These grilled fish tacos are easy and healthy and made with cilantro, cabbage, lime, and a splash of tequila for good measure. Almost exactly like what you'd find in Baja Mexico.
Maybe you’ve had grilled fish tacos. But have you had grilled fish tacos subtly infused with tequila? That’s what we thought. And although we adore tacos, we also quite like this grilled fish just as much atop white rice with a little lime juice and cilantro as we do tucked inside corn tortillas with cabbage slaw. This recipe has been updated. Originally published July 14, 2015.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Special Equipment: Fish grilling basket (optional)
Grilled Fish Tacos Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 25 M
- 55 M
- Serves 4 to 6
- For the tequila marinade
- Grated zest of 1 lime, preferably organic
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 to 2 limes)
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 2 tablespoons tequila, preferably silver (blanco)
- 1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar
- 2 pounds (1 kilogram) skinless mahi-mahi, grouper, halibut, snapper, tilapia, haddock, or other firm white fish fillets
- For the grilled fish tacos
- Mild vegetable oil, for the grill grate
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) store-bought or homemade mayonnaise
- 12 to 24 corn tortillas, about 6 inches (15 centimeter) in diameter
- 2 cups (6 ounces) finely shredded green cabbage
- Store-bought or homemade salsa, preferably tomatillo salsa or pico de gallo
- 1/2 cup (3/4 ounce) cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
- Make the tequila marinade
- 1. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime zest and juice, orange juice, tequila, and honey or agave nectar. Pour the marinade into a shallow baking dish large enough to accommodate the fish fillets in a single layer.
- 2. Pat the fish fillets dry and season on both sides with salt and pepper to taste. Add the fish fillets to the marinade, turn to coat, and marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes. Flip the fish and marinate for 15 minutes more. (For a more pronounced flavor, marinate the fish for 25 minutes on each side—but no longer than that or the acid in the citrus will start to “cook” the fish.)
- Make the grilled fish tacos
- 3. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct grilling over high heat. Brush the grill grate clean. Lightly oil a wadded up paper towel and, using tongs, carefully wipe the oil on the grate.
- 4. Remove the fish from the marinade, discarding the marinade. Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper. Brush the fish on both sides with the mayonnaise, coating the fillets evenly. If desired, place the fish in a fish grilling basket.
- 5. Place the fish on the grill directly over the fire and cook, turning once, until it’s opaque throughout and flakes when prodded gently with a fork. For the timing, follow the rule of about 8 minutes total per 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) of thickness, but be aware that it can take up to twice that long if your fire isn’t hot or your fish is especially thick. Transfer the fish to a platter.
- 6. Toss the tortillas onto the grill, flipping them often with tongs, until warmed through, a total of about 1 minute on each side. Stack the tortillas and wrap them in a kitchen towel to keep them warm and pliable.
- 7. Using a fork, break the fish into bite-size chunks. To assemble each taco, top a tortilla with some fish, a little cabbage, a generous spoonful salsa (if using store-bought salsa, first drain off any excess liquid), and a sprinkle of cilantro. If desired, you can double up and use 2 tortillas per taco, as sometimes a single tortilla will begin to fall apart due to the liquid from the lime and salsa soaking through. Serve at once.
Grilled Shrimp Tacos Variation
- Craving shellfish? Swap 2 pounds medium shelled shrimp for the fish. It’s as easy as that.
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