May 16, 2013

Grilled Fish Tacos

The Geologist is obsessed with fish tacos. When we were first married, he was pretty sure he didn't like fish, period. He eventually started adventuring out of his comfort zone, and discovered that he DID like fish! Living in Utah, we were introduced to the famous Rubio's fish tacos. They were just about the best fish tacos you can get away from the Coast, in our opinion! Now, those are fried. I love fried things, and fried fish is my favorite form of fish. Unhealthy, yes, but so yummy! As The Geologist has been traveling for work, to California and Houston, he discovered how amazing grilled fish tacos could be. He's been fantasizing about making them at home for months. I wasn't convinced, but we tried a few different recipes, messed with another, and came up with this one. According to him, these are now just about the best fish tacos you can get away from the Coast. I wish we had their super-fresh fish, but I'll make do with frozen for now! And guess what?? SO healthy!!

Grilled Fish Tacos

4-6 tilapia fillets (or any other firm, white fish you like)
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp kosher (coarse) salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Copycat Rubio's White Sauce:
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup plain yogurt (Greek works great)

pico de gallo/salsa

Stir the mayonnaise and yogurt together. Place in the refrigerator to chill while the fish marinates.

Stir all the spices together in a small bowl. Pat the fish pieces dry with a paper towel and lay them in a baking dish. Rub the spice mix generously on each spice. Drizzle lime juice over all. Let marinate for a few hours (at least one hour). 

Make sure your grill is clean, and brush with olive oil. This will keep the fish from sticking. Cook until firm, 2-3 minutes on each side, flipping carefully with tongs. (If you don't have a grill, or don't want to clean one, you can easily just cook these in a pan with a few Tb of olive oil. Nearly as good!) Serve in small tortillas with the white sauce and desired toppings. 
Pico de Gallo would be perfect on these, but I hate cilantro and The Geologist hates cold tomatoes. Odd, isn't it? I added cilantro to this particular taco because it's pretty. The things I do for pictures!!
The sauce is essential. It may sound odd, too simplistic even, but trust me. You've GOT to try it. It makes the tacos. And for all of you familiar with Rubio's, this sauce is the real deal. Trust me!! It's cool creaminess is the perfect accent to the warm spices of the fish and the tangy limes. Add some crunchy cabbage and your favorite toppings and you have a party in your mouth!
We've made them twice already and are making them again tonight. We're hooked. *giggle* Even the boys love them! Of course, for some reason, all they have in theirs are fish and sauce, but hey, they're eating fish!

Shared at Foodie Friday


  1. Sounds fantastic. I agree, Rubio's has really good fish tacos. I LOVE cilantro- so, so much I could eat it with anything. That, and arugula. I love the soapy, peppery green-ness of it all! Coincidently, I am not a huge fan of cold tomatoes either, unless they are mixed with salsa or sauce of some kind, and I WILL NOT tolerate them in a salad! Anyway, I, I cook Tilapia All. THE. TIME. (it's a main staple of my contest prep diet). I find that it is so tender, it falls apart when I move it. I generally bake it, but if I'm in a hurry, I'll cook it in my panini press. When I flip it or take it off the baking sheet, in usually breaks apart. How do you grill it without it falling apart?

    1. We've done it twice on the grill, and only had one fillet break. As long as the rack is clean and oiled, they shouldn't stick, and we use a spatula to slide underneath and carefully flip over. On a baking sheet, I always put foil down first and spray or oil the foil, and it comes right off without falling apart. Good luck!!

  2. This looks absolutely delish...I'm drooling all over my computer. I've never grilled tilapia, only steak fishes...but I'll have to give tilapia a try! I'm hosting a "get your grill on" link party and spice giveaway that ends tonight at 11:59 pm...I'd love to have you share this recipe because I think others would love it too!


    1. Aw, darn, I just missed it!! Thank you so much for the invite anyway, it was just a busy day and I didn't get on here till late! I'm so glad you like the tacos, they're a huge family fave now :) Thanks for stopping by!

  3. The only best fish tacos I've tried in Toronto (so far) are the ones from Hooked. They were ok. Nothing to rave about. I did however try fish tacos in Texas a few years ago and they were outstanding! I guess if you want tacos made right you must go to where they are authentic.

    1. Oh yes, it's a completely different story with fish tacos near the actual ocean, California or Texas. Mine aren't quite that good, but if you're landlocked, they're a darn good susbstitute! Thanks for stopping by :)


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