Fish tacos so delicious, you can imagine yourself in a beachside restaurant. Flaky chili-lime seasoned fish, crunchy cilantro-cabbage slaw, and a light adobo crema make an irresistible combination.
Hey there! It’s Monica from Nourish and Fete, and I’m so excited to share another fresh, fast, and flavorful recipe with you. If you love tacos, you’re in the right place!
Tacos are pretty much a weekly event in my house, and I love the endless variety of good fillings. You can never have too many options! We love a good blackened salmon or making easy ground beef taco meat in the Instant Pot.
You’ll love that these fish tacos have restaurant-quality flavor, yet land on the table in just 25 minutes, with no need to turn on the oven. The fish is perfectly seasoned and cooked to flaky perfection with just a few minutes in a piping hot skillet. So easy!
What you need to make healthy fish tacos
- Tilapia or another firm white fish.
- Avocado or olive oil: I prefer cooking the fish in avocado oil, because it has a higher smoke point, but olive oil works, as well.
- Shredded cabbage: red, white, or a combination.
- Shredded carrots: add terrific color, crunch, and nutrition to the slaw.
- Limes: pick up several. You’ll want to use lime juice in the fish, crema, and slaw, and a few extra wedges make for a beautiful presentation served alongside the tacos.
- Chopped cilantro: a brilliant pop of both color and flavor in the slaw.
- Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt: either works well as the base of the crema, so use whichever you keep on hand.
- Adobo sauce: this is the magic sauce that surrounds canned chipotle chili peppers, which are sold near other Mexican products in most major grocery stores. If you don’t have any, leave it out and add 1/2 teaspoon chili powder to the crema, instead.
- Seasonings: cumin, chili powder, kosher salt.
- Tortillas for serving: The fish and slaw are so flavorful you don’t need to go crazy on additional toppings, but of course you need a taco vessel! Use any variety you like. For a special occasion, we really love making either corn or flour tortillas at home. It’s surprisingly easy and extremely rewarding!
Tips and tricks
- Save your extra adobo: You only need a little bit of adobo sauce for this recipe, so transfer the extra — along with the chilis — to a small airtight container and store in the fridge. It stays good for weeks and is amazing to have on hand. It adds flavor and heat to just about any Mexican or Tex-Mex meal.
- Don’t fret the fish: Don’t worry if the fish breaks apart while it cooks in the skillet. You want it in chunks anyway for the tacos! This is another reason this recipe is so easy and stress-free.
- Char your tortillas! This is a simple trick, but one that I skipped for far too many years before realizing how easy and impactful it is. If you have a gas range, simply hold each tortilla over the open flame for 3-4 seconds on each side, using tongs to flip. This is the secret to those charred edges and the best way to make tortillas soft and pliable. Just watch them carefully — I have had a tortilla or two start to smoke. 😉
- Layer thoughtfully: It may seem counterintuitive, but I like to build these tacos with the slaw on the bottom, followed by the fish, topped with the crema. I find this approach keeps the tortilla from getting soggy and helps everything hold together.
- 1/3 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1-2 teaspoons adobo sauce optional, see note
- 1-2 teaspoons water just enough to thin the sauce as desired
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups shredded cabbage red, white, or a mixture
- 1/4 cup shredded carrots
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
- juice of 1 lime
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- tortillas charred or warmed
- lime wedges
- Season the fish on both sides with cumin, chili powder, and salt; set aside.
- Prep the sauce and the slaw. Whisk sour cream or Greek yogurt, juice of 1/2 lime, water, chili powder, and salt together in a small bowl. Toss slaw ingredients together in a medium bowl. Place both in the fridge until ready to eat.
- Cook the fish. Drizzle olive or avocado oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, place fish in the skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, just until the fish is cooked through and blackened in spots. Remove fish from the skillet, spritz with lime juice, and break apart into large chunks.
- Assemble the tacos, starting with the charred or warmed tortilla and layering on slaw, fish, and sauce, in that order. Add other toppings, as desired, and serve with extra lime wedges.
- Adobo sauce is most easily found in a small can accompanying chipotle chili peppers, which you can usually find near other Mexican foods in major grocery stores. If you don’t have any, leave it out and stir 1/2 teaspoon chili powder into the sauce, instead.
- This yields between 8-12 tacos, depending on how large and how full your tortillas are. Nutritional estimate is per 2 generous tacos, or 1/4 of the recipe, but will vary depending on the type of tortillas and other toppings used.