Recipe: Flathead Tacos »

From Summer on Fat Pig Farm by Matthew Evans

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Summer on Fat Pig Farm by Matthew Evans

Summer on Fat Pig Farm by Matthew Evans


In Summer on Fat Pig Farm, Matthew Evans serves up a whole book brimming with recipes for the warmer weather.

One of his favourite pastimes is casting a line in the salty brine – and catching flathead which abound in Tasmania's waters – which brings us to this wonderfully messy, flavoursome dish to liven up your flattie catch.

Flathead Tacos – serves 4

This is a great, messy, spicy dish well suited to the barbecue and outdoor eating. Soft tortillas encase spiced fish and a lively pico de gallo salsa (which means ‘rooster’s beak’, but is really just a fresh salsa with as many variations as there are cooks). 


  • 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) flathead fillets or other firm white fish, cut into 2 cm (3/4 inch) dice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 20 soft white corn tortillas, 10 cm (4 inch) diameter


  • 2 garlic cloves, hit with the flat of a knife and skin discarded
  • 1 green capsicum (pepper), seeded and finely diced
  • 6 Roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1 cm ( inch) dice
  • 1 small red (Spanish) onion, finely diced
  • 1–2 small red or green chillies, finely sliced
  • 6 coriander (cilantro) stalks, including roots, well washed
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Fish spice

  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1–2 teaspoon chipotle powder or similar chilli powder


To make the salsa, combine the garlic, capsicum, tomato, onion and sliced chilli. Finely chop the coriander, including the roots. Add the half you chopped from the bottom end to the other ingredients and reserve the rest for later. Season with salt and freshly milled black pepper. Stir well and let stand for about half an hour.

Meanwhile, make the fish spice mix using a mortar and pestle [Ed: or a coffee grinder, and for better flavour, dry roast them first] to crush the combined fennel, coriander and cumin seeds with 3/4 teaspoon salt until it forms a fine powder.

Mix in the chipotle powder, scatter over the fish and toss coat the fish evenly.

When you’re ready to eat, warm the tortillas by heating each one on the edge of the barbecue hotplate (or in a hot cast-iron pan) for a few seconds on each side and store in a folded clean tea towel (dish towel). The tortillas will stay warm and soft.

To finish the salsa, add 1 teaspoon of salt, some pepper, the lime juice, extra virgin olive oil and the reserved chopped coriander leaves to the salsa and stir just to mix it well.

Oil the centre of the barbecue hotplate and fry the fish, stirring often, until cooked through. When it has changed colour, it’s cooked. As soon as it is ready, scoop from the hotplate into a warmed bowl and squeeze the lime juice over.

Lay all the ingredients on the table and let everybody help themselves. You make a taco by reclining a warm tortilla on your plate, topping with a little fish, plenty of salsa (avoiding the garlic cloves), and rolling it up.

Perhaps put some hot chilli sauce on the table for heat lovers, too.


This recipe from Summer on Fat Pig Farm by Matthew Evans is reproduced with the kind permission of the author and publisher. See links below for further recipes.

Read our review of Summer on Fat Pig Farm here »

Summer on Fat Pig Farm by Matthew Evans is published by Murdoch Books (Sydney, NSW, Nov 2015, HC, 256pp, RRP A49.99) and is available at all good bookstores or directly from the publisher here »

Or search for it online at »

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February 11th, 2016
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