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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Fresh wahoo tacos? Make your own

By Carol Devenot

 •  Fish cake: It's a staple in many Island kitchens

It all started after my spinning class, at the Honolulu Club. Spinning instructor Stephanie Pietsch and I were discussing exercise, diet and health. In the course of the conversation, I was surprised to learn that she also owned and operated Wahoo's Fish Taco. This discussion continued over lunch the following week.

At Ward and 'Auahi streets, this outlet is one of 40 in the U.S., launched in 1988 by three brothers with business sense and a love of the ocean. Their first spot was a small taco restaurant in Costa Mesa, Calif. One of the brothers asked Stephanie to open up the first Wahoo's in Hawai'i. Having a degree in health and sports medicine from Boston College and a consulting practice, she was well qualified to fill the position.

"Wahoooo!" is what I said, when I took a bite out of the fresh 'ono taco. I also ordered the spicy fish salad with a nonfat dressing. The dressing puts it over the top and is nonfat to boot, but it's not a recipe that the restaurant is willing to share. I also ordered the rice and black beans, tortilla chips, guacamole and salsa a filling, healthy meal. The extensive menu offers many healthy choices such as soups, salads and vegetarian dishes. It is no wonder they were among the critics' choices for best casual restaurant in the 2006 'Ilima Awards. Try their recipe below, for a lard-free, fresh and tasty meal.

Flame-broiled Fish Taco

  • 1/2 pound fresh 'ono (wahoo), in two fillets

  • Pinch of garlic salt and pepper to taste

  • 8 corn tortillas or whole-wheat and spinach tortillas

  • 2 ounces cabbage, shredded

  • 1 ounce shredded cheese (Jack/cheddar mix) or nonfat or low-fat cheese

  • 4 ounces salsa (homemade or bottled)

  • 2 limes, quartered

  • Chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)

    Season the fish with garlic salt and pepper. Prepare a barbecue grill (wood-burning, charcoal or gas) and grill fillets over medium heat, a few minutes on each side, until done. Meanwhile, in a dry skillet over medium-low heat, heat tortillas, cover and keep warm. When fish is done, cut into four equal portions. Fill warm tortillas with cabbage, and top with fish, cheese and salsa. Serve with lime and cilantro, if desired. Serves 4.

    Per serving: 210 calories, 4.5 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 35 mg cholesterol, 360 mg sodium, 28 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 16 g protein

    Want a local recipe lightened up? Write Light & Local, Taste Section, The Advertiser, P.O. Box 3110, Honolulu, HI 96802; or taste@honoluluadvertiser.com. Carol Devenot is a Kaimuki-raised kama'aina, teacher and recipe consultant, and author of "Island Light Cuisine" (Blue Sea Publishing, paper, 2003). Learn more at www.islandlightcuisine.com.