Fish Tacos

fish tacos

My first ever remake! I’ve updated my fish tacos recipe slightly, jazzing up the slaw and adding a chipotle sauce to go on top. I also have moved away from tilapia and instead have been making these with cod or snapper. Any firm white or medium-bodied fish will work fine. (For a laugh, be sure to check out the original how to make fish tacos video and recipe!)

If you’ve never eaten jícama, you should try it. A modest-looking brown tuber with thick, fibrous skin, jícama is found near the onions and potatoes and yucca root in most produce sections. Try a Latin market if your regular store doesn’t carry them. They are cheap (50 cents a pound or so) and they store well at room temperature. Make sure you pick one with no blemishes, soft spots, white spots, or gashes, though. Once that tough skin is perforated, they can spoil quickly.

When you’re ready to eat, use a paring knife to tear away strips of the skin. Starting at one end, you should be able to easily remove strips lengthwise (end to end) to get most of the skin off. If there’s still a fibrous underlayer left, use a vegetable peeler to get it all. Then slice into chips or sticks and store in the fridge for quick snacking. I love jícama dipped in hummus or salsa, or added to this slaw. The flavor is slightly sweet, like a bland apple; the texture is crisp and juicy and a little starchy, similar to a raw potato. If that sounds unappealing to you, try it anyway. I think you’ll like it.

fish taco recipe

Fish Tacos Recipe Video

Fish Tacos Recipe – Printable!

5.0 from 5 reviews
Fish Tacos
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Coleslaw topping:
  • 2 cups finely shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup peeled and julienned jicama
  • ½ cup diced white onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro leaves and stems
  • Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1-3 teaspoons minced chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon malt vinegar
  • pinch salt
  • Fish
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon anise seed
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup cornmeal or fine polenta
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless fish
  • 2-3 tablespoons oil
  • 12 corn tortillas
Instructions
  1. Combine all slaw ingredients except cilantro in a large bowl and toss to get cabbage well coated. Add cilantro last and set aside at room temperature.
  2. Combine all sause ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate.
  3. Grind cumin and anise together, add remaining spices and mix well with cornmeal.
  4. Cut fish into 1 inch strips and roll generously in cornmeal mixture.
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and cook the fish in two batches, turning to get all sides browned, until it flakes easily. This should take 5-7 minutes total per batch, depending on thickness of fish fillets.
  6. Cook second batch, adding more oil to skillet if needed.
  7. Allow fish to drain and cool on paper towels while you heat tortillas.

For a lighter fish taco, try this fish taco lettuce wraps recipe.

 

Comments

  1. The Other Randy says:

    Oh, drat. I wish I’d read my RSS feeds earlier. I just used the cod I defrosted to make fishcakes veracruzano. Ironically, I used tilapia as the binder. Even as I decided I’d finally nailed my recipe in progress, I was thinking I should make fish tacos soon.

    The sauce sounds really intriguing. Finally another use for malt vinegar. I keep all my vinegars on the same shelf and every time I need one I have to move the malt vinegar and wonder when’s the last time I used it. It’s probably too much to hope it improves with age. By coincidence, years ago I found Eddie Wilson’s recipe for an extremely simple sauce in The Threadgill Cookbook. Simply throw sour cream and chipotles in adobo into a blender and whiz. At some point I decided I wanted a chipotle salad dressing and used Wilson’s recipe as a starting point. To thin it a bit, I added lime juice. And since I love cumin it got added as well.

    • I also have had the same bottle of malt vinegar for years. I haven’t tried it, but I bet you could make some nice quick pickles from it. To me it’s kind of sweet and nutty on its own. Your fishcakes veracruzano sound nice. I love snapper Veracruz.

  2. DrummerMike says:

    Born and raised in San Diego, I’ve had so many different types of fish tacos. From SoCal, all over Baja California, this one is just as good. Can I also say that between watching my grandmother cook, and growing up in 2 Mexican restaurants owned by my aunts, I really enjoy many of theses recipes. Okay, I’ll just come out and say it, I’m a fan!

    • Thanks, Mike! Glad you approve of my fish tacos recipe. :) I like the cornmeal breading better than some I’ve had with a tempura-type batter.

      • DrummerMike says:

        I concur with you about the breading. While I like tempura, I like my fish tacos with more of a breading than a batter. These are so frickin good!!

  3. I have always been curious about fish tacos. I have been scared to try them because it sounds terrible. Thank you for demystifying them. It helps to know what the are cooked with.

  4. Out here in Calee forn yuh they just chop raw cabbage, which I never liked. I’m digging the slaw you made. Gonna try that real soon.

  5. Kristin says:

    I made these tonight and they were delicious! This is going to be one of our regular taco recipes. My man and I have had fish tacos out at multiple restaurants and have been very disappointed. He was skeptical when I said I was making them but was pleasantly surprised!
    Thanks Hilah! Love your food and videos :)
    PS, congrats on the baby!

    • Yippee! So happy to have made fish taco lovers out of y’all, Kristin. That sounds kinda bad, but the sentiment is true!
      Thanks for writing and thanks for your congratulations. :)

  6. Hilah, these were just divine. I made them last night. My local grocer didn’t have anise or malt vinegar but it still came together well. The sauce was so decadent. I made mine with veganaise and I’d bet it was just as delicious. And the slaw was refreshing enough to cut the richness of that sauce. So good. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Jicama: I love the stuff. Slightly sweet. Always crisp. One other thing to watch for — they can develop the blue fuzzy mold, so check them. I found a bin full of moldy jicamas at Whole Foods once in Virginia.

    Fish: Glad you dropped the tilapia. I don’t each the stuff. I’ve read many scary stories about the farming practices for that species. Cod, haddock, and grouper are much tastier.

    • Ooh, I’ve never seen blue mold on them! Seems kind of pretty. :)
      And yes, sometimes I wish I hadn’t read about tilapia, but it’s too late now. Pangasius is another one I stay away from.

  8. Dear Hilah:

    I’ve not made the tacos themselves yet (one day, I promise) but the slaw? That is the bomb-sha-bomb-bomb, bomb-a**-diggity! OMG it’s A. MAZ. ING. And I don’t use the jicama: just the cabbage & onion. I must’ve made it 5-6x in the last month or so. It’s SOOOOO GOOOOOD. No cilantro either, of course (we had this discussion). I usually use 1/2 basil 1/2 mint. Tonight I forgot that & it was still great. I cut back on the lime juice for the slaw itself to only 1 TBSP b/c otherwise there is a lot of liquid in the bottom. Also I don’t have malt vinegar so I’ve used regular apple cider vinegar or tonight red wine vinegar. Tonight even though I forgot the herbs I threw in a jalapeño that had been on the counter for a week & turned a real pretty reddish-orange in w/the cabbage & onion. W/the chipotles, some red-wine vinegar, lime juice & home-made mayo (yes, Alton Brown’s Mayo Clinic recipe) it makes the tastiest sauce EVER. I never would’ve come up w/this variation on really goopy mayo-heavy bland slaw, so thank you. I can’t stop making this & eating it all in one sitting! :-D

    Russell

    • Thank you for sharing your changes, Russell! The basil/mint sounds delightful. I love a simple, non-goopy slaw, too so thank YOU for inspiring me to try this some different ways.

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