These blackened cod fish tacos are bursting with flavor! Marinated cod fish, cooked just perfect so it's flavorful and delicate. Topped with my highly rated chipotle aioli fish taco sauce and fresh homemade pico de gallo.
This recipe was first published February 24, 2021.
I love ordering fish tacos when I go out to eat, they always make them just right. Today, we're going to make the same type of restaurant quality fish tacos we all love!
For the perfect fish taco there's a few things it needs.
First is corn tortillas, that's a must have. Using corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas will make your tacos taste so much better! I like to char them in a hot skillet.
Next is properly marinated and cooked fish, so we'll be talking about cooking techniques so you'll feel confident making your own fish at home.
Last is the toppings. Start with some plain cabbage, nothing fancy there. If it's not your favorite, feel free to make your fish tacos without cabbage.
Everyone raves about the taco sauce!!! And for good reason, it's so amazing!!!
End with squeezing on some fresh lime juice. Serve some lime wedges cut up on everyones plate.
What Type of Fish to use For Fish Tacos?
For this recipe you'll need cod fish.
But really any white flesh fish will work. I think that cod fish has a nice texture and a neutral flavor.
Cod fish has just the perfect amount of flakiness so it holds together nicely when you marinate it. Stays together when you cook it but then peels apart for mouth watering bites.
Mahi mahi would be a good substitute.
Marinade For Fish Tacos
The marinade for the fish is a basic citrus, oil and seasoning marinade. And you only need to marinate the fish for 30 minutes prior to cooking it. I like to prep other ingredient's while the fish sits and absorbs flavors.
Here's what you'll need.
- sunflower oil - sunflower oil is healthy, neutral flavored oil, if you don't have sunflower oil on hand make sure to use something that is neutral flavored or else the aromas from the oil will sink in to the fish
- lime juice and zest - using both the juice and the zest of a lime gives your fish a lot of flavor, the zest of any citrus fruit packs so much flavor in it
- blackening seasoning - a special blend of seasoning in one container, it's perfect for fish and you can get it at most groceries stores
- salt - for enhancing flavors
Half way through marinating, flip your fish over. A shallow baking dish works great for marinating. Keep it refrigerated during this process.
How To Cook Cod For Fish Tacos
Cooking the cod for your fish tacos will be the most important step. But hopefully my tips will help guide you in the right direct for success.
Let's talk about techniques for getting the best blackened fish tacos.
If you can (and I highly, highly suggest), use a heavy bottom skillet to cook the fish, at a high heat.
Fish have a lot of moisture in them, so if your pan is not hot enough all of the moisture will leak out. You will end up with a pool of water in your pan and fish that doesn't have any char on the outside.
Use equal parts oil and butter, a tablespoon of each, in the bottom of your hot pan, this will help the cod from not sticking and the butter will give it a yummy buttery taste.
Don't flip your fish until the first side is golden and has formed a little crust on it. That bit of charred crust gives your fish so much flavor.
Avoid overcooking. Once the cod fish has turned opaque, it's done.
Fish Taco Sauce
The cherry on top is this aioli, fish taco sauce. Everyone rants and raves about this sauce, it's the same one used in this five star recipe for chicken street tacos.
It's so good! As strange as the ingredients sound, I promise it works.
Here's what you will need to make the aioli sauce for your cod fish tacos.
- apple cider vinegar
- chipotle powder (this is not chili powder)
- garlic powder
- dijon mustard
- lime juice
The best fish tacos have minimal add-ins so that the fish flavor can shine through, being the star of the dish! A simple cabbage slaw, some pico de gallo and an aioli sauce will really compliment the fish.
Cod and mahi mahi are a great option for fish tacos, they have a light flavor and a nice texture. They also hold up to pan cooking.
Your pan was not hot enough and you used the wrong size pan. You need to use a skillet and cook the fish on a high heat. Fish release moisture when they cook, if your pan is not hot enough you'll be left with a pool of water.
I wouldn't, it only needs 30 minutes of marinating. The acid from the lime juice will start to break apart the fish after sitting too long.
- 1 lb cod fish
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 c cabbage, sliced thin
- cilantro, chopped
- pico de gallo, homemade (see notes for recipe) or store bought
- 16 corn tortillas
- limes, optional, for squeezing on tacos
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil, or any flavorless oil
- 1 lime, juiced and zested
- 1 tsp blackening seasoning
- Big pinch of kosher salt
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- ¾ tsp chipotle powder, this is not chili powder
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp oregano
- ⅛ tsp garlic powder
- ½ c mayo
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- Prepare the pico de gallo, if making your own
- Prepare the aioli sauce by putting all ingredients in a bowl and whisking together, store in the fridge until ready to use
- In a baking dish combine the marinade ingredients; sunflower oil, lime juice, lime zest, blackening seasoning and a pinch of kosher salt
- Whisk this all together and add the fish to the dish, coating all the sides, cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes
- Heat tortillas on a hot skillet until char marks appear, flip and cook an additional minute
- Remove the tortilla from the skillet and store between a towel folded over it, with a damp paper towel in there as well (keeps them soft and helps create warm steam)
- Turn skillet heat down a bit but keeping it hot, add the oil and butter
- Add the fish to the hot pan, keeping the pieces away from each other so they are not touching
- Do not touch them or move them around
- Cook until the bottom is crispy, flip the cod and continue cooking until the fish is opaque and cooked through (total cook time is about 5-7 minutes)
- Remove from the pan to a plate, cover with foil to keep warm
- To plate the tacos, start with two tortillas stacked, add a handful of cabbage, the cod fish, drizzle on some aioli sauce, pico de Gallo and cilantro
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 378Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 681mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 5gSugar: 2gProtein: 18g
This information comes from online calculators. Although moderncrumb.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.