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A flaky, spiced pan-fried fish taco recipe with quick cabbage slaw and the most delicious lime crema. An easy weeknight meal – one of my most popular recipes on the blog!
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.
Spicy Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw + Lime Crema
- 2 lbs white fish fillets (like tilapia, haddock, snapper, cod or sole)
- 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
- 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.
- To make cabbage slaw, toss all ingredients together in a large bowl.
- To make crema, whisk all ingredients together and season to taste with salt.
- Serve fish in warmed tortillas with cabbage slaw and a drizzle of crema.
Last Updated on April 27, 2023 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD
Really excellent! This is now my go-to fish taco recipe. I ended up making 1/2 the slaw as written and 1/2 with added jalapeno. For science. 😉 The crema is perfect. I made both the slaw and crema a few hours in advance.
So delicious! Made the slaw and the crema a little in advance for them to have time to marry. Added a little jalapeño to the slaw as someone else suggested and these were fabulous!
Very easy and quick! Delicious! I did add a little bit of chopped jalapenos to the slaw because we like spicy! Thanks for sharing this recipe!
These were delicious! Thanks for sharing 🙂 just about to post and tag you!