe too! Xx Ashley
- 6oz blueberries
- 6oz blackberries, halved
- 1 cup diced strawberries
- 2 habaneros*, pith and seeds removed (see notes in blog post)
- 1 TBSP honey
- 2 green onions, diced
- 2 TBSP chopped cilantro
- 1 TBSP chopped fresh mint leaves (about 4–5 leaves)
- 1 TBSP thinly sliced fresh basil
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- 1/4 tsp salt, to taste
Paleo Fish Batter
- 1 1/2 lbs thick white fish such as mahi mahi, halibut, walleye, etc. cut into 2” strips
- 3/4 cup tapioca flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt, to taste
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 2 large eggs
- avocado oil for frying
- avocados, sliced
- small taco shells
- shredded cabbage
- vegan lime crema
- Make the salsa: Add strawberries, halved blackberries, whole blueberries, diced habanero to a bowl; drizzle honey over mixture then add green onion, cilantro, mint and basil. Add lime juice and zest, plus salt to taste; stir gently and set aside.
- Prepare the fish and batter: Cut thawed fish into 2″ strips (sized to fit inside taco shells) and pat dry with paper towel. Meanwhile, heat about 2-3 cups of oil in a large, deep skillet OR enough to reach up sides of pan about 2″ high. While the oil is heating to about 360ºF (use a thermometer or a deep fryer), in a medium bowl mix together tapioca flour, baking soda, salt and garlic powder. Whisk in eggs and vinegar. Batter will seem thick and hard to stir at first, but will smooth out to a medium thickness.
- Fry the fish: Dip dried fish fillets in batter, fully coated and carefully place into skillet. You may need to turn the fish if oil is not high enough. Fry about 3 minutes each side before placing on paper towel lined bowl. Fish should reach internal temperature of 145ºF, and coating golden brown.
- Assemble the tacos: Prepare shells with shredded cabbage, top with fish, berry salsa, avocado slices and lime crema; enjoy!
*feel free to sub jalapeño peppers for the habanero peppers.
Paleo fish batter adapted from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen
For the vegan lime crema, omit cilantro and garlic if you want just a simple lime cream flavor. If you don’t need a dairy-free lime crema, simply mix 1/2 cup sour cream with 1 TBSP lime juice.
For coupon savings on California Giant Berries, click here
Be sure to check out the all of the original Chef Invitational Recipes
- Chef Israel Ortiz – Berry Bomb Fish Tacos
- Chef Patty Long – Blueberry Mole Chicken with Berry Habanero Salsa
- Winner Chef Travis G. Peters –Blueberry Sweet Tea Quail with Berry Pecan Brussels Sprouts
- People’s Choice Winner Chef Jonathon Merrick – Gluten Free Mochi Korean Street Style Donuts with Blackberries
- Chef Adrian Day – Blackberry Harissa Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Strawberry Beet Salad
- Chef Christian Kearns – Berry Halibut