Low-Maintenance Fish Tacos

By • July 14, 2014 • 9 Comments

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Author Notes: Roasted fish is the key to zen fish tacos. By roasting, you can control the speed of cooking and keep the fish moist. Lost crunch from the frying can be made up for with pickled red onion (I usually make a huge batch and then use the leftovers for lunches and any other excuse I can find). The onions get a bowl, as does the avocado, which turns out to be conveniently soft and sliceable by 7-year-olds. Cilantro sprigs and lime -- I put them in a pile right on the countertop for serving -- and Cholula hot sauce on the table make up the rest of it.

If I make the onions ahead of time, I can have fish tacos ready in 15 minutes. While the fish, rubbed with cumin and ground ancho chile powder, roasts, I clean the cilantro and toast the corn tortillas in a dry pan. My kids slice the avocado and my husband pours lemonade and opens beers. You can guess who gets what.
Amanda Hesser

Serves 4

For the pickled onions

  • 1 red onion
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 part water
  • 2 parts cider vinegar
  1. Slice the onions very thinly and put them in a microwaveable container. Add the salt and sugar. Cover everything with 1 part water to 2 parts vinegar.
  2. Microwave for 1 minute, stir, and microwave for another minute. Cool, then refrigerate overnight (if you have time).

For the fish tacos

  • 3/4 pound pollack or hake or other good white fish
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ancho chile or chipotle
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Pickled onions
  • 1 avocado, cut into 1/8-inch slices, lengthwise
  • 1 bunch cilantro, washed and dried
  • 2 limes, each cut into 6 wedges
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • Hot sauce of your choice (we like Cholula)
  1. Heat the oven to 350° F. Season the fish with salt, then the cumin and chile. Lay the fish in a baking dish, and sprinkle with the olive oil.
  2. Meanwhile, set out the pickled onions. Slice the avocado and put it in a bowl (I like to squeeze a little lime juice over it so it doesn’t brown). Wash and dry the cilantro and pile it on your counter. Do the same with the lime wedges.
  3. When the oven is hot, bake the fish until just cooked through, about 10 minutes. While the fish roasts, place a large skillet over medium high heat. Add as many tortillas as you can – probably just 2 – and toast for a minute or two on each side, just enough to warm through and leave a light toasting mark; be careful not to let them dry out. Keep the warm tortillas piled under a clean tea towel.
  4. When the fish is ready, serve it with the warm tortillas and all the fixins, and let everyone have at it, making their own dream fish tacos.
Jump to Comments (9)

Comments (9) Questions (1)

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4 months ago sel

this fish recipe i have been making in different ways for many years....but in a pinch, i use breaded Hailbut
fish from Trader Joes....they really have good flavor and one can use cajun spices on them when baking.
Never had anyone say they were not good. Of course there is nothing like fresh fish, but sometimes time does not permit...

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4 months ago kirstjen

The fish was very quick & easy & tasty. I didn't use the suggested pickled onions, but I may next time. Instead, I garnished with a bit of corn & avocado salad.

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4 months ago li

This was an amazing and easy dish. So much flavor. Perfect summer dinner.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

4 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Great to hear it!

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4 months ago Jennifer

Delicious and easy. Made three generations of picky eaters happy!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

4 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

So glad!

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4 months ago sel

there is nothing like a crisp fillet for tacos..none other will do. Now, there is a simple way to bake the fish
and have it come out crispy.....if one looks on the net for the recipe, you will find it is very possible.

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4 months ago margaretb

As a live-alone person who loves to eat well and heathily, I have arrived at much the same place about frying and keeping things simple....mostly through just dumb luck, I think!! Here is a suggestion about baking the fish, which is not my own but something I picked up from an online guru....wish I could remember who so I could give credit because this is a winner!!....Heat oven to 450 degrees...cook fish with its flavorings for 7 minutes, uncovered....remove from oven, cover with lid or foil and let sit for 5 minutes. Then proceed with taco-making per usual;.
The only questionable thing about this is using energy to heat up the oven...but the end result is fish wonderfully moist and flavorful!!.
One other wrinkle: I am able to get never-before-frozen fish (tilapia usually ) at local grocery (Publix)....so when on special I buy 6-7 filets....and freeze as the S C coastal experts do..... competely covered in water. Then store as a block of ice-encased fish, thawing one at a time to make two tacos. A single filet fits well in the oval plastic containers that pre-packaged deli meats are packaged in, occasionally folding under the end of a large piece, and being sure that it is totally covered by the water/ice. Keeps well indefinitely, but I manage to use them up in a couple of weeks!!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

4 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks for the tips!