Fish Tacos

by Lisa on February 22, 2011

Another entry from my 30 while 30 list!  I, believe it or not, had never had a fish taco until I made this recipe.  I saw Alton Brown do this on the food network and thought – well that looks easy enough that I could do it!  It certainly sounded tasty too.  Lately all I’ve been thinking about is how we need a vacation – warm sand, cool water, and margaritas sound incredibly nice right about now.  This week, we finally decided to put the rubber to the road, and decided to plan a trip to California.  To get a jump start on feeling several thousands of miles away from cold weather and work, I decided to whip up a batch of fish tacos from the recipe I saw on Good Eats with Alton Brown.  I have to say, the recipe is so easy it could be made on any weeknight - but the taste blew me out of the water – it is simply amazing.  The important thing to keep in mind is that you need to start the crema 24 hrs prior to making the recipe!  The fish was perfectly seasoned and juicy, the tastes of the crema and shredded cabbage were fresh, and with a little sprinkle of lime juice I really felt like I was a million miles away already.  Now the original recipe calls for homemade tortillas – which I actually did make, although this threw a whole extra layer of complexity - more on that later!  But, if you opt for picking up pre-made tortillas, this really would make a very easy and delicious weeknight meal.  It was fantastic with a tangy margarita…and sitting by the fire on a cold February night if (like me) you don’t happen to already be in Southern California.

Fish Tacos

Source: Alton Brown


  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup packed cilantro leaves
  • 2 limes, zested
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup tequila
  • 1 pound tilapia fillets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 (7-inch) round Flour Tortillas
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon buttermilk
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Shredded red cabbage
  • Lime wedges


In a food processor, combine garlic, cilantro, lime zest and spices.  Pulse several times, until ingredients are well combined.  Add tequila through the spout as the processor is running to combine well.  Take the tequila mixture and place it and the tilapia filets into a glass container, ensuring that the fish is covered well.  Marinate for 15-20 minutes.  After fish has been sufficiently marinated, saute filets in olive oil over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until fish turns opaque.  Cut filets into strips.  Serve with crema, cabbage and lime wedges in warm tortillas.

To make the Crema:  Place heavy cream in a jar.  Microwave for 30 seconds, then add buttermilk.  Place the closed jar in a warm area for 24 hrs, or until the liquid becomes thickened.  Add the chipotle pepper with adobo sauce and salt, and use an immersion blender to combine. (be careful not to overmix, lest you accidentally make butter!)

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