HomeDinnerBlackened Fish Tacos

Blackened Fish Tacos

- Advertisement -

Blackened Fish Tacos


When it comes to vibrant, flavorful meals that bring a bit of summer to your table, Blackened Fish Tacos are a top choice. This dish, with its smoky, spicy fish and fresh, crunchy toppings, offers a deliciously satisfying experience that’s hard to beat. Loved for their bold flavors and versatility, blackened fish tacos are a hit at any gathering, whether it’s a casual family dinner or a festive summer party.

- Advertisement -

Ingredients Overview

To make these delightful tacos, you’ll need:

- Advertisement -
  • Fish: Firm white fish like tilapia, snapper, or mahi-mahi.
  • Blackening seasoning: A blend of spices including paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, and thyme.
  • Tortillas: Corn or flour, depending on your preference.
  • Cabbage: For a crunchy slaw.
  • Lime: For zest and freshness.
  • Cilantro: Freshly chopped, for garnish.
  • Avocado: Sliced, for creamy texture.

Optional add-ins include jalapeños, sour cream, and pico de gallo for extra flavor and texture.

- Advertisement -

The Magic of Blackening Seasoning

Blackening is a cooking technique where fish (or other proteins) are coated in a robust spice blend and cooked at high heat until the spices form a dark, flavorful crust. Key spices include paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, and oregano. This seasoning brings a smoky, spicy flavor that’s balanced perfectly by the fresh toppings in the tacos.

Benefits of Using Fish

Fish is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients. It’s a great source of high-quality protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and essential vitamins and minerals. Fish cooks quickly, making it ideal for fast meals, and its light, flaky texture pairs wonderfully with the bold spices used in blackening.

Why Tacos are a Favorite

Tacos are beloved for their versatility and the endless combinations of fillings and toppings they offer. Originating from Mexican cuisine, tacos have become a global favorite, allowing for creativity and personalization. Whether you prefer them spicy, savory, or fresh, there’s a taco for every taste.

Essential Tools for the Recipe

To prepare blackened fish tacos, you’ll need:

  • A large skillet or cast-iron pan: For blackening the fish.
  • Tongs: For flipping the fish.
  • Mixing bowls: For preparing the slaw and seasoning.
  • A sharp knife: For chopping vegetables and preparing the fish.
  • Cutting board: For prepping ingredients.

Optional tools include a grill for cooking the fish and a citrus juicer for squeezing fresh lime juice.

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions

1. Preparing the Fish:
Rinse the fish fillets and pat them dry. Mix the blackening seasoning in a bowl and coat each fillet generously on both sides.

2. Cooking the Fish:
Heat a large skillet or cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Add a bit of oil and once it’s hot, place the fish fillets in the pan. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side, until the fish is blackened and cooked through.

3. Making the Slaw:
In a bowl, combine shredded cabbage, a squeeze of lime juice, chopped cilantro, and a pinch of salt. Mix well to combine.

4. Assembling the Tacos:
Warm the tortillas in a dry skillet or microwave. Place a piece of blackened fish on each tortilla, top with the cabbage slaw, slices of avocado, and any additional toppings like jalapeños or pico de gallo. Finish with a squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.

Tips for Perfectly Blackened Fish

To achieve the perfect char, ensure your pan is hot before adding the fish. Don’t overcrowd the pan; cook in batches if necessary to maintain high heat. Press the seasoning into the fish to ensure it adheres well and forms a nice crust.

Adjusting the Recipe for Dietary Needs

Making it Gluten-Free:
Use corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas to make the tacos gluten-free.

Low-Carb Adjustments:
For a low-carb version, use lettuce leaves as wraps instead of tortillas, or serve the blackened fish over a bed of mixed greens.

Taco Toppings and Add-Ins

Classic Toppings:

  • Shredded lettuce
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Sliced jalapeños
  • Sour cream
  • Shredded cheese

Creative Additions:

  • Mango salsa
  • Pickled red onions
  • Crumbled queso fresco
  • Roasted corn

Serving Suggestions

Side Dishes:
Pair your blackened fish tacos with a side of Mexican rice, refried beans, or a fresh corn salad. Chips and guacamole also make a great accompaniment.

Beverage Pairings:
A cold, crisp beer or a refreshing margarita complements the spicy flavors of the tacos. For non-alcoholic options, try sparkling water with lime or a chilled hibiscus tea.

Presentation Tips

Serve the tacos on a large platter, with each element—fish, slaw, and toppings—neatly arranged for easy assembly. Garnish with lime wedges and extra cilantro for a burst of color.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

Store leftover fish and slaw in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. They will keep well for up to 2 days.

Reheat the fish in a skillet over medium heat or in the microwave until warmed through. To maintain texture, avoid reheating the slaw; serve it fresh.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Pitfalls in Making Blackened Fish Tacos:

  • Overcooking the fish: This makes it dry and tough.
  • Underseasoning: Ensure the fish is well-coated with the blackening seasoning for maximum flavor.
  • Soggy tortillas: Warm the tortillas just before serving to keep them soft and pliable.

How to Fix Common Issues:

  • If the fish is overcooked, flake it and mix with a bit of lime juice to add moisture.
  • If the seasoning is too mild, sprinkle more blackening seasoning over the fish after cooking.
  • To prevent soggy tortillas, wrap them in a clean kitchen towel to keep them warm and dry.

The Cultural Significance of Fish Tacos

Fish tacos have a rich history, with origins tracing back to the coastal regions of Mexico, particularly Baja California. Traditionally made with freshly caught fish, these tacos have evolved and spread, becoming a staple in many Mexican and fusion cuisines around the world. They embody the simplicity and freshness of coastal cooking, bringing together the sea’s bounty with vibrant, zesty flavors.


Blackened Fish Tacos are a delightful, easy-to-make dish that brings a touch of the seaside to your kitchen. With their smoky, spicy fish and fresh, colorful toppings, these tacos are sure to become a favorite. Give them a try and enjoy a burst of summer flavors in every bite!


Can I use a different type of fish?
Yes, you can use any firm white fish like cod, haddock, or catfish.

What can I substitute for cabbage in the slaw?
You can use shredded lettuce, kale, or a mix of your favorite crunchy vegetables.

How can I make this dish spicier?
To increase the heat, add more cayenne pepper to the blackening seasoning or top the tacos with extra jalapeños or hot sauce.

Is there a vegetarian version of this recipe?
Yes, you can substitute the fish with grilled portobello mushrooms or crispy tofu.

How long does it take to cook?
From start to finish, this dish takes about 30 minutes to prepare and cook.

Blackened Fish Tacos

When it comes to vibrant, flavorful meals that bring a bit of summer to your table, Blackened Fish Tacos are a top choice. This dish, with its smoky, spicy fish and fresh, crunchy toppings, offers a deliciously satisfying experience that's hard to beat. Loved for their bold flavors and versatility, blackened fish tacos are a hit at any gathering, whether it’s a casual family dinner or a festive summer party.

  • For the Taco Sauce
  • ½ lime (juiced)
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (chopped)
  • ½ cup cilantro (chopped)
  • For the Blackened Fish
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 stick (½ cup unsalted butter, melted)
  • 2 lbs white fish (cut into 1-inch thick fillets)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • For Serving
  • Corn tortillas (warmed (or flour tortillas))
  • Shredded purple cabbage
  • Fresh cilantro (lightly chopped)
  • Cotija cheese (crumbled)
  • Lime wedges
  1. Make the Fish Taco Sauce

    In a food processor or blender, blend together the lime juice, sour cream, mayo, garlic salt, chipotle pepper, and chopped cilantro. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

  2. Make the Blackened Fish

    In a large bowl, mix together the seasonings to make your blackening seasoning: garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, cayenne pepper, dried thyme, dried basil, dried oregano, salt, and black pepper. Set aside.

  3. Place melted butter in a shallow bowl, and gently dip the fish pieces into the melted butter. Place them on a separate plate, and sprinkle generously on both sides with the blackening seasoning.
  4. Coat a cast iron skillet with olive oil, and heat on medium-high heat. Carefully place the coated fish into the hot skillet, and saute for 2 minutes on each side, or until the fish is cooked and flaky in the middle. Take the cooked fish out of the skillet, and place on a paper-towel-lined plate. Repeat this process until all of the fish have been cooked. Add more oil to the pan, if needed, between batches.
  5. Assemble the Fish Tacos

    Warm the corn tortillas, and fill each tortilla with cabbage shreds, blackened fish, fresh chopped cilantro, cotija cheese crumbles, and drizzle with the prepared taco sauce. Pair with lime wedges and serve immediately.

  • To Store: Store fish up to 2 days in the fridge in an airtight container. Refrigerated sauce will stay fresh up to 1 week in a jar or airtight container.
  • To Reheat: Warm fish in a covered skillet on low heat until heated through. Do not overcook.

- Advertisement -

Most Popular

Recent Comments

Latest Recıpes