Fish Taco

You would be amazed how easy it is to make these Fish Tacos. Corn tortillas with perfectly seasoned pan-fried tilapia and topped with cabbage, pickled onion, and Avocado crema. The secret lies in the Fish seasoning/marinade that is spicy and packed with flavor.

Fish taco with toasted corn tortilla, avocado crema, tilapia, cabbage, pickled onion, jalapeno and cilantro.

We as a family take Taco Tuesday quite seriously and love to try different variations. This spicy tilapia fish taco recipe is such a breeze to make, that you barely need 30 minutes. Every bite of this taco is filled with tender fish, crunchy veggies, and creamy avocado. With different layers of texture and flavor, this fish taco is seriously the best you will ever have.

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The fish seasoning/marinade is the real deal here, It is zesty, spicy, and smokey. When cooked the fish has a beautiful golden crust while still juicy on the inside. OMG! I am again craving these tacos after seeing the photos. I know what’s going to be today’s dinner, all I need is to thaw the fish for making these.

Fish taco with toasted corn tortilla, avocado crema, tilapia, cabbage, pickled onion, jalapeno and cilantro.


Fish seasoning/marinade for Tacos

  • Fish- Any white fish fillet will work here. I have used tilapia in this recipe. You can use cod, halibut or mahi mahi will also do.
  • Seasoning – Seasoning has garlic powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
  • Fresh Lime juice – Tenderises the meat and adds freshness to the marinade
  • Oil – Because we are searing the fish use olive oil(not extra virgin) or any other neutral oil with a high smoking point.
  • Cilantro – Fresh chopped cilantro
Fish taco marinade

Topping for Fish Taco

Probably the best thing about tacos is that there is no rule for topping. Add your favorite and customize it to your taste/preference. Add a creamy element like a fish taco sauce or Avocado cream( like I have made here), then some veggies for crunch.

  • Tortillas- Corn tortilla is my personal preference but any tortilla is just fine. Look for small tortillas made for street-style tacos. The small size is just perfect for tacos, holds good enough stuffing, and is handy to eat.
  • Cabbage – Finely shredded cabbage for some crunch. You could also use purple cabbage
  • Onion – to make pickled onion
  • For Avocado crema – Avocado, Fresh lime juice, sour cream, jalapeno, and cilantro.
Toppings for Taco

Other Taco Topping ideas / Variations

  • Slaw– Fish taco with a creamy slaw is a classic. Creamy slaw topped with grilled fish, avocado, cilantro and jalapeno.
  • Pico-de-Gallo or salsa
  • Add shredded cheese or crumbled Mexican cotija cheese on top.
  • Shredded lettuce, roasted corn
  • Shrimp, salmon, and other white firm fish can also be used instead of tilapia.

How to make it

Marinate and cook fish

The fish marinade is spicy, smokey, and zesty. It’s just perfect for the mild white fish. 15-20 minutes of marination is just enough for the fish to absorb the flavors. Use that time to prep rest of the ingredients for topping.

Marinade tilapia with taco seasoning.
Pan fried Tilapia for Taco

Cook marinated fish on stove top on a nonstick pan for 2 minutes on each side. If using an outdoor grill, ensure you grease it well to prevent fish from sticking.

Once fish is cooked, let it cool down a bit, then break it into rough chunks using a fork.

Cook marinated tilapia on hot skillet and break into large pieces.

Prepare the toppings

While the fish marinates, do the chopping veggie part and prepare everything for assembling the taco.

To make Avocado crema

Mash avocado, add the rest of the ingredients, and mix. I like the crema chunky. For a smooth sauce-like consistency, give this creamy Avocado Dip a try, which you can also as taco topping.

To make Quick Pickled onion

Slice a large red onion. Add 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 cup water. Let it rest for 30 minutes, then drain and use.

making avocado crema with mashed avocado, chopped jalepeno, cilantro, sour cream, lime juice.

Assemble Taco

My daughter loves to make her tacos. So I toast tortillas and wrap them in a kitchen towel to keep them from drying out. Serve fish, avocado crema, and the rest of the topping in bowls. Spoon crema, top it with fish followed by cabbage, pickled onion, fresh cilantro, and jalapeno slices.

Assembling Fish taco - Toasted corn tortillas topped with creamy avocado sauce, pan fried Tilapia, cabbage, pickled onion, jalepeno and cilantro

Recipe Tips

  1. If using frozen fish, make sure you thaw it well and also dry excess moisture. Otherwise, excess water will dilute the marinade.
  2. Make sure after toasting the tortillas, you wrap them in a kitchen towel to prevent them from drying.
  3. Tilapia or any other white fish for that matter takes 2 minutes of cooking on each side. I prefer cooking them on medium-high heat for a little charred crust. If cooked any longer, the fish will dry out.
  4. Don’t keep assembled taco for longer as the tortilla will get soggy and the stuffing will not hold for long.
Toasted corn tortillas topped with creamy avocado sauce, pan fried Tilapia, cabbage, pickled onion, jalepeno and cilantro

Serve Fish Taco With

Fish Taco with chilled margarita plz!! That’s all I need with my tacos. It’s perfect on its own. You can definitely add other side dishes to make a Mexican feast.

More Taco Recipes to try

Flavours of Kitchen Logo

Tilapia Fish Taco

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
marination time 20 minutes
The flavourful fish marinade is what makes this Taco different from others. Fish is cooked until the crust is golden with juicy tender flesh. Avocado crema, crunchy cabbage and pickled onion are the perfect toppings for the spicy grilled tilapia Tacos.
Servings 6 servings


  • 10-12 tortillas small (for street-style taco )

For Fish

  • 500 grams fish fillet (1 pound)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste

Avocado Crema

  • 1 ripe avocado peeled, pitted, and roughly chopped
  • cup fresh cilantro finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno deseeded and chopped
  • 3 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1.5 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt


  • 1 cup cabbage shredded
  • Sliced Jalapeno
  • Fresh cilantro

Pickled Onion

  • 1 Onion Sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Red wine vinegar or regular vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ cup water


Marinade fish

  • Drain any excess water and pat dry fish fillets with kitchen towel. In a container or zip-log bag combine all marination ingredients. Add fish fillets and coat. Let it rest for at least 20 minutes to a maximum of 1 hour.

Pickled Onion

  • In a large bowl/ bottle add sliced onion, vinegar, sugar, salt, and water. Toss to combine. Onion slices will start to soften in 10-15 minutes. Press the slices gently to submerge them in the liquid. Let it rest for 30 minutes at least. You can make it in advance and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Avocado crema

  • While the fish is resting, make crema. Mash avocado with a fork. Add chopped jalapeno, cilantro, sour cream, lime juice, and salt. Mix well and keep aside.

Cook fish

  • Heat a nonstick skillet. Cook fish for 2 minutes on each side on medium-high heat. You could also grill or bake it.

Assembling The Taco

  • Break fish into large chunks using a fork.
  • Heat tortilla in a skillet or toast directly on flame. Keep them wrapped in a kitchen towel to prevent from drying out.
  • Take a tortilla and spread the crema. Top it with grilled tilapia, cabbage, pickled onion, jalapeno, and chopped cilantro.


  • Try making avocado crema just before assembling the tacos. If done a lot in advance, the avocado tends to turn grey. The lime juice in it will prevent it from turning grey instantly. 
  • You could prep the topping veggies while the fish is resting. 
  • For more heat, you could add cayenne pepper to the marinade. 
  • While cooking, brush remaining marinade on the fish for extra flavor. 


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 405kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 1003mg | Potassium: 580mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 516IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 3mg
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One Comment

  1. Subhasmita says:

    5 stars
    One of the best Fich tacos we have ever had.

5 from 1 vote

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