Blackened Fish Tacos

Blackened Fish Tacos

So I came late to the party when it comes to fish tacos, but boy can they be great! I even tried making blackened catfish tacos for breakfast when we lived back in Monmouth – but that’s another story (a story about how gross a house can smell when you make blackened catfish at 6:30 in the morning – let’s just say that Susan was not amused).

So while out here on the coast, we’re trying all the crab cakes and fish tacos we can get our hands on. Most of them are out-of-this-world good (Clearwater, I’m looking at you!). So we decided to try upscaling our game and seeing if we could make fish tacos that could be considered “a contender!” Oh yes we can!

So our approach has fresh-caught fish from Local Ocean, homemade and pressed white corn tortillas, lime-basil crema and fresh made mango salsa. The results? (Paul drops the mic and walks away with a smug little grin on his face)


  • Filet of fresh fish
  • 2-3 T blackening rub (we use Spicewalla’s blend)
  • 2 T grape seed oil
  • 8 homemade white corn tortillas (warm – two per taco)
  • Roughly chopped cilantro
  • (Optional) crumbed feta or cotija cheese
  • Lime wedges for serving

Chipotle/Lime/Basil Crema:

  • 1/2 C sour cream
  • Zest of one lime
  • 1 T lime juice (about 1/2 of a lime)
  • 1/2 C fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped (plus a little extra sauce for good measure)
  • 1 clove of garlic, mined
  • 1/4 t kosher salt

First, we make the mango salsa – you can find our recipe here.

Next, the crema – like the salsa, just mix the ingredients together and place in the fridge until ready to use.

Next – make the tortillas or warm up some “street taco” size tortillas in the oven.

I prepare the fish by picking out the pin bones and slicing the filet in long chunks, each about the size of a small fish stick. I place the fish in a shallow bowl and sprinkle on the blacking spice, and turn the fish so all the pieces get coated.

In a heavy-bottom frying pan, I heat the grape seed oil until it shimmers (on medium high heat). Gently add the fish and cook for about two minutes per side. Use tongs or a fish spatula to turn, depending on how fragile your fish is. When done, place on a paper towel to drain.

To assemble: we use two soft corn tortillas per taco (and taco holders are awesome for this!). Dollop in a little of the crema. Then add your fish pieces, top with salsa and more crema. Finish off with fresh cilantro, a little crumbled cheese and a squirt of lime juice.

Prepare to be transported to a sandy beach almost immediately. Might we recommend a nice margarita or a cold pilsner with a wedge of lime as an accompaniment? Enjoy!

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