Blackened Fish Tacos

6 tacos
20 min

Blackened Fish Tacos are super flavorful and incredibly easy to make. Plus, they’re ultra versatile in the toppings you choose to use. Healthy and delicious? It’s a perfect combo in my book!

Not surprisingly, some of the best fish tacos I’ve ever had were when I lived in San Diego. It’s almost like they’re their own food group in that region. Since moving to Florida, I’ve had to develop my own recipe for when I crave those flavors. You know what? These Blackened Fish Tacos are just as good! You can customize the toppings and slaw mixture to your liking, even add more or less heat to the blackening seasoning depending on your preference.


You might be wondering what blackening seasonings are. While you can buy premade blackening seasoning in the store, I prefer to make my own spice blends. Blackening seasoning is commonly a mixture of chili pepepers, spices, and herbs. Most also include sugar to help develop a dark “crust” on the meat. You can definitely kick up the heat with your blackening seasoning, but I chose to keep this one mild to let the flavor of the fish shine through.


Common seasonings in a blackening mix include: chili pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper, oregano, and thyme. For my variation, I included smoked paprika, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. If you want a spicier version, add some cayenne powder or chipotle powder.

I absolutely love the flavors and textures in these Blackened Mahi Mahi Tacos. The cabbage provides some acid with a satisfying, cooling crunch while the fish is tender with a slightly crunchy exterior, all wrapped up in a warm, soft corn tortilla.


Grab that skillet, and let’s get cooking!


FAQs:

What is the best fish to use in fish tacos? You want a firm, white-fleshed fish. I like to use mahi mahi (known as dolphin fish if you live in Florida), but you could easily substitute cod, snapper, halibut, or grouper.

What should I serve with fish tacos? Serve with some chips and guacamole, Tex-Mex Black Beans, or Coconut Rice with Coriander. You could even make a simple cabbage slaw. Chipotle Black Bean Hummus or Fiesta Black Bean Dip are also perfect snacks while you’re prepping dinner.


HOW TO PREPARE BLACKENED FISH TACOS:

You will need these ingredients ⇧
  • Begin by prepping the cabbage slaw. Thinly slice two cups of cabbage, and place in a bowl. (I like the mild flavor of napa cabbage, but you can use regular green or purple cabbage as well.) Drizzle with white wine vinegar, a teaspoon of date nectar (or honey), and salt and pepper. Toss until well combined, and set aside.
  • Prep any taco toppings you may be using: avocado, cilantro, shredded cheese, salsa, crema, etc.
  • Whisk together the seasonings for the blackening spice in a small bowl. Place the fish on a plate or cutting board, and generously sprinkle the mixture over all sides of the fish. Leave to rest.
  • Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat, and drizzle with enough avocado oil to lightly coat the pan, about a tablespoon. Once the oil begins to shimmer and spread over the pan’s surface, give the skillet a swirl to evenly coat with oil, then carefully add the seasoned fish. Press lightly with the back of a spatula to ensure all surfaces are making contact with heat. Cook for approximately 3-4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of your fillets. Fish should flake easily when cooked through.
  • Remove the fish from the skillet to a cutting board when cooked through. Cut each fillet into three long strips, or simply flake into fairly large chunks.
  • Turn down the heat to medium-low for the skillet and carefully wipe out any extra oil with a paper towel. Heat each corn tortilla for 30-45 seconds per side, then place between clean towels (or in a tortilla warmer) to keep warm. Alternatively, heat the corn tortillas over medium heat in a second small, dry cast iron skillet.
  • To assemble your tacos, place the tortillas on a plate, top with cabbage, then add desired amount of fish, and add any toppings you’d like.
Combine the vinegar and date nectar for the slaw.
Add all the seasonings to a small bowl.
Stir well to combine seasonings.
Sprinkle the blackening seasoning over the fish fillets.
Generously coat the fish with the seasoning.
Blacken the fish in a cast iron skillet.
Heat the tortillas on each side in a dry cast iron skillet.


Blackened Fish Tacos by inspiredfreshlife on Jumprope. @inspiredfreshlife on Jumprope.


TOPPING SUGGESTIONS FOR FISH TACOS:


  • Keep your topping fresh and simple, and sprinkle on some chopped cilantro and avocado with pickled onions.
  • Top with your favorite salsa or chutney. Check out these easy salsa/chutney ideas: Star Fruit Chutney, Mango Salsa, Homemade Smoked Salsa, or Grilled Corn and Peach Salsa.
  • You can use any shredded cheese you like (if you want to include it), but a few of my favorite options are Cotija, Manchego, or sharp white cheddar.
  • Avocado Crema is a delicious sauce for so many recipes, but I really love a drizzle of it with fish tacos. It’s creamy, a little spicy, and a little tangy.

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RECIPE NOTES AND TIPS:


  • Make sure to prep both the cabbage and toppings before cooking the fish for these tacos. The fish cooks quickly, and will be ready to eat in less than ten minutes.
  • While I love corn tortillas for fish tacos, you could substitute small flour tortillas. For either type, make sure to heat them in a skillet to cook out the raw flavor.
  • You could also use a store-bought blackening seasoning rather than making your own blend.
  • A fish spatula makes flipping flaky fish and other delicate foods easy. Plus, it’s so much easier to clean than your average spatula. I actually use mine for everything. Do make sure to buy a stainless steel one.
  • Avocado oil is a good choice for higher heat cooking as it has a higher smoke point than olive oil.
  • If you need to keep this recipe gluten-free, La Banderita makes a gluten-free Street Taco Corn Tortilla.
  • I love my cast iron skillets and cook with them every week.


Did you make this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card and/or a review in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Are you following along on Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook?


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Recipe details

  • 6  tacos
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 10 Minutes Total time: 20 min
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Ingredients


  • 2 mahi mahi fillets (about 2/3 pound total)
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (or lime juice)
  • 1 teaspoon date nectar (or honey)
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil

Instructions


Begin by prepping the cabbage slaw. Thinly slice two cups of cabbage, and place in a bowl. (I like the mild flavor of napa cabbage, but you can use regular green or purple cabbage as well.) Drizzle with white wine vinegar, a teaspoon of date nectar (or honey), and salt and pepper to taste. Toss until well combined, and set aside.
Prep any taco toppings you may be using: avocado, cilantro, shredded cheese, salsas, etc.
Whisk together the seasonings for the blackening spice in a small bowl. Place the fish on a plate or cutting board, and generously sprinkle the mixture over all sides of the fish. Leave to rest.
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat, and drizzle with enough avocado oil to lightly coat the pan, about a tablespoon. Once the oil begins to shimmer and spread over the pan’s surface, give the skillet a swirl to evenly coat with oil, then carefully add the seasoned fish. Press lightly with the back of a spatula to ensure all surfaces are making contact with heat. Cook for approximately 3-4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of your fillets. Fish should flake easily when cooked through.
Remove the fish from the skillet to a cutting board when cooked through. Cut each fillet into three long strips, or simply flake into fairly large chunks.
Turn down the heat to medium-low for the skillet and carefully wipe out any extra oil with a paper towel. Heat each corn tortilla for 30-45 seconds per side, then place between clean towels (or in a tortilla warmer) to keep warm. Alternatively, heat the corn tortillas over medium heat in a second small, dry cast iron skillet.
To assemble your tacos, place the tortillas on a plate, top with cabbage, then add desired amount of fish, and add any toppings you’d like.

Tips

  • While I love corn tortillas for fish tacos, you could substitute small flour tortillas. For either type, make sure to heat them in a skillet to cook out the raw flavor.
  • You could also use a store-bought blackening seasoning rather than making your own blend.

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