fish tacos

Fish Tacos

Catfish fillets lightly fried and topped with guacamole and pickled red onions. Perfect for a hot summer day!


Fish Tacos

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Tacos need a revamp in America. Well, okay. A lot of food does, but tacos are the subject at hand. I think when most people think of tacos they imagine a cheesy, beefy situation that’s piled high with lettuce. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that on occasion but trust me when I say that it’s not the best taco.

It’s good, but you can do better.

And here’s the revamp that I’m proposing, and I can’t believe I’m about to say this: Kill the cheese.

A good taco doesn’t need cheese and in fact it can kind of get in the way if you use the wrong kind. Sometimes it’s good to go cheeseless.

These fish tacos are a perfect example. There’s only three parts to these tacos and adding cheese to them I just don’t think would get you anywhere.

Fish Tacos

Serves 8
Prep Time:
Total Time:
fish tacos
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cast iron skillet

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Catfish fillets lightly fried and topped with guacamole and pickled red onions. Perfect for a hot summer day!


8 fillets of catfish (about a pound), or a pound of any flaky white fish.  Cod would work.
8 tortillas, I think flour worked best
2 avocados
Handful of cilantro
2 limes
1 red onion, sliced thinly
1 jar of pickled jalapenos
Semolina flour or cornmeal for frying
Canola or peanut oil for frying


1) Slice red onion really thin and mix with brine from jalapenos and a handful or two of the chopped jalapenos.  Mix with the lime juice and a pinch of salt and let marinate in the fridge for a few hours.

2) For guacamole, mix avocados and chopped cilantro (a few tablespoons) with the juice of 1/2 a lime.  Don’ot make this too far in advance.

3) Put a thin layer of oil (maybe 1/4 inch thick) of oil in a cast iron skillet and get it going on high heat.

4) Dredge your fish in semolina flour or cornmeal.

5) Fry fish for about 3 minutes per side until lightly brown.  Remove and let drain on a paper towel.

6) Heat tortillas for a minute or two in a 300 degree oven.

7) Assemble tacos and eat!

Pickled Onions

My favorite part to these tacos was actually this really simple pickled onion mixture. You could make your own pickling mixture, but I just bought a jar of pickled jalapenos and used the juice from that along with some lime to lightly pickle the onions. It provided a real flavor punch to the tacos.

pickled onions
Basic stuff, but really tasty.

Slice your onions as thin as you can and mix them with about 1/2 Cup of juice from the jarred jalapenos as well as a few handfuls of jalapenos. Add the juice of a lime and a pinch of salt and mix this all together.

This is best if it sits for a few hours before serving. I just mixed everything up in a plastic container and stored it in the fridge until I needed it.

sliced onions
Just a few hours…

The Guacamole

The guacamole for these tacos is really simple, but it’s important. It adds a creamy texture to the tacos which is a good texture paired with the crispy fried fish and crunchy onions.

Just mix together the avocados, some chopped cilantro (maybe 2 tablespoons) and a juice of 1/2 a lime.

You’ll want this.

The Fish

I used these perfect little catfish fillets I found. Each one weighs about 1/10 of a pound. They are a lot thinner than they look. They were perfect size for a taco.

If you can’t find any catfish that looks good, you can use any white fish. Just cut it into strips that would be good taco-stuffing size.

cat fish
This are really thin actually. Perfect taco fillings.

All I did to prep my fish was to dunk them in some semolina flour (cornmeal would also be good). It’s a very light coating, but I thought it was perfect. You don’t want anything too heavy for these tacos.

catfish floured
I think semolina was a good choice.

I added a small amount of canola oil to my cast iron skillet and got the oil hot. Once the oil is hot, fry a few fillets at a time. Due to how thin they are these fried really fast. About 3 minutes a side was all it took for mine.

You really don’t need that much oil for these. I would guess maybe I used 1.5 Cups.

As with anything you fry, don’t over-fill the pan. The fish shouldn’t be touching other fillets.

cooking fish
Just a few minutes per side.

The Tortillas

I tried two different kinds of tortilla for my version: Blue corn and flour. I must say that for these, I thought the flour was a better choice.

I’d recommend heating up your tortillas by wrapping them in foil and sticking them in a 300 degree oven for a few minutes.

Use your favorite.

I think you can see pretty clearly how to assemble these guys: Guacamole, fish, onions.

I really dug these things.

fish tacos

So there ya go. A cheese-less taco that I guarantee won’t have you missing the cheese.

Like I said though, the pickled onions were my favorite part. I want to just keep a jar of those on hand for everything I eat.

Have you had fish tacos before? Favorite fish for them? Leave a comment!

10 Responses to “Fish Tacos” Leave a comment

  1. Wow… Looks delicious. I am also in process of writing a fish taco post. However, mine is based on tilapia . I would share when it’s posted.

  2. College student fish tacos

    fish sticks
    chopped cabbage
    flour tortillas

    1C mayonnaise
    1C sour cream
    1 packet taco seasoning
    hot sauce to taste

  3. How odd is it that you posted this when I just recently myself made fish tacos. Most people always seem disgusted when they hear fish tacos. I used to be feel the same way until one day I decided to order them at a mexican restaurant. My only complaint was the spiciness level. I’ve ordered them twice at a restaurant and both times they have been rather spicy for my taste. So my husband and I decided to try and make them one night and they were delicious! :) Yummy and no spice. We ended up using tilapia that had been grilled by my husband and corn tortillas. I agree that flour may be the route to go when it comes to fish tacos. This is the recipe we used:

  4. i normally use tilapia or mahi and blackened on the grill.

    shredded romaine and mango salsa as accompaniments.

    the spicy seasoning on the fish play well with the sweet mangoes

    mango salsa:

    * diced charred red onions

    * diced mangoes

    * diced red bell pepper

    * minced jalapeño

    * splash of lime juice

    * chopped green onions & cilantro

  5. Mob member #1: No cheese? Heresy! Burn him!!!!!

    Mob member #2: Well…..he did use that nice jalapeno/red onion relish/salsa stuff, that was a nice touch.

    Mob member #1: But still, it's be a slow week, can't we burn him just a little?

    Nice job Nick. My favorite fish for tacos is the rare "chorizo fish".

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