The Cuisine of Shondaland: A Really Good Taco

Since ABC’s TGIT lineup is on hiatus until 2016, I decided to do something that I did a long time ago.

When I moved to Hawaii, I was excited to get to experience life from a different angle, in a different place, where many people looked similar to me, but spoke entirely differently. I was excited to learn more about my heritage as a descendant of the indigenous peoples who inhabited the Hawaiian Islands prior to contact with the Western World. But I missed my mother terribly sometimes, and it wasn’t feasible for me to return home to New York to visit as often as I would have liked. So I walked into the kitchen, and decided to cook one of my mom’s recipes.

I found comfort in cooking those dishes my mom cooked so often during my childhood. I felt close to her, and the physical distance wasn’t so bad after attempting one of my mother’s dishes… and eventually perfecting them.

Now, I love, love, love, LOOOVEEE Shonda Rhimes’ work. I like the complexity of the characters of Grey’s Anatomy and the womanism-influenced character development of Olivia Pope on Scandal. And any reason to watch Viola Davis act is a reason enough for me. So since Shondaland’s main TGIT programs are on hiatus- I thought I’d do the “Missing You So I Will Cook Your Food” exercise.

I’ll be starting with the first episode of Season 7 of Grey’s Anatomy “With You I’m Born Again.”


This is the episode where the surgeons and staff of Seattle Grace-Mercy West are processing the traumatic, violent events of the shooting that occurred at the end of Season 6. We see this scene, where most of our familiar team of scalpel-wielding sweethearts are in a group therapy session.

Now, knowing our scalpel-wielding sweethearts as we do, we know they are not interested in a mandated group therapy session. Blank stares, audible sighs, and almost an eerie sound of everyone rolling their eyes in unison fill the room. The Psychiatrist overseeing the session keeps on asking if anyone has anything they would like to contribute or say. More blank states and sighs.

Until of course, Dr. Cristina Yang breaks the ice…

YANG: I ate a really good taco, from one of those trucks by the side of the road…

MEREDITH GREY: [displeased] When?

YANG: [dismissive] Last night, you were asleep.

AVERY: Which one? The one on Seventh?

KAREV: I wanna go, I like tacos.

KEPNER: Me too!

LEXXIE GREY: [softly] I read a book.

Let’s step away from Lexxie Grey and her processing of her PTSD, let’s talk about the taco for a moment.

Why was it really good?

What kind of taco was it?

Corn or Flour tortilla?

That’s probably the second most pressing question I have about Grey’s Anatomy.

Since we have little information on the type, taste and pretty much everything about said taco aside from the fact that it was “really good”, I guess I’ll just have to make my own taco and imagine Dr. Yang eating it, from a truck, on the side of the road.


Fresh ingredients, folks! (The cod is in it’s wrapping from the market behind the tortillas.)



(four servings)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time:  10 minutes
1/2 cup Flour
1 tbsp. Olive Oil
4 sprigs of Cilantro, roughly chopped
8 soft Corn tortillas
Cod filet, in strips or chunks.
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Pepper
1 Radish, sliced into coin-sized pieces
1/2 Red Onion, minced
Salsa Verde
4 Lime Wedges

In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper and flour, mix well. Dip the fish  in the dry mixture, making sure to coat the pieces evenly.

In a small cooking pan, heat 1tbsp. of the Olive oil. Sauté the coated tilapia strips on both sides about 3 minutes per side, until cooked through. Place on paper towels or rack to absorb any excess oil.

Wipe out the leftover oil from the pan and heat each tortilla, flipping them over after 1-2 minutes.

Assemble the tacos, two tortillas per taco, with tilapia, onions, cilantro and radish. Drizzle salsa verde and to give it that “really good taco” quality that Cristina Yang was talking about, give the entire taco a squeeze of lime.

Now, that should provide some answers about the taco in question.





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