Fish Tacos Recipe

Fish Tacos Recipe Video (scroll down for recipe)

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!)

fish tacos

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.

Serve these fish tacos with smoky black beans and you won’t be sorry (or maybe you will but it will probably be worth it).

Fish Tacos Recipe – Printable!


Fish Tacos

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5 from 9 reviews

  • Author: Hilah Johnson
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


  • Coleslaw topping:
  • 2 cups finely shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup peeled and julienned jicama
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves and stems
  • Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 13 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
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal or fine polenta
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless fish
  • 23 tablespoons oil
  • 8 corn tortillas


  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.


Nutrition info is an estimate.


  • Serving Size: 2 tacos
  • Calories: 321
  • Fat: 13
  • Carbohydrates: 29
  • Protein: 24

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

fish taco recipe


  1. The Other Randy on July 4, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    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.

    • Hilah on July 6, 2014 at 10:37 am

      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 on July 5, 2014 at 9:21 am

    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!

    • Hilah on July 6, 2014 at 10:37 am

      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 on July 6, 2014 at 11:18 am

        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. Gene Cox on July 5, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    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.

    • Hilah on July 6, 2014 at 10:38 am

      I know what you mean, Gene. Hope you try them and find that they are not terrible, but delicious! 😉

  4. Don on July 7, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    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 on July 7, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    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!

    • Hilah on July 9, 2014 at 7:24 am

      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. Faren on July 13, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    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!

    • Hilah on July 13, 2014 at 5:43 pm

      Yay! Wonderful to hear that, Faren! 🙂

  7. Great Stone Face on July 21, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    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.

    • Hilah on July 21, 2014 at 5:22 pm

      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. Russell on October 19, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    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! 😀


    • Hilah on October 20, 2014 at 10:47 am

      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.

      • Russell on October 23, 2014 at 6:30 am

        Well I got the basil/mint idea to sub. for cilantro from the mango salsa recipe of yours. Anyway, I do KISS on the slaw & it’s incredible: cabbage, onion, maybe a jalapeño if I have one, salt & not as much lime juice, then the dressing. Home-made mayo really makes it good, and since I do not use a lot of it there’s no point in buying it–I just spend 20 minutes w/a whisk (it is a P-I-T-A) but it tastes great. The chipotles in adobo are just wonderful. Those plus red-wine vinegar also give the sauce a pretty pink-ish color.

  9. Sharon on February 16, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    Hilah, as promised I made the fish tacos tonight, they were awesome but…my slaw sucked for some reason. I was short on regular mayo (I make my own) so I just used Sir Kensingtons chipotle mayo instead. And I think maybe I put too much lime juice? It was goopy. also shredded the cabbage and jicama in my food processor which pretty much pulverized it. But…all that said the fish was delish accompanied by my version of Spanish rice (I saute japalenos and red peppers in cayenne oil then throw in the cooked rice). I did take a photo of the tacos, I’ll post it on your fb. Thanks for helping me with dinna’ sista’!

    • Hilah on February 16, 2016 at 8:31 pm

      Thanks, Sharon! I’ve never done the slaw in a food processor but I can imagine that jicama in a FP would get too watery and make it goopy. Glad you enjoyed the tacos, though! 🙂

    • Russell on February 22, 2016 at 6:13 pm

      Sharon see my comment above about cutting back on the lime juice to 1 Tbsp. in the slaw itself, otherwise it does get awfully “wet”. Don’t know about the jicama b/c I just make it w/the cabbage & onion but in some food processors if you hit it w/the “pulse” feature you could probably chop it w/o turning it into cabbage & onion puree.

  10. Becky on February 19, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Hilah, I’ve made fish tacos only a couple times… what kind do you prefer? I guess any white fish would work? Tilapia, cod, halibut….. What’s your preference?

    • Hilah on February 19, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      Hey Becky!
      I really like cod and mahi mahi for fish tacos. Those two are probably my favorite. But you’re right, pretty much any firm white fish will work in this recipe. I’ve also used red snapper.

  11. Ken David on February 19, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    This is the best fish taco recipe I’ve ever eaten. My wife agrees. Great combination of flavors and the texture is wonderful although the store didn’t have any jicama. We will keep watching your videos, Miss Hilah.

    • Hilah on February 19, 2017 at 10:28 pm

      I’m so glad to hear, Ken! 🙂 I think it’s a pretty great fish taco recipe, too

  12. Brook on July 21, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    Everyone loved this dish and I have four kids! My 13 year old thanked me twice and said this was the best meal. My husband said this is the best meal we’ve ever had. I did not substitute anything or leave anything out. Great dish! Best fish tacos I’ve ever made. I was looking for a recipe that used malt vinegar and I found it!!

    • Hilah on July 23, 2018 at 9:32 am

      Yay! That’s so great to hear, Brook! 😀

  13. Bonny on September 3, 2023 at 1:33 pm

    Been using your recipe like, FOREVER! It is the best. Light breading & great slaw topping. Used your ingredients. Except for the first few years, I didn’t use jicama. But I use it now. It adds that extra crunch.

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