While these fusion Peruvian-Inspired Fish Tacos look like their Mexican counterparts, they're delightfully different. Your firm white fish soaks in a simple ají amarillo-lime marinade, and they get topped with a fresh goldenberry pico de gallo. These vibrant tacos with "a twist" come together quickly, and they're super healthy and gluten free!
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - Recipe Inspiration
We love tacos at Andersen casa! ALL. THE. TACOS. On Beyond Mere Sustenance, I've posted recipes for some unusual tacos - fried oyster tacos, tacos de lengua (tongue), and Indian street tacos. Some of them are more typical like my Yucatán pork tacos and ground lamb tacos.
I am fully aware that tacos are not Peruvian. However, tortillas can hold an infinite array of delicious food. After I did the goldenberry pico de gallo recipe, it occurred to me it would pair perfectly with fish tacos. I did not hesitate to run away with this idea. This fish taco recipe will not disappoint!
📋 Ingredients You'll Need
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
Fish and marinade
- fish - Choose firm, white fish fillets - cod (in the photos), barramundi, tilapia, bass, snapper, etc. I often find flash-frozen fish fillets are fresher than the "fresh" options at the fish counter. Choose the best quality you can get. If using frozen fish, thawing slowly (overnight in the refrigerator) will yield the best result. For more see Selecting Fish for Purchase.
- ají amarillo paste - Ají amarillo paste in the marinade is distinctly Peruvian. You can find it at Latin markets and in the international foods section of many large grocery stores.
- Limes - You'll want the zest of 1 of the limes, so don't forget to zest a lime before squeezing the fresh lime juice!
- ground cumin
- marinated and cooked fish - After your fish is cooked, you can cover it with foil to keep it warm. IMHO, Americans have a fascination with hot and icy cold. I'm happy to eat the fish in my fish tacos at room temperature.
- salsa - I highly recommend my goldenberry pico de gallo. I created this fish tacos recipe specifically for this flavorful salsa.
- queso fresco - Queso andina (a farm cheese) is very typical in Peru. I find the closest cheese we have in the US is Mexican queso fresco. Fresh mozzarella will work in a pinch.
- cabbage - You can shred the cabbage yourself, or buy pre-shredded cabbage. The choice is yours.
- corn tortillas - I have a confession to make: I do not love flour tortillas. They have about twice as many calories, and I find them somewhat lacking the flavor and texture of corn. Again, the choice is yours. NOTE: Flour tortillas are NOT GLUTEN FREE.
- Whisk the marinade ingredients - lime juice and zest, ají amarillo paste, garlic, and ground cumin - together in a large enough vessel to hold your fish. Add the fish, and turn over in the marinade to coat both sides. After 15 minutes, turn. Marinate 30 minutes.
- Prepare the taco toppings - Make the goldenberry pico de gallo, shred the cabbage, slice the avocados, and cube the queso fresco.
- Prepare the fish for grilling/cooking - Remove the fish from the marinade. Using paper towels, remove excess moisture. Either spray with cooking spray or brush with oil a sauté pan or grill pan, and bring to very high heat.
- Place the fish on your very hot pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until fillets begin to brown on the first side. You can gently lift an edge to check.
- Carefully turn the fillets. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the fish is opaque, and it flakes with a fork. Keep in mind the fish will be flaked for the tacos, so it is not important to keep the fish fillets intact!
- Warm your tortillas by your favorite method. I use a tortilla warmer. See 3 Ways to Warm Tortillas for more options.
- Assemble your tacos - I arrange all my fish, my tortilla warmer, and all of my toppings in a convenient spot. I let each taco-eater fill their tortillas. I find taco holders are useful.
💭 Tips and FAQ
Can I make these fish tacos in advance? I think these tacos are best made right before serving. The fresh ingredients shine. The goldenberry pico de gallo does not suffer much by spending a night in the refrigerator. I never like fish or shellfish leftover.
What kinds of fish work best for fish tacos? Lean and flakey white fish makes for great fish tacos. We love to fish, and frequently have redfish, red snapper, sheepshead, black drum on hand. Barramundi is a personal favorite because of its sustainability. Halibut, mahi mahi, cod, and tilapia are popular options as well. I typically use fairly thin fillets because they cook so quickly.
PRO TIP: Season all components of the tacos. This is particularly important for avocado and cabbage.
NOTE: Don't worry about removing perfect fish fillets from your grill or pan. The pieces will be broken up when filling tacos.
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Whether #TacoTuesday is a regular thing, or you have tacos only occasionally, this Peruvian-inspired fish taco recipe is a simple and very healthy addition to your taco repertoire! I do hope you'll keep an eye out for goldenberries and give it a whirl. You can always substitute your favorite salsa if not. Try an easy mango salsa!