These easy fish tacos have the most amazing spice blend and are served with an avocado and lime crema that is so so good.
It's a little scary how much I love fish tacos. I love them so much in fact that I never make them at home because I am quite convinced that I may start eating them daily. There is just something magical about fish and cabbage and lime juice and avocado crammed into a warm corn tortilla. Or maybe that's just me? But I LOVE them.
In fact, fish tacos is kind of a gateway taco for me. It's the first one I truly fell in love with and led me to all other tacos in every single way you could possibly create them.
Which leads me to a couple of days ago, wherein I found myself staring blankly into my fridge at lunch trying to figure out what to eat and decided to make...fish tacos! Only, this time, I went with a simple baked version because I was starving and couldn't deal with the time it would take to marinade and grill them.
Guess what — they still came out tasting just as delicious! I topped them off with a quick and easy, lower-calorie avocado crema made with yogurt and spices. This was a recipe for success and definitely put a smile on my face and stopped the hangriness that was sweeping over me.
What kind of fish works best for making fish tacos?
Supposedly the "original" fish in fish tacos is shark or mahi-mahi. But, how can we know that for sure? Regardless, a lot of fish tacos are made using a white fish, such as tilapia, cod, grouper, or wahoo. I often make fish tacos using tilapia because it's a sustainable fish that's easy to find in almost any supermarket, and it's budget friendly. Plus, tilapia is one of those fish that takes on the flavors of just about any spices or condiments you can throw at it, and it's easy to bread for that fried fish taco taste.
In truth, you can make fish tacos out of any fish or shellfish you like. I have used salmon, cod, scallops, shrimp, and tilapia. The key is to make sure your toppings "go" with your chosen seafood. White, milder fish like tilapia take on the flavors of whatever you are using as a rub, marinade, etc.
This kind of fish can also take a variety of toppings, but you don't honestly need too many. I try to keep my toppings limited to three to four so that you're not just eating a taco full of toppings. You want to taste the fish too, right? If you love toppings, why not make two or three tacos and mix up the combinations of toppings on each? That way you can see which is your favorite — kind of like your own personal taste-test.
Stronger-flavored fish like salmon, tuna, red snapper, or grouper can withstand being grilled or dry rubbed and won't fall apart as easily. These fish don't need a lot of condiments either, and taste awfully good with a yummy fruit salsa as well. They also reheat like a champ, so don't be afraid of leftovers.
What makes these fish tacos healthy?
- Tilapia is low in salt. It is also a low-fat and low-calorie fish choice and is also free of nitrates. It contains Omega-3 fatty acids that your body needs to function at its best. One three ounce serving of tilapia contains upwards of 20g of protein as well.
- Spices such as chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, and pepper flavor your meal without adding extra fats, oils, and sodium. Spices have also been shown to have antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Corn tortillas are made from a whole grain (corn), and therefore contain more fiber than other tortillas made from bleached grains (wheat). They are also smaller, which means less calories than if you used a big, burrito-size tortilla.
- Cabbage is full of fiber and water — which means good things for your digestive system. Cabbage is also a good source of vitamin K and anthocyanins that keep your brain sharp and focused. Some studies point to these nutrients as essential in staving off diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer's. Cabbage is also great for your skin!
- Lime juice is another food that's acidity is good for your digestion. Perhaps that's why so many Mexican dishes are served with lime — so that they go down more easily and keep you coming back for more. Lime juice can also help you if you are constipated.
- Eating avocados is a good way to make sure you're getting in your vitamins E, K, B6, and C. They are also full of good fats, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium.
- Plain, nonfat Greek yogurt is a great way to make sure you're eating enough protein. In fact, some yogurts have more protein than a glass of milk. You need protein to help build and repair your muscles, bones, skin, hair, cartilage, and even blood. Protein is also necessary to fuel you through the day and to help you stay healthy by boosting your immune system to fend off illnesses.
How can I use leftover fish tacos?
Leftovers! My favorite. Honestly, what I do with leftover fish is make more tacos. I'm just being real here. But you can also smash that fish in a sandwich with all your favorite toppings, too. Any bread will do. (I'd heat the fish first though.)
Or, try fish taco quesadillas. All the same things you love about tacos, but in a quesadilla form.
Tostadas are another great option — like an open-faced taco. Blend up some cooked black beans (or make your own refried beans) as a base, then layer on!
Make a pesto pasta and top it with fish and the avocado cream. This is a dream meal and so easy to make.
Fish Tacos and Avocado Crema
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- 1 lb tilapia (or other white fish)
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 8 corn tortillas
- 1 cup shredded cabbage
- 1/2 lime, juice
- 1 avocado (Haas or other)
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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