Spicy Grilled Fish Tacos

To be completely honest, I had never even heard of fish tacos until I met my SoCal-born-and-raised wife. Even then, I thought that those two words belong nowhere even remotely close together. The idea seemed positively disgusting. This is what happens when you're raised in the Midwest, where tacos come only from a drive-thru at a place with a big fake bell on the roof.

Now that I am older, hopefully wiser (certainly grayer), and with broader culinary horizons, I am a true believer. Fish tacos are some seriously good eats.

At the risk of being ridiculed by those in the know, I will call these "somewhat authentic". Or, you might think of them as "Authentic Gringo Fish Tacos". I was going to use that for the post/recipe title, but I had second thoughts.

Shoot, call me and the recipe whatever you want. Let's get cookin'!

Ingredients
6 Talapia fillets
12 Corn tortillas
1 cup Southwest Slaw
1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped medium-fine
2 Tbsp Hot sauce (I use Frank's Red Hot)
Canola oil

Marinade
1/3 cup Canola oil
Juice of two limes
1 tsp Garlic salt
2 Tbsp Adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo)

Avocado Cream
1 large Hass avacado, peeled, seeded and diced (I recommend Calavo, of course)
1 cup Sour cream
Juice of one lime
2 tsp Your favorite hot sauce
1 tsp Garlic salt

Important: Make sure the fish is fresh! It should be firm, with good color, and a clean briny (not fishy) smell.

If you can't find talapia, any mild white flaky fish would work. Mahi mahi, cod, red snapper, or halibut would be fine.

Spicy Grilled Fish Tacos

Method
Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine.

Put the fish in a gallon zip-top bag and add the marindade.

Slosh the fish and the marinade gently in the bag to ensure that all of the fish is coated.

Seal the bag (removing the excess air) and set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.

Spicy Grilled Fish Tacos

Mash the avocado on a cutting board with the side of your knife.

Combine all of the avocado cream ingredients in an medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine, then cover and refrigerate.

Tip: The marinade and/or avocado cream can be made up to a day in advance.

Start your grill and prepare for direct cooking over a hot fire (450-500º).

Remove the fish from the marinade and drain well.

Pat each filet dry with a paper towel.

Smear each side of each filet with a teaspoon of hot sauce, applying it as evenly as you can.

Oil the grill grate and both sides of the fish lightly with the canola oil. The oil on the grate will smoke, so wait for it to dissipate.

Put the fish on the grill and cook for three minutes.

Spicy Grilled Fish Tacos

Flip the fish over and cook for another minute.

Spicy Grilled Fish Tacos

Move the fish to a warm platter, drizzle the fish with lime juice, and cover the platter with plastic wrap.

Quickly warm each tortilla on the grill.

To serve, offset two tortillas by half, smear the inside with avocado cream, add some fish chunks (separated with forks), then top with about two tablespoons of slaw and some cilantro.

Or, serve it family-style so that everyone can build their own.

Enjoy!

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19 Comments:
Anonymous polwig said...
Nice and fresh... I don't think I have eve made fish on the grill. I have cooked it on a plank on the grill but never by itself.
Anonymous bodyhacker said...
Your fish tacos looks amazing! Thanks for the great grilling tips.

Do you suggest any other types of fish that work well with tacos if we can't get Talapia?

Thanks and look forward to hearing your suggestions.
bodyhacker
Blogger John Dawson said...
I just added the following to the recipe:

"If you can't find talapia, any mild white flaky fish would work. Mahi mahi, cod, red snapper, or halibut would be fine."
Anonymous rileysue said...
I'm an aficienado of fish tacos and sample them wherever I travel. I make both fish and shrimp with a light slaw, a chipotle sauce and homemade (non-fat) refried beans. Yum!!! I'm going to try this recipe next time as there's always room for improvement.
Blogger Ryan Walker said...
Made these last night from your recipe, and they were awesome! Definitely a keeper. We were in a little more of a hurry, so the Wife had some store bought slaw, but added all your stuff in from your Southwest Slaw recipe and it worked great. Threw a little pecan chunk on the BGE which gave it a little kick. Thanks for the recipe.
ryan
Blogger Cooking Ventures said...
The tacos look great! What is the side dish you are serving with the tacos? They look like ranch-style beans but I'm not sure. Have you ever posted a recipe for the side dish?
Blogger John Dawson said...
Cooking Ventures - You guessed half of the recipe. It really couldn't be easier. I just mixed one can each of Ranch Style Beans (original) and one can of Bush's Black Bean Fiesta.
Anonymous Anonymous said...
This looks soooooo good!! Going to get some tilapia later on today. Hint: if you make the avocado cream in advance, put plastic wrap directly onto it before refrigerating.No icky discoloration, guaranteed!
Anonymous Anonymous said...
nice one patio daddio! long time reader, first time commenter...

-- dinorox
Blogger Gabriella Price said...
I love these! I have been using this recipe for nearly a year and it is amazing!! They are my favorite fish tacos that I have ever had! Good job on creating this one! The slaw is my favorite! The only thing I change is instead of using mayo for my slaw, I use sour cream! DELISH!
Blogger Miss Riss said...
Made these tonight for dinner - I could never imagine they would turn out so well, they were AMAZING! So much better than most restaurants I've been to. Thank you!
Blogger John Dawson said...
Thanks, Miss Riss! I'm really glad that you enjoyed them.
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Made these for my family of super-finicky eaters last night. The conversation around the table started with "Ewwwww Mom, why did you make fish tacos?" but after the first bite turned to "Mom when can we have fish tacos again?". Your Southwestern slaw was simply awesome.
Blogger John Dawson said...
Anonymous - That's great! I'm really glad that your family enjoyed them.
Anonymous Sarah B. said...
We are CRAZY for these!

Proof: http://www.sarahbsayshello.com/2012/06/fish-tacos-for-win.html
Anonymous Doris said...
Will "wipers" work? They are a Hybred between a white bass and stripper.
Blogger John Dawson said...
Doris - I'm sure it'll be fine. As I mention in the recipe, any mild white flaky fish would work.
Anonymous Anonymous said...
your tortillas look so good but not at all like my corn, how did you prepare them?
Blogger John Dawson said...
Anonymous - I just lightly grilled store-bought white corn tortillas per the recipe.

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