Happy Cinco de Mayo AND Taco Tuesday! How fitting that these two days line up this year. In honor of this double dose of celebration, we are sharing our go-to fish taco recipe with you.
We love fish tacos! To us, they scream warm weather and their versatility is endless. When it comes to cooking, our approach is pretty “go with the flow.” Each time, our fish tacos will turn out differently because we like to use what we have in our fridge and pantry. We’ve attempted to place measurements using our best guess of our typical approach for each component here, but feel free to use them as a base and make your own tweaks. That’s the joy of cooking – it should be free flowing and fun!
A few tips:
If you want to keep this low-carb, you can simply omit the tortillas and make a bowl instead with the slaw, salsa and fish. We have also served these things over cauliflower rice to switch it up. See what we mean about versatility?
Buy whatever fish you have access to, just avoid tilapia and any other farm-raised fish. Wild-caught is best. Fresh fish is great and we like to buy it when we find a good sale. Most of the time, though, we’ll buy a bag of frozen halibut, Mahi Mahi or cod filets from Costco and thaw however many pieces we need by placing them in the fridge the night before we make tacos. If you’re short on time, place the filets in a bowl of lukewarm water (leave the packaging on). Once the water becomes cold, refresh the water and repeat until thawed (takes about 20 minutes).
If you don’t feel like making the pineapple or mango salsa, leave it out! The tacos are delicious with the slaw and fish alone.
The portions mentioned here are suggested for four servings. However, when we make the slaw and salsa, we increase the measurements to use up the entire heads of cabbages and/or pineapple. Then, we eat up the remaining slaw and salsa during the rest of the week.
Easy, Customizable Fish Tacos
- 1/2 lb White fleshed fish (such as Mahi Mahi, wild cod, or halibut – can be fresh or frozen, see note)
- 1.5 tsp Paprika (smoked works, too)
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Onion powder
- 1/4 tsp Black pepper
- 1/4 tsp Garlic powder
- 1/8 Cayenne (optional, a little adds a lot of spice!)
- 1/8 tsp Oregano (optional)
- 1 tbsp Butter or olive oil (see note)
- Tortillas of your choice
- 1/4 head Green cabbage (small), thinly sliced
- 1/4 head Purple cabbage (small), thinly sliced
- 1 Jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced (optional)
- 1/2 Lime, juiced
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Cumin
- 1/4 c Mayonnaise (try our Homemade Mayo recipe – search our site to find it!)
Pineapple or Mango Salsa
- 1/2 whole Pineapple, chopped (or two ripe champagne mangoes or one ripe red mango)
- 1 Jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced (Serrano can be substituted, but will be spicier)
- 1/4 Red onion (optional, white, yellow or sweet onion can be substituted)
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 Lime, juiced
- 2 tbsp Cilantro, chopped (optional)
- Cilantro, chopped
- Cotija cheese
- Avocado slices or guacamole
- Fresh onion
Zesty Slaw (can be made one day ahead)
- Combine the lime, salt, cumin and mayo in a small dish.
- Mix the seasoned mayo with the shaved cabbage and jalapeño and set aside.
Salsa (can be made one day ahead)
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
- Taste for salt and add more if needed.
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.
- Mix the spices together in a small bowl. If you are cooking the fish in whole pieces, sprinkle roughly half the seasoning over the top of the fish (enough to fully cover the top of the fish). If you cut the fish into chunks, sprinkle enough seasoning to lightly coat all sides of the pieces. Pour the remaining seasoning into a sealable container and save for the next time you make this recipe (or use it with another meal).
- Once the skillet is hot, carefully place the fish seasoned-side down in the pan (the oil may splatter if very hot so be careful!). If your fish is in chunks, simply place them in the pan.
- Sprinkle the remaining seasoning over the tops of the fish while they are cooking in the pan. (Omit this step if using cut fish)
- After three minutes, flip the fish over to the other side, or stir the pieces so that they begin browning on the opposite side, scraping any stuck bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Cook another three minutes. The fish is done when it's opaque and flakes easily when poked with a fork. If you are cooking a whole piece of fish that is thick, it will take longer than a longer, thin piece, or sliced chunks.
- If whole, slice the fish into strips.
- Here’s our favorite way to prepare taco shells (we prefer non-GMO white corn tortillas). Heat some butter in a skillet until sizzling. Place the tortilla in the pan and cook until it starts to brown slightly. Flip and brown the other side, repeating with however many tortillas needed. This method really brings out the delicious corn flavor of the tortilla! You can also do this method with flour tortillas.
- Place the fish pieces in the center of the tortillas. Top with slaw and salsa, plus any other desired toppings.
- Fish: Buy whatever fish you have access to, just avoid tilapia and any other farm-raised fish. Wild-caught is best. Fresh fish is great and we like to buy it when we find a good sale. Most of the time, though, we’ll buy a bag of frozen halibut, Mahi Mahi or cod filets from Costco and thaw however many pieces we need by placing them in the fridge the night before we make tacos. If you’re short on time, place the filets in a bowl of lukewarm water (leave the packaging on). Once the water becomes cold, refresh the water and repeat until thawed (takes about 20 minutes).
- Tortillas: we love white corn tortillas (non-GMO, organic if we can find them) and use the toasting method mentioned in the instructions – it takes the tacos to a whole new level of flavor!! Corn tortillas are also great if you’re avoiding gluten (just be sure the package says “gluten free”). You can definitely use flour tortillas if you want. You can also skip the tortilla if you’re going low-carb. We like to eat just the mix of fish, slaw and salsa! Sometimes, we serve it over cauliflower rice simmered in coconut milk.