You just can’t go wrong with fresh, flavorful, and healthy Grilled Fish Tacos. These fish tacos are loaded with all the best toppings, including cabbage, pico de gallo and a simple homemade white sauce, or “crema”, and they can be ready in less than 30 minutes.
Oh Fish tacos, how I LOVE you! Some people like fish tacos breaded, or fried, but I personally love them best when they are grilled. The fish maintains it’s fresh, delicious taste and texture and it’s much healthier then breading and frying.
Tips for perfect fish tacos:
There are three important components to making great fish tacos: white fish, shredded cabbage, and crema (a white sauce). Other parts of this recipe are adaptable, but those three things, paired together, are the trinity of basic fish tacos.
What type of fish to use for fish tacos:
Lean and flakey white fish fillets are traditionally used in fish tacos because they are mild in flavor, cook quickly and are relatively inexpensive. Popular kinds of white fish for fish tacos include halibut, tilapia, mahi mahi, snapper, cod, bass and cat fish.
When buying fish for these tacos I try to buy filets that are thinner because they cook faster and taste better with the marinade.
Finely shred the cabbage.
Cannonball cabbage (the type most commonly found at your grocery store) or purple cabbage both work great for fish tacos, but be sure to take time to shred the cabbage as thin and fine as you possibly can!
Use corn tortillas.
Authentic Mexican tacos always use white corn tortillas. Fish tacos, especially, taste really great with the that white corn flavor from the corn tortillas. I’m urging you, almost begging you, to please use corn tortillas and not flour tortillas for this recipe!
I like to serve my fish tacos on two street taco size white corn tortillas, but the regular size will also work great. Cook the corn tortillas on your grill, or in a dry skillet, for just a few seconds on each side, until warmed.
Don’t over-cook the fish on the grill.
White fish cooks pretty quickly, especially on the grill, so be sure not to cook it for too long. You’ll know it’s ready when it starts to flake easily with a fork. Also, keep in mind that it will continue to cook a little more after it’s taken off the grill.
Add the white sauce, also called crema!
The white sauce in this fish tacos recipe is easy to make and really binds all of the ingredients and flavors together. Add the sour cream (or substitute Greek yogurt), mayo, lime juice, and seasonings to a bowl and stir to until smooth.
The fish marinade and white sauce can both be made a few days in advance and stored in the fridge.
Toppings are king!
Good toppings is where the magic happens, and where you can really take these fish tacos from good to great! Shredded cabbage, fresh cilantro and pico de gallo are musts.
If you don’t have what you need to make fresh pico de gallo, you could substitute your favorite salsa.
We also like fish tacos topped with chopped avocado, a sprinkle of cotija Mexican cheese, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
This dish is a winner in flavor and freshness, and I love that it’s a healthy dinner you can throw together in less than 30 minutes.
Hope you enjoy these delicious, fresh and healthy grilled fish tacos as much as we do.
Consider serving this with:
Grilled Fish Tacos
- 1 pound lean white fish fillets (tilapia , halibut, mahi mahi, snapper, cod)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons oil (vegetable or canola oil)
- 1 small lime , juiced
- 1 clove garlic , minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne , optional
- 8 white corn tortillas
Fish taco sauce:
- Pico de gallo
- Cotija cheese
- Shredded cabbage
- fresh cilantro
- lime wedges
- red onion
- hot sauce (try siracha or valentina)
- Season the fish with a little salt and pepper on both sides.
- In a mixing bowl whisk together the oil, lime juice, garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne.
- Add fish to a large ziplock bag and pour the marinade over fish. Seal bag and allow fish to marinade for 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Brush grill grates with oil and grill fish filets for about 3-4 minutes on each side (cook time will vary depending on thickness of fish), flipping only once.
- Add the corn tortillas to the grill and warm for about 15 seconds on each side.
- Transfer fish to a plate and allow to rest for a few minutes before gently breaking into pieces.
- Serve on warm tortillas, topped with cabbage, pico de gallo, sauce and other desired toppings.
- Serve with a side of Authentic Mexican rice.
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