If you’ve ever wanted to make fish tacos at home, but never have for whatever reason (maybe you think they will take too long or you don’t feel confident cooking fish), try these Fish Tacos with Fresh Pico and Cilantro-Lime Slaw. You’ll be converted to making fish tacos at home more often when you see how simple and delicious they can be!
Fish tacos are one of my favorite things to order at a restaurant when I’m in a spot with really good fresh fish. The fresh fish is usually wrapped up with something crunchy, such as a coleslaw or fennel, and then it’s topped off with a tangy salsa and one or two freshly made sauces that add a creamy element and possibly a sweet element, like a mango sauce or honey something. I get hungry just thinking about them!
I decided it was foolish to wait for such restaurant occasions to eat fish tacos because I love them so much. So, I set out to create a recipe I can make at home. While I will still regularly order fish tacos when I’m out for dinner, making these Fish Tacos with Fresh Pico and Cilantro-Lime Slaw at home satisfies my craving for this fresh and healthy dish.
I’ve already posted the recipes for two of the components of these fish tacos, but to make life easier for you, I’ve also put the recipes for these right in the fish taco recipe so you don’t have to jump back and forth between recipes. The recipes I’m referring to are the Cilantro-Lime Cabbage Coleslaw and the Tomato-Mango Pico de Gallo.
(here’s the Cilantro-Lime Cabbage Coleslaw)
(here’s the Tomato-Mango Pico de Gallo)
Both of these recipes are quick and easy to toss together and trust me, you don’t want to leave either one of them off of these tacos. With the creamy coleslaw and the sweet and tangy Pico de Gallo, no sauces are needed to top off these tacos unless you like a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Not having to make a sauce for these fish tacos makes them less complicated, but no less delicious!
Cooking the Fish:
The fish itself is really simple to make. Sprinkle the fish with a mixture of four spices and then cook the fish one of two ways, depending on your preference. Now, for the confession: I originally only had one fish cooking method slated for this recipe, however, feedback from my family forced me to come up with the new method. So, the first method I tried, and still prefer, is to cook the fish in a skillet on the stove-top. It works well and the fish takes on the most beautiful golden brown color.
(here is the fish sprinkled with the spice mixture)
(here is the fish in the skillet right when it’s done cooking – you can see a little sticking and browning in the pan)
(I like to break the fish into coarse chunks for fish tacos – it’s easier to eat that way)
One problem with the stove-top method is that the fish sticks some if you’re using a regular stainless steel skillet, which I don’t mind because I don’t think it’s difficult to clean. However, if you do mind, you can use the other cooking method, or use a nonstick pan for cooking the fish. The problem my family saw (or smelled) was that the fish gets really fragrant when cooked on the stove-top. It’s the combo of the fish and ground cumin (one of the spices sprinkled on the fish) that was wafting in the air while the fish was cooking away, uncovered, in the pan. They did not find the smell to be pleasing, even though they later ate the fish with no problem. I get it”¦cumin doesn’t always smell the best when it’s cooked. Are you with me, or haven’t you experienced this before?
Alternative Cooking Method:
Method #2 for cooking the fish (so you avoid the fish sticking in the pan and so the fragrance of the cooking fish is more contained), is to bake it. This is so easy to do, and the fish turns out gloriously tender; however, it doesn’t get as well browned on the outside this way.
(another photo of the fish when sprinkled with the spices – this was the fish I used to test the baking time)
(here’s what the fish looks like after it’s finished baking – not quite as browned, although the spices help add color!)
I’m going to let you decide which method you would prefer ““ both methods are written into the recipe so you can choose for yourself! I hope you enjoy this restaurant inspired recipe as much as I do!
- 1 pound fresh or frozen cod fillets, cut about 1-inch thick
- ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon refined coconut oil
- 8 6-inch corn tortillas, warmed
- 1 recipe Cilantro-Lime Cabbage Coleslaw (see recipe below)
- 1 recipe Tomato-Mango Pico de Gallo (see recipe below)
- Lime wedges for squeezing (optional)
- Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse fish with cold water; pay dry with paper towels. Place fish on a large plate. In a small bowl stir together salt, pepper, coriander, and cumin. Sprinkle spice mixture evenly over tops of fish.
- Skillet Cooking Method** In a large skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add fish, seasoned sides down. Cook, uncovered, for 6 to 8 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, carefully flipping fish over once halfway through cooking.
- Transfer fish from skillet to a cutting board or clean plate. Use two fork to break the fish up into coarse chunks.
- To assemble tacos, divide tortillas among four large serving plates. Top tortillas evenly with Cilantro-Lime Cabbage Coleslaw. Top coleslaw with fish. Spoon Tomato-Mango Pico de Gallo over fish. Serve immediately with lime wedges for squeezing over if desired.
- In a medium bowl toss together 3 cups shredded cabbage*, ½ cup coarsely shredded carrot*, 2 thinly sliced green onions, and ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro. In a small bowl stir together ¼ cup sour cream, 1 tablespoon lime juice, ½ teaspoon coarse salt, and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle over cabbage mixture; toss to coat. If desired, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds and toss to combine.
- *If desired, substitute 3 ½ cups purchased shredded coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrot) for the cabbage and carrot.
- In a medium bowl combine 1 ¼ cups chopped fresh tomatoes (seeded or not); ½ cup chopped fresh mango; ¼ cup finely chopped red onion; ½ fresh jalapeno pepper, finely chopped; 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro; 1 clove garlic, minced; 1 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil; 1 tablespoon lime juice; ¼ teaspoon coarse salt; and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Toss gently to mix well.
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a small shallow baking pan with parchment paper or foil. Prepare fish as directed above in step 1. Place fish in a single layer in the prepared pan. Bake, uncovered, for 9 to 11 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Continue with recipe as directed in step 3.
- 4 servings (2 tacos per serving)
- 311 cals, 22 g pro, 35 g carb, 10 g fat, 57 mg cholesterol, 4.5 g sat fat, 6 g fiber, 986 mg sodium