Summer weather is upon us in our part of the world and that means one thing to us: Grilling season!
These grilled fish tacos are my take on the fish tacos we’ve enjoyed while traveling to beach towns where the fish is fresh, the tortillas tender, and the salsa light and flavorful. Plus, just 10 customizable ingredients and 30 minutes required! Let’s do this.
Origins of Fish Tacos
We didn’t invent the fish taco, but we’re so grateful to whoever did!
It’s believed that coastal fisherman in Mexico enjoyed fish tacos for thousands of years before the dish eventually became popularized in Baja California. To take a deeper dive into the history of fish tacos, read more here and here.
Best Fish for Fish Tacos?
The best fish for fish tacos tends to be flaky, tender white fish, such as tilapia, snapper, grouper, cod, halibut, mahi-mahi, or black drum.
We ended up going with mahi-mahi, which is incredibly light and flaky. Note: I also include some suggestions below for vegan alternatives.
For seasoning, I kept things super simple with a little oil, salt, and chili powder. I also tested a batch rolled in fine cornmeal, which added a delightful crunch! Certainly optional but a fun variation for more texture.
For those who don’t have a grill, you can just as easily cook inside using a grill pan like this one or just opt for a cast iron skillet.
Best Slaw for Fish Tacos?
For fish tacos that are seasoned with a little spice (such as chili powder), it’s nice to have a little acidity (such as lime) and sweetness (such as pineapple) to balance out the flavors. So we mixed up some chopped pineapple, onion, cilantro, cabbage, and lime juice.
You could easily sub mango for the pineapple, or throw in a jalapeño or serrano pepper for some more heat. Or, in a pinch, just whip up a simple pico de gallo. You could also try this quick, creamy avocado slaw!
We hope you LOVE these tacos! They’re:
These tacos would make the perfect meal when you need something fresh and satisfying on the table fast. They’re ideal for summer and pair beautifully with Garlicky Guacamole and Plantain Chips, 5-Ingredient Ginger Beer Margaritas, and 1-Pot Mexican Pinto Beans.
More Taco Recipes
Into tacos? Be sure to check out our Crunchy Avocado Tacos, Smoky Portobello Butternut Squash Tacos, Roasted Cauliflower Tacos with Chipotle Romesco, Spicy Black Bean Plantain Tacos, and Roasted Vegetable Tacos with Chimichurri!
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
Grilled Fish Tacos with Pineapple Cabbage Slaw
- 1 batch Chipotle Aioli (optional // see notes for a quicker, nut-free substitution)
- 6 medium corn tortillas (use grain-free tortillas as needed // or sub flour tortillas)
- Lime wedges
- 1 lb white fish filets* (such as tilapia, snapper, grouper, cod, halibut, mahi-mahi, or black drum)
- 1 Tbsp avocado oil (or other neutral cooking oil // plus more for oiling grill or grill-pan)
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 cup fine cornmeal (optional // see notes for tips on achieving added crunch)
- 3/4 cup diced fresh pineapple (use fresh, or you could grill your pineapple with your fish for more flavor)
- 3/4 cup thinly shredded red cabbage
- 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 healthy pinch sea salt
- If preparing optional chipotle aioli, do so at this time. Set aside.
- Slice fish into medium bite-size pieces or long strips (skin removed) and add to a plate. Drizzle with avocado oil and toss to coat. Then season both sides liberally with sea salt and chili powder and dust with cornmeal (optional for added crunch). You want the fish to be well seasoned, so don’t hold back! Once seasoned, set aside.
- Prepare slaw by adding pineapple, cabbage, red onion, cilantro, lime, and sea salt to a medium mixing bowl and tossing to combine. Set aside.
- Heat a grill, or heat a grill pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Brush the surface with a little oil to prevent sticking.
- Once the grill or grill pan is hot, add the seasoned fish and let cook for 3-4 minutes (without moving), or until grill marks are visible and the underside appears cooked (check the underside gently to avoid tearing). Then gently flip using a spatula or tongs. Handle the fish carefully as white fish can be tender.
- Cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until the middle appears cooked and the underside also has grill marks. Set aside and cover to keep warm until serving.
- Optional: Warm tortillas by wrapping in a damp towel or paper towel and heating in the microwave for 30 seconds, or in a 400 degree F (204 C) oven for 5 minutes or until warm.
- To serve, divide fish between tortillas and top with slaw, fresh lime juice, and aioli (optional but recommended for bigger flavor!).
- Best when fresh. Slaw will keep in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days. Aioli will keep in the refrigerator for 1 week. Fish can be stored in the refrigerator up to 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until hot. Not freezer friendly.
*As far as fish goes, do your best to source a high-quality, saltwater fish that’s not farmed.
*To keep this recipe vegan, you can sub the fish for seasoned grilled tofu, smoky jackfruit, or tempeh.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with mahi-mahi, the lesser amount of lime juice, and without optional ingredients.
*Inspiration from the New York Times.
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