Tacos de pescado with a Cilantro lime aioli

While on our last vacation we went to several amazing restaurants, and all were absolutely wonderful. I had Conch for the first time prepared three different ways! We had lots of fish; grouper was plentiful and I love grouper. Caribbean Lobster on the grill one night; with an avocado corn dip that I contributed to the meal.  I also had an amazing lunch that I have been craving from The Mango Reef.  I had the Tuna roll and what came out was different than expected.  I ended up ordering this twice and the second time; this was the lunch before leaving to come home =( it had raw squid in it.  Not my cup of tea. I had one and gave the other two to Stephan.  Although I did not like it the second time, I have been craving a nice light tuna roll and I liked the way it was presented. Even though I can’t get the recipe I figured I would try to make my own with what I think is a close likeness of the one we had.  It was made with rice paper and not like a traditional roll (seaweed wrap) that I had expected.  So I made my list of what I thought I needed and headed out to the store with high expectations of a wonderful meal for the hubby and I (our daughter was in her church study group tonight)  Although I really want to make this dish it appears that getting sushi grade tuna is harder than expected.  I will have to try Wegmans for this recipe.  So as an alternative of not having the right kind of tuna I decided to make fish tacos.

There are so many variations of fish tacos, blackened, shredded, fried, whole grilled…  Too many people think tacos can only be made with meat; beef, chicken, pork etc. Although there are healthier alternatives to making these tacos I decided to make beer battered fish nuggets using tilapia, I would have used red snapper or even grouper had the grocery store stocked them.  These soft tacos are made with wheat flour tortillas.  You obviously can use whatever kind of soft or hard taco shells you want.

This particular recipe will feed four with two tacos each (I purchased the medium size) It was plenty for one person no need for a side dish with this meal.

For these you will need the following

1 ½ cup purple shredded cabbage (you can get this pre-shredded in the salad section)

4 limes

2 cups of flour

½ cup cornstarch

1 12oz bottle of dark beer

1 egg

Oil for frying (2 inches in a Dutch oven or large pot)

2 filets of fish, I used tilapia

3 tsp chili powder

8 wheat soft tortillas

½ med red onion chopped

1 avacado

1 bunch of cilantro

Cherry tomatoes

Sour cream

1 cup mayonnaise

3 cloves of garlic smashed (or minced)

Salt and pepper


Let’s start with the aioli, it is easy and should sit to allow the flavors to incorporate together.  You can make this without a food processor but it is recommended to use one.  Put the Mayonnaise and garlic Smashed or minced the juice of 1 lime with the zest and ¼ of the cilantro chopped. Process the ingredients until smooth taste and add salt and pepper. Set aside.

aioli mixed before the cilantro changed the color after sitting (it gets darker)

In a bowl combine the cabbage and juice of one lime, add salt to taste and set aside.

Cut all the veggies and have ready for the assembly of the tacos.

Pour the oil in a pan and heat on med high or until it reaches a temp of 375 Degrees.

Cut the fish into nuggets, I cut down the center then across the fish.

To make the batter whisk together the beer, 1 ½ teaspoons of salt, 1 tsp of pepper, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 ½ cups of flour, the cornstarch and egg.  You don’t want it to be to thick as it will expand when cooked and end up cakey instead of crispy.

In a ziplock bag combine the remaining flour, chili powder and a bit of salt and pepper. Throw the fish nuggets in the mixture and shake to cover the fish.

Working in batches, dip the fish in the batter and fry until crisp and slightly browned. Transfer to a pan and keep warm in the oven at 200 degrees until ready to use.

In a skillet over medium heat, cook the tortillas flipping when warmed and browning. Set on plate folded over.

Place 2 tortillas on each plate, I slathered some sour cream on the tortilla, then the cabbage, the fish, onions, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro and a nice drizzle of the aioli. Cut up one of the limes to garnish.

I was impressed at how nice this all came out, the aioli, was easy and really a great flavor to go with the batter on the fish.  Our daughter was in church last night and came home a bit late, so instead of making a whole taco she used the fish as a kind of snack to dip in the aioli and said it was really good.  I think next time I will do blackened fish for these and see how they come out.


I hope you enjoyed the recipe and like always if you try it let me know, feedback is always welcome!


Bon appétit