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Fish Tacos – A Versatile Meal

Fish tacos are made with rich toppings, creamy sauce, and well-seasoned tender fish chunks layered in warm tortillas. Always a winner for fast weeknights dinners and family get-togethers.

Fish Taco Recipe

Mexican recipes are distinct for their dynamism and richness, and this fish taco is not an exception. It comprises three major components seasoned fish chunks, fish taco sauce, and freshly sourced veggies as toppings.

Fish tacos are straightforward to make and always come out impressive. The real star, however, is the fish – it needs to be well seasoned to get the best flavorful tacos.

You can grill, air fry, bake or sear the fish on the stove pot before cutting it into chunks. They are versatile and healthy, and they make a complete meal.

Want another taco recipe? Try my Easy Chicken Taco Recipe; you will enjoy it!

Ingredients for Fish Taco

You will need corn tortillas, ground cumin, cayenne pepper, black pepper, tilapia, olive oil, and unsalted butter.   

  • Tortillas: The tortillas are the housing that takes in all the tacos fillings. Both flour and corn tortillas work fine. I love small corn tortillas for my fish Tacos.
  • Tilapia: I love to use tilapia, cod, or any other white fish.
  • Ground cumin: Get any brand of ground cumin at the grocery.
  • Cayenne pepper: add the desired amount to your taste.
  • Salt: for taste
  • Black pepper: Add to taste.
  • Olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil works fine here.
  • Avocado: this is an excellent addition to the taco toppings.
  • Shredded cabbage: You can use green or purple cabbage for taco toppings. You can also use the store-bought bagged coleslaw mix.
  • Garlic powder: garlic flavor brings the true aroma of the tacos
  • Cilantro: Flavor and garnish
  • Lime juice: this will give your sauce that tangy taste. I love freshly juiced lime, but you can also use bottled lime juice.

Fish Taco Sauce and Toppings

When you get a flavorful fish, you have done half the job. Fish Taco toppings and sauce make your fish tacos an absolute perfection.

Fish taco sauce is a mix of sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice, garlic powder, onion powder, chili pepper, paprika, and sriracha. I have written about how you can make fish taco sauce here, and it is very simple to make. For other taco recipes – Chicken Tacos, you can check how to make taco sauce.

Your fish taco is not complete without taco toppings. To make the filling you need shredded purple cabbage, avocados, Roma tomatoes, red onion, radishes, Cilantro, Fish Taco sauce, and lime.

How to make Fish Tacos

  • Prepare the Fish Taco Sauce: mix all the ingredients for the fish taco sauce. You will find the step-by-step procedure for making it here.
  • Make the Taco toppings: Add about 3 tablespoons of taco sauce to the shredded cabbage in a medium bowl. Toss to coat, and if desired, add more taco sauce. (Don’t allow the sauce to drench the cabbage; the aim is to achieve a thin coating.)
  • Season the fish: Season the fish with cumin, cayenne, salt, and black pepper. Please apply the seasonings to the fish with your fingers to ensure an even coating. 
  • Cook the fish: In a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Tilt the skillet to coat the entire bottom of the skillet. Add and cook the fish for 3 minutes on each side. It is okay if you need to flip the fish and cook for 1-2 minutes more; once they are done, transfer them to a plate.
  • Break up the fish into large chunks with a fork or knife.
  • Warm the tortillas: Wrap 1 or 2 tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave them for 30 seconds until warm. You can also warm the tortillas in a skillet over medium-high heat for about 30 seconds on each side.
  • Start building the tacos: Add a few pieces of fish, cabbage slaw, and any toppings to your tacos. Drizzle some taco sauce on top.

What type of fish is suitable for Fish Tacos?

The typical fish used for Fish Tacos is Tilapia. Can you use other types of fish? Yes, you can use any other white fish like monkfish, haddock, cod, tilapia, haddock, catfish, snapper, or halibut. You will get any of these white fish at the grocery. 

It doesn’t matter if you use flakey or firm fish because you will still break the cooked fish into the tacos. That being said, I will not recommend lean fish like tuna, kingfish, or swordfish; they are not meaty enough to make a good filling for tacos. I will also advise that you avoid delicate fish like flounder.

 I recommend that you use skinless fillets to make cooking and preparation easier. You can ask the attendants at the fish counter to remove the skins for you. On the other hand, if you cannot get skinless fish, you can use the skinned fish. The difference is that the skinned fish cooks a bit longer than the skinless fish. You will know that your fish is done when the fish flakes off the skin.

Corn or Flour Tortillas

You can use any available tortillas that you like. However, corn tortillas give your fish tacos a unique and savory flavor. If you are gluten intolerant, corn tortillas are a great option. You will enjoy any tortilla if you char them lightly and patiently in a dry skillet on the stove.

Tips/Notes

  • If you can’t get cabbage for the toppings, you can use packaged coleslaw mix as an alternative.
  • If you are using frozen fish, I suggest that you thaw it and pat it dry before adding seasoning. Doing this will allow the seasoning to stick well to the fish.
  • Instead of mixing new seasoning for fish Tacos, you can use pre-made taco seasoning. 
  • If you don’t want to cook your fish on the stove pot, you can grill for about 2-3 minutes on each side. You can also air fry for like 5-6 minutes or bake in the oven at 375°F for about 3-5 minutes.

Servings

Fish tacos are enough to make the main meal. They are complete meals, so I don’t serve them with extras. Nevertheless, you can still serve it as a side meal. Fish tacos go well with guacamole, Mexican salsa – Pico de Gallo, Spanish rice, or Instant Pot Kidney Beans.

Other Fish Recipes You Might Like

Fish tacos with guacamole and fresh veggies

Fish Tacos

Fish tacos feature rich toppings, creamy sauce, and well-seasoned and tender fish chunks layered in warm tortillas. Fish tacos are always a winner for fast weeknights dinners and family get-togethers. Check here for how to make delicious and satisfactory fish tacos.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Taco
Calories:

Ingredients

Fish Taco Ingredients:

  • 12 small corn tortillas
  • 1 1/2 lb tilapia
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter

Fish Taco Toppings:

  • 1/2 small purple cabbage – shredded about 4 cups
  • 2 medium avocados sliced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes diced (optional)
  • 1/2 diced red onion
  • 4 radishes thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bunch Cilantro longer stems removed
  • Fish Taco Sauce
  • 1 lime cut into 8 wedges to serve

Instructions

Prepare the Fish Taco Sauce

  • Make the Taco toppings: Add about 3 tablespoons of taco sauce to the shredded cabbage in a medium bowl. Toss to coat, and if desired, add more taco sauce. (Don’t allow the sauce to drench the cabbage; the aim is to achieve a thin coating.)
  • Season the fish: Season the fish with cumin, cayenne, salt, and black pepper. Please apply the seasonings to the fish with your fingers to ensure an even coating.
  • Cook the fish: In a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Tilt the skillet to coat the entire bottom of the skillet. Add and cook the fish for 3 minutes on each side. It is okay if you need to flip the fish and cook for 1-2 minutes more; once they are done, transfer them to a plate.
  • Break up the fish into large chunks with a fork or knife.
  • Warm the tortillas: Wrap 1 or 2 tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave them for 30 seconds until warm. You can also warm the tortillas in a skillet over medium-high heat for about 30 seconds on each side.

Build the tacos:

  • Add a few pieces of fish, avocado, tomatoes, onion, radish, cabbage slaw, and cilantro to your tacos (or use any toppings of your choice). Drizzle some taco sauce on top and enjoy.

Notes

  • If you don’t have a gas stove, you can use a grill or toaster oven to char the tortillas.
  • If you can’t get cabbage for the toppings, you can use packaged coleslaw mix as an alternative.
  • If you are using frozen fish, I suggest that you thaw it and pat it dry before adding seasoning. Doing this will allow the seasoning to stick well to the fish.
  • Instead of mixing new seasoning for fish Tacos, you can use pre-made taco seasoning.
  • If you don’t want to cook your fish on the stove pot, you can grill for about 2-3 minutes on each side. You can also air fry for like 5-6 minutes or bake in the oven at 375°F for about 3-5 minutes.

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