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Killer Fish Tacos

Cinco De Mayo was yesterday and grilling season has begun – it’s time to make some grilled fish tacos. Si? No? Tal vez?

Grilled fish tacos are one of my go-to restaurant orders. I’ve had good and bad. The key to a great fish taco is getting the perfect blend of flavors and textures. Here’s what you need to build a great taco: fresh, well-seasoned fish, a flavorful sauce, a good tortilla and plenty of garnishes. And I always like to have a crispy crunch in my fish taco from adding either cabbage or lettuce.

This is a modified Bobby Flay fish taco recipe. I used tilapia this time around, but there are plenty of good substitutes such as snapper, halibut, mahi or tuna. If you’re ever in Chicago, Hub 51 restaurant does a stellar grilled mahi fish taco.

Fish Marinade Ingredients

  • 1 lb white flaky fish, such as tilapia, mahi mahi, halibut or snapper

  • 1/4 cup avocado or olive oil

  • 1 lime, juiced

  • 1 T ancho chili powder (plain chili powder works too)

  • ½ tsp kosher salt

  • fresh pepper

  • 1 jalapeno, coarsely chopped

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

  • 8 flour or corn tortillas

Instructions to Marinate Fish

  • Place fish in a medium size glass dish.

  • Sprinkle fish with ½ tsp kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper.

  • Whisk together the oil, lime juice, ancho, jalapeno, and cilantro and pour over the fish.

  • Let marinate for 15 to 30 minutes.

Grilling the Fish

  • Before cooking fish preheat your grill.

  • Remove the fish from the marinade.

  • Generously oil the grill grates.

  • Place fish onto the grill, flesh side down.

  • Grill the fish for 3 to 4 minutes on the first side and then flip for 30 seconds to a minute and remove.

  • Let rest for 5 minutes.

Tomato Salsa Ingredients

  • 2 T peanut, grapeseed or avocado oil

  • 1 small red or yellow onion, coarsely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

  • 4 large ripe tomatoes, seeded then chopped

  • 1 serrano chile coarsely chopped

  • ½ tsp cumin

  • 1 jalapeno, coarsely chopped

  • 1 T canned chipotle hot sauce (chipoltes in adobo)

  • 1/2 T dried oregano

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

  • 1 T lime juice

  • Salt and pepper

Tomato Salsa Instructions

  • Heat oil in medium saucepan

  • Add onions and garlic and cook until soft.

  • Add a ¼ tsp kosher salt and the cumin.

  • Add tomatoes, Serrano and jalapeno and cook until tomatoes are soft, about 15 minutes.

  • Sprinkle with a few pinches of kosher salt.

  • Transfer mixture to a blender and blend until smooth.

  • Place back in the pan and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Add the chipotle pepper sauce, oregano, cilantro, lime juice and season with salt and pepper, to taste.


  • Shredded white cabbage or lettuce

  • Hot sauce - I like Cholula brand

  • Low fat sour cream

  • Thinly sliced red onion

  • Thinly sliced green onion

  • Chopped cilantro leaves

  • Avocado slices

  • Pureed Tomato Salsa, see above

Heating the Tortillas

  • There are 2 ways to heat your tortillas. Directly on the grill for about 1 minute a side. Or I like to heat them on the stove in a lightly oiled saucepan. Figure roughly 2 minutes a side.

Divide the fish among the tortillas and garnish with any or all of the garnishes.

Serves: 6 to 8

Time: 50

HEARTFUL RECIPE – One of our real food recipes that focuses on veggies, protein, healthy fats and/or healthy carbs and doesn't include gluten, dairy, soy, refined sugar, corn or peanuts.


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