Despite the fact that I am from a small town in Kansas, I certainly can appreciate a good fish taco.  After constantly seeing pins for fish tacos on Pinterest, I decided it was finally time to give it a go.  

The reason I like to call these “basic bitch fish tacos” is because you could search for hours on the internet and come across thousands of fancy fish tacos with gourmet toppings, ridiculous fish options, and a ton of other unnecessary details that just take up more of your time.  I wanted to get right down to it and make a solid, introductory recipe for these bad boys and cut out the fancy frills for you.  That being said, we are going to use seasonings that you most likely have on hand, a fish that is easy to find at your local grocery store, and a slaw that I made myself using ingredients from said grocery store’s salad bar.  Don’t get judge-y on me quite yet – it’s seriously good.


fish taco sauceOh, and I felt the need to make three different sauces.  That may not be so basic, but given my addiction to sauce, I had to do it.  And the best part?  I made three different ones so I could narrow it down for you!  So you get the best of the best without all the work!  Sweet deal, amigas.

Unapologetically, I used sour cream and mayo in these sauces (and, for the health-conscious readers, some greek yogurt.)  They definitely turned out great, and my favorite was … *drumroll*:

WICKEDLY GOOD FISH TACO SAUCE!  from SoupAddict.  [ Please note:  I did not use coriander or capers, but used salt instead of capers. ]  Mine was still dfish taco 1elicious.

Please enjoy, and keep your fingers crossed that summer comes to Chicago soon.  Then it’s REAL fish taco season!  Maybe we will bust out of the basic bitch shell and step it up a notch next time! 🙂

[my additional tips!]:

Actual Prep / cook time:  really just 25 minutes, unless you let the sauce set covered for an hour.

Clean-up difficulty:  2 [a couple bowls and a saucepan]

Overall difficulty to make:  3 [just a few different components.]

Overall satisfaction:  8.5 [not overly fancy – perfect for a weeknight dinner.]

Price range?  This dish is under $10 for the entire recipe.

What I would change next time?  I wouldn’t change anything!

For your own version, I recommend:

  • I made the sauce a couple of hours early and let it hang out in the refrigerator for a while before using it on the tacos.  It just gives it more time to let the flavors blend!

© 2015 : a flavor journal : by sara alvord



basic bitch fish tacos.
Serves 2
Seasoned tilapia, fresh slaw, and perfect sauce make this meal not only easy, but fun and flavorful.
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
For Slaw
  1. 1/4 cup romaine, finely shredded
  2. 1/8 cup carrot, finely shredded
  3. 1/8 cup radish, sliced into thin strips
  4. 1 tsp. cilantro, finely chopped
  5. 1 tsp. minced jalapeno
  6. 5 medium slices cucumber, thinly sliced into strips
  7. 1 tbsp. red onion, finely diced
  8. pinch salt
  9. pinch pepper
  10. 1 lime wedge, squeezed for juice
For Tacos
  1. (2) 1/4 lb. tilapia filets, halved
  2. 2 tsp. paprika
  3. 1 tsp. garlic powder
  4. 1 tsp. oregano
  5. 1 tsp. salt
  6. 1 tsp. cumin
  7. 1/2 tsp. cayenne
  8. 2 tbsp. canola oil
  9. 4 flour tortillas (taco size)
For Slaw
  1. Combine all veggies into a medium mixing bowl and toss with your hands until all veggies are evenly combined. Top with a touch of salt and pepper, mix again.
  2. Finally, squeeze one lime wedge into the bowl, mix one more time, and bowl set aside.
For Tacos
  1. Combine all seasonings into a medium mixing bowl and stir to blend them together.
  2. Half each 1/4 lb. tilapia filet, making four pieces that are evenly sized. Coat all sides of each filet with your seasoning mix.
  3. Heat canola oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot and spreads easily across the pan, gently lay each tilapia piece directly into the oil.
  4. Cook all pieces for about 4-5 minutes on each side, minding the thickness of each piece and adjusting the cook time accordingly.
  5. Remove all tilapia pieces from heat and place one each into a flour tortilla, making four total tacos. Shred the tilapia filets using two forks, as they should easily flake apart.
  6. Top your tacos with the fresh slaw and sauce. Serve immediately.
Adapted from various recipes
Adapted from various recipes
a flavor journal.