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Course: Mains
Keyword: Cinco de Mayo, Fish Tacos, Mexican, Seafood, Summer, Tequila, Tex-Mex

Fish Tacos

Tequila lime fish tacos with creme and red cabbage slaw lined up on a serving platter.
ACTIVE TIME: 35 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 day 2 hours
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Tilapia marinated in tequila and lime zest gives these tacos some zing.
Lovers of fish tacos fall into two camps: fried and not fried. I tend toward the fried side as I really like the crunch, but in this case, the marinade brings enough flavor to the party to make up for any lack of crunch.
This recipe first appeared on Season 14 of Good Eats.
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Flour Tortillas


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon buttermilk
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Fish Tacos

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup packed cilantro leaves
  • 2 limes, zested
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup tequila
  • 1 pound tilapia fillets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 (7-inch round) flour tortillas
  • Crema
  • Shredded red cabbage
  • Lime wedges

Specialized Hardware

Food processor
Immersion blender
Nonstick electric griddle
Tequila lime fish tacos with creme and red cabbage slaw lined up on a serving platter.
ACTIVE TIME: 35 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 day 2 hours
Yield: 4 to 6 servings


Make the Tortillas

  • Combine 255 grams flour and the salt in the bowl of a food processor, pulsing 2 to 3 times. Add the lard in 4 to 5 chunks and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 pulses. With the processor running, add the water in a steady stream until a ball of dough begins to form, approximately 30 seconds.
  • Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup of flour on a clean surface. Remove the dough from the bowl of the processor and knead until most of the flour has absorbed and the dough is less sticky, 2 to 3 minutes. Wrap dough ball in plastic wrap and rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
  • Evenly divide the dough into 8 pieces and form into balls. Roll each ball into 7-inch rounds with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface. Keep all dough balls covered with a tea towel.
  • Heat an electric nonstick griddle to 375ºF.
  • Place the tortillas, 2 to 3 at a time, onto the griddle and cook until light golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Hold for up to 2 hours at room temperature wrapped in a barely damp tea towel. Microwave for 1 minute in the damp tea towel to reheat.

Make the Crema

  • Place heavy cream in a microwave-safe, 16-ounce glass jar and microwave on high until cream is just under 100ºF, 30 to 40 seconds. Add the buttermilk, close the jar, and store in a warm place for 24 hours. The cream will have thickened to the consistency of thin yogurt.
  • Add the chipotle chile and salt, and process in the jar with an immersion blender until smooth, approximately 20 seconds. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Make the Tacos

  • Pulse the garlic, cilantro, lime zest, cumin, salt, and pepper in a small food processor for 20 seconds. With the processor running, add the tequila.
  • Place the tilapia fillets into a 1-gallon zip-top bag, add the paste, and move around the coat each fillet. Work as much air out of the bag as possible, seal, and set aside at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  • Heat an nonstick electric griddle to 375ºF. I really like a griddle for this, but in a pinch, you can do this in a cast-iron pan parked over medium heat for 10 minutes.
  • Brush the griddle with the olive oil and cook the fillets until just cooked through and opaque, about 3 minutes per side. Cut into strips and serve in warm tortillas with crema, shredded red cabbage, and lime juice.
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