Tender flaky white fish topped with crunchy slay and drizzled with the most amazing baja cream sauce!
Did you ever get in one of those food-craving moods where unless you get that one thing you’re craving, nothing will truly satisfy your taste buds? That was me a few weeks ago. I was craving fish tacos like it was my job. I mean I tried EVERYTHING I had in the house to satisfy that craving… except actual fish tacos but nothing worked. So why not make the fish tacos when I craved them?
Well, it was like -15F below and I didn’t want to be outside at all cause the air just hurt my face. But when it got down to even bacon not even making me happy (I know, right! Not even bacon! *shocked!*) I knew I had to break down and go venture out into the arctic tundra to get some fish.
Normally I have fish in the freezer but I had none and honestly kept forgetting to buy it. Plus truth be told I had so much crap in my freezers that I literally could not fit one more thing in it. I mean seriously, not even a block of butter!
So while I’ve considerably curbed how much I cook and buy it’s actually hard at times to control myself when I see cans of veggies on sale for like .50 a can. Doesn’t everyone need 14 cans of spring peas at all times??? No? Well er um… you should. *wink*
But as I said, as I’ve gotten older I’ve had to re-teach myself about quantity. At first, it was somewhat challenging to keep the same quality of the food while reducing the amount it made. Have you ever made a recipe and then tried to cut it in half the next time you made it only to have it not turn out?
The worst is if the normal batch calls for one egg and you want to half it. It took me a while to figure out the best way to do this.
To do this simply crack the egg in a cup, whisk until well combined, and measure out half of it. The other half just save or add to another dish.
Well, FINALLY it got to the point where I actually had prime real estate in my freezers for some awesome fish so I could make these. It’s funny as when I told Mr. Fantabulous I was hitting up downtown fish market to get some fish he told me not to “buy the whole ocean” LOL Big Brat! This recipe I’ve been making this for years as it’s honestly one of my favorites.
It’s light, bright, packed with protein, and seriously so flippin’ delicious. Okay fine, if you’re not a seafood lover then you won’t like it but I’m tellin’ you what guys, one bite and you’ll go nuts over this! See I buy “non-fishy” fish. I HATE fish that stinks. You can go with fresh fish or the pre-frozen stuff but make sure with that it’s literally just fish and nothing else (preservatives) has been added to it. And for the love of God, NO CANNED FISH… ever! *gag*
Well wait canned albacore is OK but I mean no canned salmon, crab or shrimp. That’s just nasty. Now since I don’t live by an ocean and there is not enough money in the world to eat fish that would come out of our Three Rivers here in Pittsburgh (sorry but you’re an awesome city but I swear your fish glow!) I either am stuck buying frozen stuff at the seafood market or bagged frozen stuff. As luck would have it I managed to be at the right place at the right time when they were unloading a huge case of partially frozen cod loins. I actually prefer cod loins to cod fillets myself.
Do you know the difference between the loin and the fillet?
A fillet is one side of the whole fish with the head, tail, guts, bones, and skin removed.
A loin is the middle third of the fillet – the thick bit. More often than none the loin is also boneless with the skin removed but that’s not always the case. It’s a heartier piece of fish that can stand up to being part of this taco. I hate it when you bit into a piece of fish and it’s almost “too flaky” and just falls apart. Not for me, when I make fish tacos I go with the fleshier parts of the fish as they add girth and stability.
As you can tell I kinda went nuts over taking photos for this shoot. The colors are vibrant and vivacious – just like the flavors in this dish! You could make the same dish using hard crunchy tacos but for me, that’s a textural no-no. This dish shouldn’t have crunch. The only crispness you should have is from the cabbage slaw. Speaking of, lemme tell you about this slaw. It’s SUPER simple and one of my favorites! It’s light and bright but has some great heat thanks to the minced jalapenos in it. It has that acidic twinge from the lime juice while the cool cilantro balances it all out.
Now I know there are you cilantro haters out there. Why you hate this luscious herb is beyond me as I think it’s one of the best ones out there however to each their own. You hate cilantro, I hate curry so sometimes rosemary. So as a substitute? You could try fresh chopped parsley in lieu of it though it may not give you that ‘cool crisp’ taste that only cilantro does. Play with the recipe and let me know what you come up with that works.
Next let’s dish about that Baja Cream Sauce. Okay, seriously this stuff is lethal! It has some heat that you can tweak for your taste buds. But the overall taste of it is EPIC! It’s cool, has some pinch to it, definitely some tang, and just all around well-balanced beautiful flavor.
This recipe does make a good bit of it so don’t limit it to just this recipe! Try it on shrimp (think po’boy), crab, tilapia burgers, shrimp burgers, and so forth! Oh, what’s even awesome is make up a bunch of fish and put the slaw and fish chunks on top of nachos and then drizzle this sauce on top. I did that with some creole shrimp and went NUTS over it! Like seriously I ate the entire plate that I used in a photo shoot!
Now the fish I kept it pretty simple and kept out as many calories as possible. I’ve had fish tacos where the fish is deep-fried, batter-dipped, etc but it’s just not the same for me. It needs to be grilled or pan-seared.
I personally find the breading adds too much weight to the dish and removes too much of the individual flavors in it. The breading on fish tends to muddle the different tastes. If you’re a hardcore fan of the breaded fish do me a favor and try it once, this recipe, without breading and frying. The flavors seem to become elevated when left ‘nekkid’.
Now, this dish comes together pretty fast. The longest part is letting the cream sauce chill and the slaw marinate in the fridge. You want to give the slaw enough time for the flavors to saturate it while you need Baja cream sauce to marry into one harmonious blend. Once it was time to eat the overall cooking and assembly time took under 10 minutes.
What’s funny is this is soooooooooooo not a Mr. Fantabulous type of dish. He says he’s not a big fish eater yet every time I make it he scarfs it up. Therefore when I made this dish I purposely made it the one day he was taking a nap. So yes I only made 2, the 2 you see on this plate. Once I finished up with the shoot I sat down and inhaled them. Well okay, I could only eat one as my eyes were bigger than my stomach. I wrapped the other one up and set out to edit the photos.
As I was sitting at my desk editing the photos Mr. Sleepy Pants wandered into the office rubbing his eyes with one hand and his belly with the other which is universal sign language for “buddah needs food” LOL I smiled and told him to give me a few as I was just finishing up my most recent shoot. He looked at the pictures of these and immediately he woke up. “HEYYYYYYYYY what’s that?! How come I didn’t get any of that?! Where’s mine? Is there any left? I can’t believe you’re holding out on me!” Seriously he really is my man-child. I simply said “Honey you don’t like stuff like this and…” and then he interjected with “baby, I love everything you make… except that cast iron corn bread made with sawdust…” LOL sigh I can’t win.
So I went out to the kitchen, unwrapped the one I literally just put into the fridge and handed it to him. Then the big brat said “No, it’s okay I’m an afterthought. This is for you, not me. I’ll just eat a bowl of cereal or bread and water.” God love that man I swear. And don’t you know that big baby went and got something else to eat?! He was just messing with me and didn’t really want it. So while I can’t say he liked this dish I can say he loved the slaw and Baja cream sauce as I used them on a different recipe coming up.
But take my word for it! Whether it’s for Lent, Taco Tuesday or because you need it, you are going to LOVE these fish tacos!Print
Grilled Fish Soft Tacos with Baja Cream Sauce
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- 2 pounds white fish cut into 4 ounce portions
- 2 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 8–12 8” round tortillas, warmed
Fish Taco Slaw
- 1 1/2 cups finely shredded green cabbage
- 1 1/2 cups finely shredded red cabbage
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 teaspoon honey
- 1 medium shallot, minced (about 1 heaping tablespoon)
- 2 teaspoon minced jalapeños
- 3 teaspoon chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Baja Cream Sauce
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 3 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves, minced
- 2 teaspoon sriracha sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 1/2 teaspoon adobo sauce
- 1 teaspoon honey *optional
- Sliced avocado
- Chopped cilantro
- Make the slaw by mixing all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Marinate for at least 30 minutes but no more than 8 hours. Taste and adjust seasoning (more salt if necessary).
- While the slaw is marinating make the Baja cream sauce by whisking all of the ingredients together in a bowl until well blended. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours. I actually put mine in a squeeze bottle (with a slightly larger opening).
- When you’re ready to eat, get your fish out. Heat oil in large grill pan or large skillet over med-high heat. Pat the fish dry and sprinkle both sides of fish with cumin, lime juice, salt and pepper.
- Place fish in hot oil (don’t crowd the pan do 2 batches if necessary) and cook for a couple of minutes. The edges will begin to turn white and the fish will move easily when it’s time to flip. *note the cooking time will vary based on how thick your fish is. Cook on the other side about 3 minutes. When the fish begins to flake easily remove them from the pan and place on a plate.
- To assemble place a warm tortilla on a plate. Place a few small slices of avocado on top. Next put a few heaping tablespoons of the fish taco slaw. On top of that gently place 4 ounces of fish. To finish it off squirt on some of the Baja cream sauce and a few pinches of chopped cilantro.
This will make more than enough Baja sauce so save it and use it on other dishes!
Recipe Reviews & Comments
Absolutely love this recipe
Lynn Jepson says
Love these tacos! I am a fish hater, but when I was introduced to fish tacos in Florida, it changed my way of eating. The only thing I didn’t like was the slaw…it was missing something, very bland. But the Baja sauce….can I get an AMEN?? LOL….scrumptious! Will have to reformulate that slaw…but everything else, fabulous, dah-link! I rubbed my mahi-mahi with a homemade bbq rub, sweet and spicy, and though it was for pork, it worked out well for the fish. And the avocado was the crowning touch. I use barely ripe ones, still firm, so this was a delicious meal, served with Mexican rice. If I’d had a margarita or mojito, I’d have thought I died and went to heaven! Yeehaw!
I made this recipe this summer and it was fantastic. We ate the Baja sauce with EVERYTHING the next week (seriously,
as a dip for soy chicken nuggets and tortilla chips, as a topping on veggie burgers and regular burgers, I even ate it with a spoon…). The only thing I did different was blacken the fish because I had some “Emeril’s Essence” that needed to be used from a recipe I’d made a few months before. It was really nice with the creaminess of the Baja sauce and the tart crunchiness of the slaw. It was a huge hit and I’ll definitely make it again.
Thank you so much! I’m so happy you loved the recipe! Oh yeah I loved the blacken idea!
Best Kitchen Wishes!
Great recipe, and thank god for the thirty slightly-different angled pictures of the same two fish tacos or I would have forgotten what I was searching for during my five minute scroll down to the actual recipe.
Judy Rabold says
Love this, every flavor I love! Love fish tacos anyway will make again an again!
By the way….I have the same issue with my inside fridge and freezer, PLUS the full size side-by-side fridge and chest freezer in the garage. My husband is always complaining that he doesn’t have enough room in the freezer for the five bags of ice he wants to keep in there in case we have guests and run out of ice for cocktails! He hoards ice like I hoard sale priced pork, steaks, chicken and frozen vegis. But, with all that readily available food, we seem to always have folks stopping by right around dinner time, so I guess it makes perfect sense!
OK, I swear you must be my twin somehow! I read your blog and feel like I would be saying exactly the same thing! You love what I love, hate what I HATE (cilantro :), curry 🙁
Fish tacos are just like you said….you crave them and nothing will take their place…and grilled are the best!
I am making this recipe tomorrow night as I want my Baja sauce to “marry” for plenty of time. Will post my review on Friday…but I can’t believe it would be anything but “5 stars”. Everything else I have tried has been!
LOL My Twin!!!
I’d say the only thing where we’re difference is I love cilantro but hate curry. Oh that Baja sauce… I want a tub full of that! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it… my twinsie! 🙂
Best Kitchen Wishes!
Debbie long says
No that was the smiley face vs the frowns face. I love love love cilantro but hate hate hate curry. Seems like every friend has told me I will love the Indian food place they go to but each time I try curry dishes I just want to wretch.
Made the tacos with Baja sauce Thursday night and they rocked. Gonna do shrimp next time but this time used swai which is my fav white fish. Nice and firm but not fishy smelling!!
Yum – thanks so much. Have a super-duper day and I hope you get your commercial size freezer.
You are most welcome Liz! Haha me too!
Best Kitchen Wishes!!!