Blackened Fish Tacos Recipe

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Blackened fish tacos have easily become my favorite taco—they never get old. These fish tacos are so delicious thanks to the medley of fresh ingredients stuffed into each toasted corn tortilla. My fish tacos are made with heavily seasoned and blackened flakey white fish topped with fresh cilantro, purple cabbage, avocado, tomato, lime juice, and chipotle mayo.

Blackened Fish Tacos Recipe

For blackened fish tacos I usually use cod, haddock, or similar light/flakey white fish. It’s very easy to cook and light in flavor, essentially taking on the flavor of the spices and toppings. You could also substitute with mahi-mahi or any other white fish you prefer.

My blackened salmon tacos and spicy shrimp tacos are also phenomenal substitutes for white fish. If you’re a beef lover, try my carne asada tacos and my skillet flank steak fajitas! All of these taco recipes pair nicely with a side of cilantro lime rice!

Tips for Blackening Fish

Blackening is a Cajun-style technique involving generously seasoning meat with a blend of spicy, smokey spices and pan-searing or grilling on high heat. It renders the fish with a dark caramelized crust due to the rub of spices.

Blackening season on cod

There are a handful of pre-made blackening spices out there, Old Bay being one of my favorites and most accessible. You can also make your own blackening seasoning (recipe below) with a combo of paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, dried thyme, oregano, and cayenne pepper. This is a great combo that never fails!

Generously coat all four sides of the fish in blackening seasoning for ultimate flavor and punch. Be sure to get skinless filets so you can season all sides. Some premade blackening seasoning can be a little spicy and or salty, so be sure to taste a little before using. Most of the time, you won’t need to add any additional salt to the dish.

I usually sear the blackened fish in a cast iron skillet and serve in the skillet to keep the fish warm. Cast iron gives you a fantastic grill-like seared finish.

How to Toast Tortillas

Toasting corn tortillas on gas range

My favorite way to eat tacos or fajitas is with toasted corn tortillas. If you have a gas range, place the tortillas directly on the grates and fire up the burner. Cook on medium-low heat for about 15 seconds per side, flipping with a metal spatula.

The edges of the tortilla will start to char and crisp and the center will be soft, warm, and pliable. If you’ve run into ripping or tearing corn tortillas, this will remedy the problem and make them much more sturdy and flavorful. This can also be done with flour tortillas.

Cotija Cheese

Cotija cheese is a relativity mild and salty crumbly cheese that usually comes in block form. It’s a common cheese used in a lot of Mexican recipes. You’ll sometimes see cotija sprinkled on refried beans, tacos, or Mexican street corn. It’s amazing on fish tacos because it’s light and mild. It’s the only type of cheese that really jives with fish.

I use the medium-sized holes on my grater for small crumbly bits that you can easily sprinkle—almost like magic cheese dust.

Blackened Fish Tacos Recipe

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5 from 1 vote

Blackened Fish Tacos Recipe

Servings: 2
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Fresh and delicious blackened fish tacos made with fresh cilantro, purple cabbage, tomato, cotija cheese, lime juice, avocado, and chipotle mayonnaise.

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound cod, haddock, or mahi mahi (skin removed)
  • 3 tablespoons blackening seasoning such as Old Bay
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, for searing
  • 1 package 6-inch corn tortillas, toasted

Toppings

  • Chipotle mayonnaise
  • 1 bag shredded purple cabbage or freshly shredded red/purple cabbage
  • 1 plum tomato, diced
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 lime cut into small wedges
  • Finely grated cotija cheese

Homemade blackening seasoning (makes 6 tablespoons)

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
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Instructions 

  • Prepare all your taco toppings and set them aside. This can be done well in advance aside from the avocado. If making your own blackening seasoning, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix. You will not use all of it, you can save it for later in a sealed container.
  • Pat the fish dry with a paper towel. Rub both sides of the fish with blackening seasoning making sure the filets are generously seasoned all over.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Sear the fish until fully cooked through and flakey, about 5 minutes per side. Fish should have a nice blackened exterior.
  • Break fish apart into thin strips using the tip of your spatula. Serve in the skillet to keep warm.
  • Serve with warmed or toasted corn tortillas with tomato, avocado, shredded cabbage, cilantro, chipotle mayo, and cotija cheese. Serve with lime wedges. See the note below on toasting tortillas!

Blackening seasoning

  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl or container and mix to incorporate. This recipe makes 6 tablespoons so you will have plenty extra.

Notes

My favorite way to eat tacos or fajitas is with toasted corn tortillas. If you have a gas range, place the tortillas directly on the grates and fire up the burner. Cook on medium-low heat for about 15 seconds per side, flipping with a metal spatula. The edges of the tortilla will start to char and crisp and the center will be soft, warm, and pliable with irresistible flavor. If you’ve run into ripping or tearing corn tortillas, this will remedy this problem and make them much more sturdy. This can also be done with flour tortillas.

Nutrition

Calories: 558kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 55.6gFat: 29.2gSaturated Fat: 5.5gCholesterol: 124mgSodium: 212mgFiber: 8.7gSugar: 2.8g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Cajun
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About Shawn Williams

My name is Shawn, author behind Kitchen Swagger. I'm a food & drink enthusiast bringing you my own simple and delicious restaurant-inspired recipes.

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