Bring a little excitement to your next Taco Tuesday with these grilled cod fish tacos. Cod gets a quick marinade in lime juice, orange juice, some chili powder and the party gets even better because there’s tequila involved. You’ll love how easy these fish tacos with cod come together.
About This Recipe
First off, I’d like to thank the person, or persons, who invented fish tacos in Baja California. That Baja version was my first encounter with fish served in a taco shell.
Battered and fried and drizzled with a citrus mayonnaise, I was smitten. I couldn’t get enough.
But us taco lovers can’t live on battered alone. A healthy fish taco, a fish taco with fresher ingredients most certainly has its place in our taco loving hearts.
And anytime we don an apron and head for the kitchen, quality ingredients always make any meal a better meal. Especially when it comes to seafood. Where do I buy good quality cod?
Who is Sitka Salmon Shares And How Are They Changing The Way Americans Eat Fish? Simple, it’s a boat to doorstep program that brings wild Alaskan seafood straight from their fisherman’s collective to your home. Pristine fish from pristine waters, small boat companies that depend on fishing for their livelihood.
It’s a win-win. You get some of the best seafood you’ll ever taste and you feel good about your purchase.
So with that said, let’s take some of that fresh fabulous flash frozen seafood and make some fish tacos with cod.
The recipe for these homemade fish tacos starts with a feisty little marinade. And what’s great about this fish tacos marinade is that’s it’s quick. There’s enough acid involved that you want to keep the marinade short so the acid won’t start brining and cooking the fish. You just want to give it a little head start in the flavor arena.
You’ll love the combination of tequila, lime, orange juice and chili powder.
- Tequila. I know what you’re thinking, “what a waste of a good drink” But with any alcohol in any marinade, it helps season the meat and carry flavor. I used a silver tequila simply due to it’s lack of color.
- Lime Juice and Zest. Lime juice is traditionally used for steak because the acid helps break down the connective tissues and tenderize. In this case, there is no fat in this fish, so it’s used solely for zesty Mexican flavor. Adding an acid, like lime juice brightens flavors. The lime zest brings that flavor home.
- Orange Juice and Zest. Adding fresh squeezed orange juice and zest brings a sweetness to the marinade.
- Garlic. Please don’t push the garlic through a garlic press. A garlic press presses out the oil in the garlic making it a stronger and somewhat bitter flavor. Practice your knife skills here and fine dice for a milder flavor.
- Olive Oil. Adding olive oil to a marinade has the unique ability to help pull flavors out of some ingredients, like garlic. And help bring that garlic flavor to the meat.
- Old Bay Seasoning. Salty, peppery and slightly sweet, it’s always good for seafood.
- Chili Powder. Use a good quality chili powder for this recipe. Chili powder is a blend of many spices such as cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne and oregano, for starters. It’s the backbone to the color and flavor of this recipe.
- White Fish Fillets: Quality, quality, quality. Purchase wisely. I like cod for this recipe. You could also use halibut or snapper. I discourage the use of tilapia. It can bring a mushy texture, and could get mushier after the marinade.
- Corn Tortillas: Yellow or white? I prefer white corn tortillas. They have a milder flavor than corn and will let the flavor of these cod fish tacos shine. See instructions below on how to warm corn tortillas. I like to use two tortillas for each taco for a street taco feel.
- Tomatillo salsa. I like a zesty sweet/tart tomatillo salsa for these fish tacos. Please take a look at my recipe for Homemade Roasted Tomatillo Salsa. It’s superior in flavor to commercial jarred salsas.
- Cilantro. We love it. Cilantro hater? Just leave it out.
Special Notes and Tips
You simply can’t just take soft corn tortillas out of the package and make tacos. They need to be reheated to make them soft and pliable so you can roll them, or fold them.
My method of choice comes from a recommendation from Rick Bayless.
How To Heat and Soften Corn Tortillas
- Prepare a Towel Take a clean dish towel and moisten it with water.
- Cozy Them Up Place eight or more corn tortillas on the towel and wrap the towel around the them.
- You’ll Need A Gallon Sized Zip Lock Bag Place the package of wrapped tortillas into a gallon sized zip-lock bag. Don’t seal the bag.
- It’s Show Time Place the bag of wrapped tortillas in the microwave. Microwave for four minutes at 50% power.
- It’s Steam Time Let the them steam inside the bag for at least four minutes. They’ll stay nice and warm for longer. Voila! Steamy warm corn tortillas.
Or you could use these handy little microwave tortilla warmers. They’re magic and they work like a charm. I have two for if I want to serve both corn and flour tortillas for guests.
Recipe and serving ideas
I hope you give these easy fish tacos a try. And if you do, please come back and give the recipe a star rating. And leave a message about your experience with the recipe.
And if you have a favorite fish tacos recipe, let me know, I’d love to give it a try. And while you’re here, take a look at this fish tacos recipe for Crispy Fish Tacos with Hoisin Tarter Sauce.
Fish Tacos Sides:
What should you serve with spicy fish tacos with cod?
- Crispy Roasted Smashed Potatoes with Chimichurri These roasted smashed potatoes are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside
- Cheesy Mexican Refried Beans With just a few ingredients and a little bit of elbow grease, you’ve got everyone’s favorite side dish for Mexican food
- Hatch Chile Macaroni and Cheese Macaroni and Cheese with roasted green chiles, tomatoes and chili powder = a great side dish for fish tacos.
- Mexican Toasted Green Rice A quick and simple recipe of toasted long grain rice, green bell peppers, tomatoes, and onion. A sprinkling of sliced green olives and red chile powder livens up this Spanish style Green Rice Recipe.
And if you’re really feeling festive, give this Paloma Cocktail Recipe a try. With grapefruit juice and tequila, it’s pretty and it’s refreshing.
And if you don’t want to serve these tacos with the Roasted Tomatillo Salsa, they’d also benefit from a dollop of Chipotle Peach Salsa. Give it a try.
Spicy Tequila Lime Fish Tacos with Cod
- 2 ounces tequila silver
- 1/2 lime zest and juice
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1 clove garlic peeled and grated
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 pound cod
- 16 corn tortillas warmed
- 1 cup Shredded cabbage for garnish
- Tomatillo salsa and cilantro for topping
- Combine the tequila, lime zest, lime juice, orange zest, orange juice, garlic, 3 tablespoons olive oil, Old Bay seasoning and chili powder in a shallow bowl. Mix with a whisk and add the fish and turn several times to make sure it is thoroughly coated. Let the fish marinade for 10 minutes per side.
- Preheat your cast-iron grill skillet to medium-high. Or heat your outdoor grill to medium high.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the grill pan, then add the fish and cook, turning once, about 3-4 minutes per side. It is done when it flakes easily with a fork. If you're using outdoor grill. Use that tablespoon of olive oil to coat the grates of the grill before adding fish.
- When the fish has cooked through, remove it to a plate. Let it rest 1 minute, then flake it apart into big chunks with a fork.
- Assemble the tacos: place some fish chunks in a tortilla, then drizzle with Homemade Roasted Tomatillo Salsa, cabbage and cilantro. Give it a good squeeze of lime juice and serve immediately.
Fish Tacos with Cod … It’s what’s for dinner.
I’m a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program. If you purchase the tortilla warmers, I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. And when using the Sitka Salmon Code for a discount on seafood, I also receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Roz | La Bella Vita Cucina says
I simply love fish tacos and can’t get enough. Love the tangy ingredients! Pinned and saved! Thank you for sharing your recipe, Lea Ann! I enjoy your newsletter too.
Lea Ann Brown says
Hi Roz! We love our tacos around here. Always good to hear from you and thanks for that pin.
You’re right – what exciting tacos!!! love the ingredients for the fish. Sounds extremely tasty. I would probably be happy with just a warm tortilla wrapped around some of the fish. Sounds so good!
John / Kitchen Riffs says
Fish tacos are one of those genius inventions, aren’t they? Love ’em! And yours look terrific. Now I have to go get some fish . . . 🙂
Your photos are great and your tacos are making me hungry . I discovered tacos when I moved to California decades ago. I loved them ever since.
Your tacos sound delicious and we occasionally make the healthy version as well but I sure do love deep-fried. Your box of fish looks very good.