Spicy Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw + Lime Crema


I don’t play fast and loose with the words “favourite food”, but fish tacos – done right – are definitely a contender.

Done right doesn’t mean difficult or time consuming – in fact, it’s quite the opposite. My dream taco (what, you don’t dream about tacos?) is just a well-seasoned filet of flakey fish (read: not overcooked), with something crunchy, something creamy, and a good balance of fiery and tangy.

In this recipe, my something crunchy is shredded green cabbage (tossed with lime juice, cilantro and salt) and my something creamy is a lime crema (made with sour cream, mayo, and the juice and zest of a lime).


It comes together in 15 minutes, and makes a deeeeelicious, healthy, fresh weeknight meal.

I did my fish on a grill pan indoors – just because I felt like hanging out in the kitchen with my friend Clarice who was visiting – but by all means fire up the grill outside. Just grease the grates really well (I rub a wadded up piece of paper towel dipped in oil onto the hot grill using tongs), flip carefully, and keep a close watch so you don’t overcook it. I turn it over when the top edges of the fillet have turned opaque and cook until it is flakey at the edges and just a teensy weensy bit translucent in the centre, as the residual heat will finish off the cooking after it’s removed from the pan.

Feel free to sub in any other white fish or salmon! Very versatile.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Spicy Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw + Lime Crema
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
  • 2 lbs snapper fillets
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
For cabbage slaw
  • 4 cups (loosely packed) shredded cabbage
  • ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp white sugar
For lime crema
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • juice and zest of 1 lime
  • salt, to taste
  • warmed tortillas (corn or wheat), for serving
  1. Season fish on both sides with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, combine paprika, cayenne, garlic powder and cumin. Sprinkle over fish on both sides. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a grill pan on medium-high heat. Add half of the fish and cook until the edges are opaque, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until fish flakes easily with fork, and is just ever-so-slightly translucent (it will finish cooking with the residual heat). Transfer fish to a plate and repeat with remaining fish.
  2. To make cabbage slaw, toss all ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. To make crema, whisk all ingredients together and season to taste with salt.
  4. Serve fish in warmed tortillas with cabbage slaw and a drizzle of crema.

  • http://www.littlekitchie.com Marie @ Little Kitchie

    These. are. perfection.

    • Alijimq

      Completely agree!

  • http://WildGooseTea.com Carol at Wild Goose Tea

    Fish tacos would be high on my favorite list too. And I just realized that I myself have never made this at home. Good Heavens what have I been thinking? Obviously not thinking—-Lol. Thanks for getting going down the right path.

  • Jessica Smith

    These look amazing, can’t wait to make them! xo

  • http://www.naivecookcooks.com Ami@NaiveCookCooks

    This looks so so flavorful and your pictures! I am drooling!

  • http://www.flourishingfoodie.com Heather

    This looks incredible. Fish tacos foreva.

  • http://www.maebells.com Annie @Maebells

    I adore fish tacos! These look fantastic!

  • Carole Hague

    Thank you, can’t wait to make these fish tacos!

  • Doreen

    I made these tonight and oh my, they were delicious! My husband won’t stop raving about them.

  • Ruthie

    We’ve made these twice in the past week at our house! Delish!! I used smoked paprika for a little extra kick. Thanks for sharing this recipe! It’s our new “go-to” :)

  • http://www.practicallypoppy.com/ Lindsay – Practically Poppy

    These were EXCELLENT. The toppings were so flavorful and easy to put together. Next time, I think I’m going to try mixing the seasoning in with some breadcrumbs and making a breaded version of the fish for a little more crunch… Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  • Maureen

    I made your Lime Crema last night for fish tacos made with beer batter fried cod. Most of the 24 people I served said it was the best fish taco they had ever had. The Lime Crema was amazing and so easy to prepare. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I’ll be making it again soon.

  • Kathy

    I don’t even like fish but this was good!

  • http://seasalfish sal

    Nice I try this simple fast and great with different fish and shrimp… it’s a keeper$…

  • Alijimq

    Best fish tacos I’ve ever made. I used talapia fish and only used two fillets, which made five tacos. For the cabbage, I sprinkled lime juice on it with salt since I didn’t have vinegar. Thank you Jennifer Pallian for the best fish tacos ever!

  • Lois Hershberger

    I have cooked all my life. Seldom do I find a recipe that needs NO tweaking. This is it..and it was perfect! Too many ppl get carried away too easily with the lime taste; these flavors are perfectly balanced!

  • Arlene

    Fabulous recipe, added it to my must have.

  • Angel

    Beautiful. I used halibut, as that is what I had on hand. These will be making a regular appearance on my dining room table!

  • http://pompouspony.com/ Alexandra

    I made these last night and they were to die for. I used frozen tilapia (quick-thawed under cold running water), pre-packaged cole slaw veg (shredded red cabbage, green cabbage, and carrots) to save even more time, and substituted plain yogurt for the sour cream (what I had on hand). So easy, quick, healthy AND delicious. Man-approved, also! Thank you, Jennifer!

    • foodess

      Glad you liked, Alexandra! :)

  • Bob

    This is the very best fish taco recipe in the world.

    • http://foodess.com/ Jennifer Pallian

      Haha thanks, Bob! :)

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  • Codi Kuryvail

    Has anyone figured out calories per serving?

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  • Stephanie

    This fish has become a main staple in my household. We don’t make the entire fish taco meal but sometimes I will make the crema to just drizzle on the spiced fish and we will have a salad on the side (last night tried the indian cucumber salad and the pairing was immaculate) This is my favourite food blog – thank you so much for sharing!

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