fish tacos with spicy avocado sauce

Fish tacos are very popular in California and are now my favorite kind of taco.  This recipe has become one of our go-tos for quick week-night dinners.  If you’ve never eaten fish tacos before, I encourage you to give them a try!

fish tacos with spicy avocado sauce

serves 2

[ adapted from Cooking Light, March 2011, “blackened tilapia baja tacos” ]


2 (6-ounce) fillets of white fish, such as cod or tilapia

canola oil

1 1/2 teaspoons paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon dried oregano

3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 ripe avocado, halved and scooped out

1/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 jalepeño, seeded and chopped

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

8 (6-inch) corn tortillas

shredded cabbage

diced tomatoes or pico de gallo


The fish cooks quickly; therefore, I recommend making the sauce first, preparing the tortillas second and then cooking the fish.

For the spicy avocado sauce:  Combine the avocado, yogurt (or sour cream), lime juice, jalepeño and cilantro in a food processor.  Process until smooth.  (Alternatively, combine the ingredients in a large measuring cup and process using a handheld stick blender.  I prefer this method because there are fewer parts to clean.)  Transfer the sauce to a serving bowl and set aside.

spicy avocado sauce

For the tortillas:  Warm a skillet over medium-high heat.  Working in batches, spray the skillet with canola cooking spray and add as many tortillas as can fit without overlapping.  Heat the tortillas on each side until lightly browned.  Wrap the tortillas in a kitchen towel to keep them warm.

Heating tortillas: Chopsticks work well for this, as my Vietnamese husband demonstrates. Very authentic. 🙂

For the fish:  Combine all the seasonings, paprika through cayenne pepper, in a small bowl.  Rinse the fish fillets and pat them dry with a paper towel.  Use your fingers to spread and press the spice rub all over the fish.  Heat a small amount of canola oil in the skillet over medium-high heat and add the fish.  Sear (“blacken”) one side, turn the fish and reduce the heat to medium or medium-low heat to finish cooking the fish through.  The fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork.  Transfer the fish to a platter to serve.

blackened cod fillets

Spread out all the ingredients on the table: warmed tortillas, blackened fish, the spicy avocado sauce, shredded cabbage and tomatoes.  Assemble each taco as you go and enjoy the taste of Baja California.  Yum!  🙂

blackened fish tacos with spicy avocado sauce


6 responses to “fish tacos with spicy avocado sauce

  1. You know what would make these fish tacos better? Ground beef.

  2. acookinthemaking

    Spicy avocado sauce?? Yes, please!!

  3. Yo Carrie!

    Have you been to that fish taco joint in Venice Beach that was featured in “I Love You Man”? Just wondering if they are as good as they looked in the movie (which is hilarious FYI!).

    These tacos look delicious by the way. Well done! 🙂


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