Everyone loves tacos, am I right?
I’m about to make Taco Tuesday (or any other day, for that matter) become a reality in your house with these easy fish tacos.
I particularly love fish tacos, but if you’re like me, you assume that making them at home is a difficult or major undertaking. It’s so not! I made these last night in under 30 minutes, and they were so delicious and easy that I decided I had to share the recipe with you. I even whipped up a very fast and healthier version of the traditional creamy Baja-style sauce to drizzle on the tacos. This is a perfect weeknight meal, or a fun dinner party recipe to make for friends.
Most people with whom I work and interact in life are intimidated by making fish at home, but it’s seriously one of the easier proteins to cook, whether by stove or oven.
I used wild cod that I got from Whole Foods that was in the freezer, but any delicate, flaky white fish will do. I quickly defrosted it by running it under hot water (put the fish in a ziploc while you do this). Snapper, halibut, or mahi mahi would work. You can make this recipe gluten free or paleo.
Here’s what you’ll need for the fish tacos:
- Non-stick skillet. Don’t use cast iron for fish. I use a Green Pan.
- 1 to 1.5 pounds wild caught flaky white fish (for approx 4 tacos)
- chili powder
- sea salt and pepper
- olive oil
- tortillas. You can use organic corn, or make your own cauliflower tortillas or plantain tortillas for a paleo version
- lime or lime essential oil
For the Baja sauce (optional, but really does take this meal over the edge, and so easy to make)
- mayo. You can use egg free mayo; healthy store-bought mayo, or make your own.
- sour cream or Greek or thick coconut milk yogurt (you could probably leave this out in a pinch, but it made the sauce tastier)
- Sriracha sauce
- garlic powder
- more lime
Mind-Blowing Fish Tacos
These are healthy (not the breaded and fried kind) and are gluten free and can be made dairy free. I made these with what I had in my refrigerator (totally did not plan ahead for this recipe). For example, I didn’t have limes, so I used lime essential oil. I didn’t have sour cream to add to the taco sauce, so I used greek yogurt. The sauce probably would have been fine with just the mayo and other ingredients. You could also use plain coconut yogurt for the Baja sauce.
1 to 1.5 pounds of fish will yield about 4 tacos, so plan accordingly. You’ll need to marinate the fish for 15 minutes prior to cooking. You can make the Baja sauce and slaw (or just shred some cabbage if that’s all you have) and set up the condiments (salsas, avocado, hot sauce, etc) while the fish marinates.
You can of course grill the fish, but unless you are using a heartier fish like mahi mahi, use care on the grill so the fish doesn’t fall apart as it cooks and gets flaky.
- For the tacos:
- 1 to 1.5 pounds wild cod or any flaky white fish
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ - 1 tsp salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper
- juice of a lime (more or less) or a couple drops lime essential oil
- Make the marinade: combine olive oil, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, lime, and salt in a bowl and submerge and coat the fish. Top with freshly ground black pepper.
- Leave for 7-8 minutes, then flip the fish and coat and leave an additional 7-8 minutes.
- Heat non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tbsp coconut oil. I added a little butter too for flavor.
- When skillet is hot, add fish skin-side down (or if it's skinless, just guess which side the skin was on. You'll probably guess right).
- Cook for 3-4 minutes, then carefully flip. Cook an additional 2-5 minutes. Totally depends on your stove, but total cooking time ranges from 5 to 10 minutes.
- Fish will be flaky but not tough. Remove from heat and let it rest for a few minutes while you heat the tortillas.
- It will continue cooking while it rests, so remove it right before you think it's finished cooking. Drizzle pan sauce over it while it rests.
While the fish is marinating, make the Baja sauce: Combine 1/4 cup (roughly) mayo, 1 tsp Sriracha, 1/4 cup yogurt or sour cream (or both together to make 1/4 cup), 1 tsp garlic powder, and 1-2 tbsp lime juice. I didn’t measure any of this, so just go by what tastes good to you. I tend to like more Sriracha in mine.
You can also make a slaw. I just chopped some green cabbage because that’s what I had on hand, but you could mix purple cabbage with apple cider vinegar and sliced radishes, cilantro, red onion, garlic, tomatoes, jalapenos, etc. Try topping with cotija, a mild Mexican cheese.
Once the fish is finished, heat the tortillas in the oven, in a dry pan on the stove, or directly over a gas flame on the stove.
To assemble, add fish, slaw, and sauce to tortillas, and top with chopped avocado, salsa, cotija, etc, if desired. I had tropical salsa on hand, and it was delicious! You could also serve these with raw kraut instead of slaw for a probiotic hit. Farmhouse Cultures has a jalapeno kraut that would be perfect. Invite friends over for a taco night!
Let me know how yours turn out!
Mary Vance is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and author specializing in digestive health. In addition to her coaching practice, she offers courses to help you heal your gut and kick nagging digestive issues for good. Mary lives in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe in Northern California. Read more about her coaching practice here and her background here.