Homemade fish tacos are a delicious and healthy meal any time of year. Made with crispy fish, fresh vegetables, and a zesty sauce, fish tacos are a versatile dish that can be customized to suit your taste preferences. Every time we make them, they’re slightly different – different fish, different toppings and even different tortillas – sometimes they’re flour, sometimes they’re corn tortillas. No matter the variations – they’re ALWAYS a hit, whether I make them for my family or friends coming for dinner.
What are the Most Common Toppings for Fish Tacos
I love, love, love the fruit salsa shown below. I vary the fruit based on what’s in season – oranges in winter, frozen peaches or mangoes in the in-between seasons and fresh fruit in the summer. It just goes to show, you can add whatever YOU love. Here are some other topping ideas too:
Shredded cabbage or lettuce
Cabbage or lettuce adds a nice crunch and freshness to your tacos.
I love fruit salsa, but you can do a fresh pico de gallo with tomatoes.
Sour cream or crema
Sour cream or crema can be used to add a tangy flavor and creamy texture to your tacos.
Try my pickled red onions, they’d be awesome on these tacos.
Radishes add a crisp and refreshing texture to your tacos.
Cotija or Feta cheese
Cotija cheese is a crumbly and salty cheese that can be used to add flavor and texture to your tacos. It may be hard to find so reach for a little feta instead.
Lime wedges can be squeezed over your tacos to add a bright and citrusy flavor.
Mix and match these toppings to create your own flavor combinations, or add other toppings that you enjoy, such as jalapeños, black beans, or corn. The possibilities are endless!
Fruit Salsa for Fish Tacos
I love this fresh fruit salsa on fish tacos. This is one of the toppings that changes every time depending on what fruit is available. I have made it with fresh oranges, mangos and pineapple – AMAZING. The salsa featured in these photos was a peach salsa made with frozen peaches – yup, that’s right frozen peaches and it was delicious!
Savoury Fruit Salsa
- 2 cups small diced fruit (peaches, mango, pineapple)
- 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
- 1-2 tsp hot peppers, chopped (or hot pepper flakes)
- 2-4 Tbsp fresh chopped ginger
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro or parsley
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine fruit, onion, hot peppers, ginger and cilantro in medium bowl.
- Mix in lime juice, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Let sit for 30 minutes to blend flavors, then enjoy.
- Store remaining salsa in fridge for 3-5 days. Bring to room temp before serving and drain any liquid.
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
What’s the Best Fish for Homemade Fish Tacos
The best fish for making tacos is one that has a mild flavor, is flaky, and can hold up to being cooked and then assembled in a taco. Some popular fish options for making tacos include:
Cod is a popular choice for making fish tacos because of its mild flavor and flaky texture. It’s also widely available and relatively affordable.
Mahi Mahi has a slightly firmer texture than cod and a slightly sweeter flavor. It holds up well to grilling or frying and is a great choice for fish tacos.
Tilapia is another mild-flavored fish that is easy to cook and holds up well in tacos. It’s also a relatively affordable option.
Another mild-flavoured affordable white fish. It is a little more tender, so handle gently.
Halibut has a firmer texture than some other fish, which makes it a good choice for grilling or pan-searing. It also has a slightly sweeter flavor that works well in tacos.
Tuna is a popular choice for sushi, but it can also work well in fish tacos. It has a firmer texture and a slightly stronger flavor than some other fish, so it pairs well with bold flavors like lime and cilantro.
A freshwater fish that’s a favourite in my part of Canada. It is mild flavoured with firm white flesh that works beautifully for tacos.
I know this freshwater fish isn’t a favourite for many – but if it’s a fresh caught Jack – it’s mighty tasty!
Ultimately, the best fish for making tacos is one that you enjoy and that is the one you have! 😘.
Tips for Using Frozen Fish for Tacos
Using frozen fish is a great option for making fish tacos, especially if fresh fish isn’t available or you want to save money. Here are some tips for using frozen fish for this recipe:
Thaw the fish properly
The best way to thaw frozen fish fillets is to place the fish in the refrigerator and allow it to thaw overnight. If you don’t have that much time, you can also thaw the fish (in an airtight bag) in a bowl of cold water. Make sure to change the water every 30 minutes or so to keep the fish at a safe temperature.
Pat the fish dry
Once the fish is thawed, make sure to pat it dry with paper towels – press a little to get the extra moisture. This will help keep the coating on the fish and make sure you have a crispy not soggy coating.
Bread the fish while it’s still cold
For best results, bread the fish while it’s still cold. This will help the breadcrumbs adhere better and prevent them from falling off during cooking.
Adjust cooking time
If the fish is still icy cold, it may take slightly longer to cook than fresh fish, so make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly. It’s important to cook the fish until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F to ensure that it’s fully cooked.
Consider baking instead of frying
If you’re using frozen fish, consider baking it instead of frying it. This can help to reduce the amount of oil that the fish absorbs during cooking and make the tacos a bit healthier. To bake the fish, preheat your oven to 400°F/204°C and place the breaded fish strips on a well greased baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes, flip and bake for another 4-6 minutes until the fish is cooked through and the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
Use a hot pan
If you’re frying the fish, make sure the pan and then the oil is hot before you add the fish, and don’t overcrowd the pan.
How to Store Extra Fish Tacos
Honestly, fish tacos taste best fresh. Don’t make too many, and definitely don’t assemble them. If you want extras for the next day, keep the toppings, the fish, the salsa, the sauce and the tortillas separate. Otherwise you’ll have a soggy mess.
To keep the battered, cooked fish, wrap well and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or up to 2 months in the freezer.
Reheat the fish in a skillet over medium heat until it’s heated through. You can also reheat the tortillas in the microwave or oven for a few seconds to make them warm and pliable again.
Recipe for Homemade Fish Tacos
Homemade Fish Tacos
- 2 lb firm white fish fillets cod, halibut, pickerel
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1-2 eggs
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 4-6 Tbsp canola oil for frying
- 12 corn or flour tortillas small
- 2 1/2 cups coleslaw
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup pickled red onions or fresh
- 1 lime cut into wedges
- additional toppings as desired (cucumbers, avocado, tomatoes, fruit salsa, jalapenos, feta or cotja cheese, etc.
The White Sauce
- 3 Tbsp Greek yogurt or sour cream
- 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- Preheat oven to 200°F/93°C to keep cooked fish warm while you finish cooking.
- Cut fish fillets into 1-inch strips. Combine spices and season all sides of fish. Set aside.
- Set up coating stations. Three plates, one with flour, one with a beaten egg and one with panko breadcrumbs.
- Dip each fish strip into flour, then egg, and then panko breadcrumbs, pressing the breadcrumbs onto the fish to make sure they adhere.
- Heat large fry pan and add about 1/2 inch of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add fish strips in batches. Cook 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown and crispy. Transfer cooked fish to a paper towel-lined plate and keep warm in oven while cooking remaining fish.
The White Sauce
- Whisk together all ingredients in small bowl. Taste and ajdust seasoning to your liking.
Taco Fillings & Assembly
- Prepare all taco fillings and arrange on plates or bowls with serving utensils so each guest can assemble their own tacos.
- Warm tortillas in a dry skillet over medium-high heat for about 30 seconds per side. Or heat in the microwave by placing on a plate with a damp paper towel and cooking for 30 to 60 seconds.
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
I’d love to hear what your favourite type of fish is for fish tacos and what your favourite toppings are. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or tag me on Instagram @getgettys when you make your next batch.
Select, store and serve seasonal food for everyday cooking with Getty. Getty is a food educator and Professional Home Economist,who loves sharing tips and recipes following the seasons from her Canadian kitchen. Sign up to get seasonal tips and recipes delivered to your inbox. Learn more about Getty or check out her books and pdf guides.