All 📸 by Kasper Kristoffersen

Holy Mole!

Introducing the taco of tomorrow — a delicious dish developed by SPACE10 and made with ingredients grown in our underground aquaponics system. From freshwater fish and pea-shoot mole, to chilis, herbs and veggies in the salsa verde and hot sauce, our novel take on the taco is designed not only to showcase the food of the future but to titillate the taste buds.

First we brought you Tomorrow’s Meatball — a visual rethinking of the popular meatball using alternative ingredients such as insects, algae and lab-grown meat. Then came our spin on our favourite fast-food dishes — such as the Dogless Hotdog, the Neatball and the Bug Burger.

Now, with the summer holidays looming, we’re delighted to introduce the latest dish we’ve developed to showcase the kind of food we could one day be eating.

Say hello to the Holy Mole Fish Taco. It’s our take on everyone’s favourite Mexican snack — and it’s made with ingredients that can be grown in the aquaponics system located in the basement of our Copenhagen headquarters.

Aqua-what? Aquaponics has been described as “the marriage between aquaculture and hydroponics”. The former is a fancy word for farming aquatic animals such as fish. The latter is a clever way of growing plants in a nutrient solution rather than in soil. And aquaponics? Well, that’s simply a method of growing fish and plants together in a closed-loop system.

Let’s break it down. The fish are reared in tanks and, as the water circulates through the system, the waste produced by the fish breaks down into nitrates and nitrites, which are absorbed by the plants and help them grow.

Because this method doesn’t require any fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides, aquaponics is seen as sustainable and eco-friendly. And thanks to their exible design, aquaponic systems can be installed pretty much anywhere — from warehouses to rooftops to basements and beyond.

Right now, we’re rearing perch and growing herbs and vegetables such as coriander, parsley, tomatoes and chili peppers. Which is what you’ll find in one of our tasty Holy Mole Fish Tacos.

First, of course, there’s the fish. Our tacos are made using fillets of perch that we’ve cured in salt, sugar and aquaponically grown dill. Then there’s the mole. We make ours by crushing fresh pea-shoots with some peas, garlic, lemon and salt. We add some salsa verde — which contains aquaponically grown cucumbers, green tomatoes, green chili, coriander and parsley — followed by a dash of hot sauce made with aquaponically grown tomatoes and chilis. Add some chopped coriander and wrap it all together in sourdough flatbread and you’ve got the Holy Mole Fish Taco. Or what we like to call the finest in “tank-to-tongue” cuisine.

“I looked at all the elements in a traditional taco and created a dish containing ingredients we can grow in an aquaponics system,” explains SPACE10’s chef and food designer Simon Perez. “You could say that, with this little treat, you’reactually eating an entire ecosystem.”

We also make our taco without avocados. Why? Because we’re thoughtful eaters and have serious issues with our beloved avos. As the Guardian recently put it, “our international appetite for this unique fruit is indirectly fuelling illegal deforestation and environmental degradation”. If that weren’t bad enough,avocados are also hardcore water-guzzlers. In fact, it takes 280 liters (74 gallons) of irrigated water to grow 450 grams (a pound) of avos in California.

One more thing. Like all our dishes, these tacos are fresh from our test kitchen — so don’t expect to see them on IKEA’s menu. But they do reflect the bedrock of our culinary research. You see, we believe dishes shouldn’t just be healthy or sustainable, they should be delicious, too — and that to change people’s minds about food, we have to titillate their taste buds. So tuck in!

Hungry for more? Check out the first five classic dishes we redesigned.