I was introduced to fish tacos while living in Alaska when a friend of mine was visiting from Tennessee. He wanted to try something different and chose fish tacos from the menu. We were both skeptical even though we both love fish we just wasn’t too sure about fish in a taco. As the saying goes “ don’t knock it till you try it ” my friend devoured the fish tacos recipe and ordered another plate of them for good measure.
Since then I’ve enjoyed fish tacos and must admit I still get funny looks when I suggest my fish tacos to others, that is until they try them. You can use bluegill, crappie, catfish or any fish you desire. If the fishing has been slow you can use tilapia or cod for your fish tacos recipe. This fish tacos recipe calls for grilled fish, but you can also fry yours if you like. Let’s get started!
Fish Tacos Ingredients
- 1 pound firm white fish
- 2 limes, halved
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 finely chopped garlic clove
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder or 1 pack of taco seasoning
- Vegetable oil
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- 1 small head of red cabbage, cored and sliced for slaw topping
- 1 red onion, sliced for slaw
- ¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro
- 6-8 inch soft tortillas
Optional Sides For Fish Tacos
- Avocado (sliced)
- Sour cream
- Hot sauce
- Shredded cheese
- Fish Tacos Recipe Instructions
Preparing The Fish
This fish tacos recipe calls for grilled fish, but you can use your favorite batter and fry your fish as well. You can also cook your fish in the oven if you like. Lay your fillets on a dish individually and squeeze a lime over them. Add the garlic, cumin taco seasoning or chili powder and a little oil to a bowl and mix into a marinade. Pour the marinade throughout the fillets then turn each fillet to fully coat. Place the fish in the fridge to marinate while you prepare the slaw. This is a great time to preheat the grill or oven.
Fish Tacos Slaw
I like this slaw in my fish tacos, but if cabbage and onion ain’t your thing then some lettuce and salsa will do. The slaw is simple and packed with flavor. It also adds some great color and texture to your fish taco. Finely slice your cabbage and place into a mixing bowl. Do the same with the sweet red onion. Now add the cilantro, sea salt, pepper and a little oil. I always use fresh cilantro chopped as fine as possible. You can use prepared seasonings, but fresh is better. Squeeze half a lime on top. Toss to combine and you’re done. Taste your slaw and add seasonings to your liking.
Cooking The Fish
If you’re using the oven to cook your fish, place the fish into the oven preheated to 350 degrees. If you cook the fish in the marinade keep in mind that your fish will be very moist and flakey. This is fine, but if you drain the marinade first the fish will dry out a bit and be a little more suitable for a taco. If you use your grill wipe or spray the grate with oil to prevent sticking. Place each fillet on the grill. I like to use the grill because the fish cooks firm and flaky and will stay in the tortilla shell better.
Watch the fillets closely. When you see grill marks and the outside edges turn white flip them. A few minutes to each side should do depending on the size of your fillets. Don’t worry if your fillets break up a little when turning. When your fish is done break them apart and place in a bowl. Cover with a clean dish towel to maintain the warmth. Heat your tortillas on the grill or in a pan with a little oil to warm them up. Your ready to build your tacos.
Building The Fish Taco
With all your toppings on the table you can now build the fish taco to your taste. I like everything on my fish tacos. In the photo I kept the tacos simple because a fully built taco can look a mess if you add all the toppings I do. I do like the taco with just fish and the slaw and it’s amazing how flavorful the slaw makes the taco. I serve sliced avocado on the side as a garnish mainly to leave room for all the other toppings. There is just so much room in those tortilla shells.
These tacos are my favorite and are served alone. You can serve with rice or refried beans or any other side you like but these tacos stand alone and are very filling. You can refrigerate all your toppings and heat the fish in a microwave to enjoy your fish tacos recipe for lunch the next day. This is a great camp food too. Just spread out the toppings heat up your tortillas and grill a few of those big bluegills you caught that morning and serve it up at the picnic table. Yum Yum!
Fish Tacos Sauce
This fish tacos recipe is great just like it is, but if you like a little fish tacos sauce on yours here is the answer.
Fish Tacos Sauce Ingredients
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 chipotle peppers minced
- 1 tbsp of fresh chopped cilantro
- Juice of 3 small Mexican limes
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
Mince the peppers and the garlic then add them and the rest of the ingredients to a small mixing bowl. Use a fork to mix the fish tacos sauce well and let it rest a few minutes then place it in the refrigerator until ready to eat your fish tacos.