← Back to Search Results
American, Mexican, Tex-Mex
Guajillo-Chile Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw

Photo by:
Comments: 2
 

Recipe

Fish tacos weren't always a popular Texan dish. Like all tacos, they were originally found in Mexico, primarily in the Baja area on the West Coast, though you could also find versions in the Yucatan as well. A man named Rick Rubio is said to have brought them to the United States by way of San Diego, California, bock in the 1980s. Soon, however, you started seeing them on menus in coastal Texas towns such as Corpus Christi and Houston.

I had my first fish taco at Berryhill in Houston, a restaurant that has been credited with making fish tacos popular in Texas. Their version is the Baja interpretation, which means it's battered and fried. I, however, prefer the marinated version, which is more commonly found in South Texas. I find that this type of fish taco not only has more flavor, but is a bit healthier as well, since it isn't fried.

I take mild tilapia and soak it in a tangy, bright guajillo chile paste and then quickly cook it in a skillet. For a bit of crunch, I pair the fish with a creamy cabbage slaw that's given a bit of heat with a serrano chile. Served with warm tortillas, Cotija, and lime, these tacos make for a satisfying meal.

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

For the Fish:

  • 6 dried guajillo chiles, stems and seeds removed
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 pound of tilapia fillets
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

For the Cabbage Slaw:

  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 serrano chile, diced
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

For the Tacos:

  • Flour or corn tortillas
  • Cotija cheese, crumbled
  • Lime wedges
  • Salsa

Directions

1. In a dry skillet heated on high, toast the guajillo chiles on each side for about 10 seconds, or just until they start to puff. Fill the skillet with enough water to cover the chiles. Leave the heat on until the water begins to boil, then turn off the heat and let the chiles soak until soft, about 30 minutes.

2. Drain the chiles and place in a blender with the garlic, cilantro, cumin, cayenne, ginger, lime juice, and olive oil. Blend until a smooth paste forms. Add salt to taste.

3. Rinse and dry the fish, sprinkle with a bit of salt, and place in a nonreactive container. Cover the fish on all sides with the guajillo chile paste and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

4. While the fish is marinating, you can make the cabbage topping. Toss the shredded cabbage with 1 teaspoon of salt and let it sit unrefrigerated for 1 hour. Drain off the excess liquid and then mix the cabbage with the serrano chile, cumin, cilantro, mayonnaise, and lime juice. Add salt and black pepper to taste and refrigerate.

5. After the fish has marinated, melt the butter in a skillet on medium heat. Shake off any excess marinade and then cook the fillets for 3 minutes on each side. Add salt to taste. Cut the fish into bite-size pieces and place in warm tortillas. Top with the cabbage slaw and serve with Cotija cheese, lime wedges, and salsa.


© 2011 Lisa Fain

Note from Cookstr's Editors

Nutritional information includes 1/8 teaspoon of added salt per serving, but does not include flour or corn tortillas, Cotija cheese, lime wedges, or salsa.

 

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

238kcal (12%)
527mg (22%)
4g
1g
15g (23%)
0g
4g (21%)
6g
4g
66mg (22%)
2g
23g
39mg
446mg
45mcg RAE (1%)
17mg (29%)
36mg (4%)
1mg (8%)
 

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.
  • Marcia

    09.25.13 Flag comment

    Easy and tasty. I made half for dinner and the other half for lunch the next day. Boyfriend has requested that this be a regular

  • Magda

    04.04.12 Flag comment

    We really enjoyed this dish. I marinated the fish for about 6h. I fried it on oil not butter and a good nonstick skillet is a must if using tilapia.

 

Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

chez-panisse-fruit Chez Panisse Fruit
by Alice Waters
rosas-new-mexican-table-friendly-recipes-for-festive-meals Rosa's New Mexican Table: F...
by Roberto Santibanez
in-the-kitchen-with-david In the Kitchen with David
by David Venable
mom-a-licious Mom-a-Licious
by Domenica Catelli
mexican-everyday Mexican Everyday
by Rick Bayless
the-whole-beast-nose-to-tail-eating The Whole Beast: Nose to Ta...
by Fergus Henderson
the-sushi-experience The Sushi Experience
by Hiroko Shimbo
the-vegetable-dishes-i-cant-live-without The Vegetable Dishes I Can'...
by Mollie Katzen, Greg Atkinson
baked-explorations Baked Explorations
by Matt Lewis
the-sweet-life The Sweet Life
by Kate Zuckerman
gluten-free-and-vegan-holidays Gluten-Free and Vegan Holidays
by Jennifer Katzinger
the-splendid-tables-how-to-eat-weekends The Splendid Table's How to...
by Sally Swift, Lynne Rosetto Kasper
Already a member? Sign in here
Close_overlay

Sign up to Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new cookbooks, Cookstr features, and other exclusives we know you'll love
Spinner
By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
New to Cookstr? Sign up here
Close_overlay

Sign in to Cookstr

Keep me logged in
close
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?