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Fish Tacos

Fish tacos are delicious, but fish tacos with cheese and cajun spices are even better! This recipe is so simple, but incredibly fresh and delicious!

(This recipe was originally posted in March 2010, but was updated with new photos in 2018).

Close-up for fish tacos with bright purple cabbage, red tomatoes, and shredded cheese with sliced avocados in the background and "Fish Tacos" text at the top of the photo

Isn’t it funny that there are some foods and cuisines that we just never have cheese with? Take most Asian food for example. You don’t go to a Chinese restaurant and expect anything on the menu to contain cheese. And when you have fish, you rarely ever enjoy it with cheese. Until now. Because, what the heck is the point of a taco if there’s no cheese involved? At first, I thought cheese on fish tacos was kind of strange… But then I just went for it and it turned out it’s actually fantastic. Especially when the fish is rubbed in Cajun spices and served with a cabbage slaw.

FISH TACOS RECIPE

First I have to tell you a secret. I’m generally not a big fish taco person. I LOVE tacos (maybe more than life) and I LOVE fish. But I rarely have fish tacos in restaurants that I really like. And often when I’m in the mood for tacos, I want beef or pork… Smothered in cheese and guacamole. But I’m pretty sure this fish taco recipe with cheese has changed my mind completely.

What Type of Fish to Use for Fish Tacos?

First things, first you have to decide what kind of fish to use for your tacos. Honestly, you can use whatever you want! One of my favorite fish taco recipes ever is this one for salmon fish tacos.  But traditionally, fish tacos are made with a white, flaky fish. My favorite choice is barramundi. If you haven’t had barramundi before, it’s definitely worth trying!  It’s a mild fish that is a great source of Omega-3s. Even better? It’s a sustainable eco-friendly fish! However, you can also use mahi-mahi or cod for these fish tacos… Or really, any other type of fish you’re craving.

What is the Best Cheese for Fish Tacos?

Again, the options are pretty endless when it comes to cheese for fish tacos, depending on the style of cooking you’re doing. But I think a sharp cheddar (I always recommend Cabot’s Seriously Sharp) is always an excellent choice. If you like spicy, a habanero cheddar or pepperjack will help give your fish tacos an extra Mexican flair. However, I’m currently dreaming up a Greek fish taco with feta cheese and a Buffalo fish taco with blue cheese. Once you come around to pairing fish and cheese, you’ll start to get all kinds of creative!

This recipe uses a Cajun spice mix that you’ll rub all over the fish. Then cook the fish in a skillet while you mix up a shredded cabbage, red onion slaw.

Collage showing process for making fish tacos, including barramundi rubbed with cajun spices, barramundi cooked, and bowl of slaw with red cabbage, red onion, scallions, and cilantro

After warming your tortillas in a skillet, you’ll top them with the cabbage slaw and then flake the fish over the top. Then comes the chopped tomatoes and shredded cheese!

Overhead view of three fish tacos topped with shredded cheese, red cabbage, and tomatoes and a lime wedge on the side

And the perfect fish taco with cheese is that easy. I like to serve them with some extra lime wedges and avocado. Because any time you mention “taco,” I’m gonna need some avocado, too.

Pick up and dig in. I can honestly say these were the best fish tacos I’ve ever had. Probably in part because the fish wasn’t fried and was full of flavor. I loved knowing that it was all fresh and I kind of felt like I was on a beach in California. Though I was really in Boston in the middle of another huge rain storm. But food can totally transport you, right?

Head-on close up view of a fish taco topped with shredded cheese, tomatoes, and red cabbage with sliced avocado and lime wedge in the background

The flavors in the tacos went so well together as did the consistencies- I love the little crunch from the cabbage.

The sharpness of the cheese was amazing. I don’t discriminate against cheese and really do love them all, but when forced to choose, I say the sharper, the better. I’ve never tried a cheese that’s too sharp for my liking. Nor have I met one that’s too spicy. Actually, that’s a lie… I recently had a ghost pepper colby jack and it almost killed me. It was beyond spicy.

Landscape head-on view of three fish tacos on a white plate topped with red cabbage, tomatoes, and shredded cheese with sliced avocado and a lime wedge in the background

I have to tell you that these fish tacos go absolutely perfectly with a nice bottle of hoppy beer. Then you’ll really feel like you’re on a beach in California. And you’ll probably be all kinds of relaxed and forget you have a job and a family and responsibilities and a house to clean. I told you food could transport you.

Close-up for fish tacos with bright purple cabbage, red tomatoes, and shredded cheese with sliced avocados in the background

And now I am a true fish taco believer and am on a quest to convince everyone that you should always serve fish tacos with cheese.

What kind of cheese would you use on fish tacos?

If you’re looking for more delicious fish recipes, check out my Grilled Mojito Swordfish or my Salt Baked Fish. I also love these Crispy Jerk Fish Tacos from More Than You Can Chew!

Fish Tacos

Fish tacos are delicious, but fish tacos with cheese and cajun spices are even better! This recipe is so simple, but incredibly fresh and delicious!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Entree
Cuisine: American, Eclectic
Keyword: Fish Tacos, Healthy Tacos, Summer Tacos
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Sues

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 lb. barramundi, mahi mahi, or cod, skin removed
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 1 lime)
  • 6 small (6-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (can also use habanero cheddar or pepperjack)

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, mix together paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, and thyme.
  • Rub spice mix all over both sides of the fish.
  • Heat canola oil in a large skillet or grill pan over high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, place fish in the pan and immediately add butter. Cook fish for about 4 minutes on one side to blacken, flip and cook for another 3 minutes on the other side. Remove to plate to rest for a few minutes.
  • While fish is cooking, put shredded cabbage, red onion, scallions, cilantro, and lime juice in a medium bowl. Toss to combine.
  • Warm tortillas on both sides in a skillet over high heat or in a microwave.
  • Put some of the cabbage mixture on each tortilla. Using a fork, flake fish and put over the cabbage. Top with tomatoes and cheese.

Notes

  • Recipe adapted from Stephanie Sokolove

18 Responses to "Fish Tacos"

  1. Fun and Fearless in Beantown says:

    These photos look amazing! I love fish tacos and although tacos are one of my go-to fun meals, I’ve never actually made fish tacos at home…but I’d love to say, this has got to be an awesome product to review. Yum, cheese!

  2. Erica says:

    The fish looks like it came out perfect! Josh loves fish tacos. You should do a fondue night with friends!!

  3. Sophie @ yumventures says:

    These look amazing! I only had fish tacos once, in Australia, and they were so good I didn’t think they could be re-created. But these look amazing, and I just have to try them.

  4. Sassy Molassy says:

    Okay, this looks seriously good. I need to find Cabot cheese…wonder if they ship it to little ole Eugene, OR. THanks for the recipe!

  5. Shannon says:

    ooh, i love fish tacos, but i don’t know about the cheese on them 🙂 nevertheless, cabot is wonderful 🙂

  6. Lynn says:

    I’m not a big fish taco fan, but yours looks delicious. Cheese? Yes!!!

  7. Susan says:

    Um, I just emailed this to so many friends.

  8. Pam says:

    This sounds really good. I’ve never made fish tacos and will have to try it.

  9. Jessica says:

    The taco’s look great. I confess, I’ve never had a fish taco. Tacos always seem like a veggie or meat thing, and fish just seems funny in them to me. Though, this recipe looks so good, I may have to try it.
    🙂

  10. lindsay says:

    Try them with cotija cheese…amazing. Fish tacos = amazing. Ensenada style aka beer battered are THE BEST but maybe hard to find out there. Let me know if you are ever in Southern CA or Mexico and I can tell you all the best place sto go haha!

  11. Beth @ DiningAndDishing says:

    Beautiful! I ordered fish tacos last weekend actually. I was totally expecting them to come grilled and was so sad to see them fried. Perhaps I’ll use your version to satisfy what I was really craving!

  12. brandi says:

    I’ve had fish tacos before and definitely love making them at home. So good and so easy!

  13. Kelly says:

    I enjoy fish tacos. I have to say, I’ve never had them with cheese before. Maybe I’m too wedded to that Italian notion of not pairing cheese and seafood. These sound fantastic though!

  14. Jessica @ The Process of Healing says:

    Umm YUM!!!! I love fish tacos and I LOVE sharp white Cheddar so I’m all over this!

  15. Kerstin says:

    I love Cabot too – we always get big blocks of it from Costco! I’ve actually never had fish tacos I’ve loved either, but yours sound great!

  16. Jon K says:

    The fish tacos I like best are more on the authentic side. they don’t have cheese on them; mostly they are usually a grilled or batter and fried white fish (halibut, cod, catfish) with a cabbage/cilantro type slaw, and a white sauce made from crema fresca and salsa – and always on a corn rather than flour tortilla.

  17. Renee Goerger says:

    5 stars
    I’ve been craving fish tacos lately so I’m really happy to have found your recipe. I can’t wait to try these!!

  18. Britni says:

    5 stars
    I love fish tacos and this looks like a perfect recipe. Thank you

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