Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa bring the Mexican Baja Peninsula to the dinner table. Easy and fresh, they're a great meal for taco Tuesday, or any day!
Make your own quick salsa, and not just any typical salsa – one with fresh fruit and creamy avocados. These fish tacos wrap all the good things right in your tortillas.
Fish Taco History
Tacos were in Mexico before Spanish hit land. Traditionally the indigenous people filled tacos with small fish. I have some Carnitas tacos that I make in the slow cooker that are delish. I even have a taco recipe I fill with corn and chorizo, mmm! This is the first fish taco I'm sharing! Fish and shrimp are modern popular fillings for these out-of-hand meals. Tacos de camarones, or shrimp tacos, and fin fish tacos hail from the Baja California state of Mexico. Right there below San Diego.
These fish tacos with mango and avocado salsa aren't battered and fried. Find out what the spicy, crunchy coating is!
Typical fish tacos get a topping of cabbage, or a coleslaw, often avocados and pico de gallo. I think fruit salsas are also super grand on fish tacos. I made mine with fresh mangos, ripe avocado, scallions and cilantro, with a splash of fresh lime juice.
Mangos Are The Best
Mangos add a juicy, sweet peachy-orange flavor to a fruit salsa. With the creamy avocado, lime and scallions it's a really nice balance with spice and fish. I love that mango is so versatile. I use it in my desserts all the time, like my Coconut Mango Pie (to die for!) and the Mango and Raspberry Icebox Cake. But it really is lovely with spicy foods, grilled meats and especially fish. Ever wondered how to pick the perfect mango?
How to pick and ripen fresh mangos:
- Color isn't always the best indicator of ripeness. Completely green mangos are often fully ripe.
- Ripe mangos give a bit with a squeeze, and smell fruity and sweet near the stem.
- Keep unripe mangos at room temperature for a few days to ripen. Ripe mangos should be kept in the fridge.
- Whole, ripe mangos will keep about 5 days in the fridge.
- Peeled and cut mangos can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for several days or frozen for 3 to 4 months.
Often the white fish in tacos is battered and fried. My plan was to keep these simple, and on the healthy side (like athletes preparing for those winter games!). Coat the fish with a spicy cornmeal mix, then sauté it with jalapeños. It forms a delicious crispy coating. Fish cooks so quickly, you only need to cook it a few minutes in a hot skillet.
I use whatever is fresh and priced right as far as the fish goes. All kinds of white fish will work here. I love halibut, flounder works, even tilapia. Yes, you can absolutely use frozen fish! If you buy it frozen, great, just let it thaw in the fridge and use it. It's even easier to cut into pieces when it's slightly frozen! Most of our fish has been flash frozen on the boat to get to us in the best way possible.
I like using a nonstick skillet to cook the tortillas and fish. These pans are non teflon, have a ceramic coating, and are easy to clean. The kids can even clean up! These fish tacos with mango and avocado salsa only take 45 minutes to make. And just a few minutes to devour!
Make sure to squeeze extra lime on each bite!
Fish Tacos with Mango and Avocado Salsa
- 1 mango peeled, pitted and cut into ⅓-inch cubes
- 1 firm-ripe avocado peeled, pitted and cut into ⅓-inch cubes
- 2 scallions white and green parts thinly sliced
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice plus wedges for serving
- 1¾ tsp kosher salt
- 3 tbsp cornmeal
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 lb white fish such as halibut or flounder, skin and bones discarded, cut into ¾-inch cubes
- 4 tbsp canola oil
- 16 (6-inch) corn tortillas
- 2 jalapeños halved, ribs and seeds discarded, thinly sliced
- Hot sauce optional
- For salsa: place mango, avocado, scallion, cilantro, juice and ½ tsp salt in a bowl; toss gently. Set aside.
- Combine cornmeal, cumin, chili powder and remaining 1¼ tsp salt in a bowl; add fish and toss until coated well (discard excess coating); set aside.
- Using 2 tablespoons oil, lightly brush onto one side of each tortilla. Heat a large nonstick skillet over moderately high heat. Add tortillas in pairs with uncoated sides together and cook, turning once, until just golden and starting to crisp, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cover with a towel.
- Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in same skillet. Add jalapeño and fish; toss to coat with oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fish is just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Spoon into paired taco shells. Serve with salsa, lime wedges and hot sauce, if desired.
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Photograph by Kate Sears, Recipe Tara Teaspoon. Originally published LHJ Aug 2007.