These smoky and savory blackened cod tacos are an easy and delicious fish taco recipe with crisp cabbage, fresh lime juice, bright pico de gallo, and lightly charred tortillas. They're a weeknight dinner you'll love!
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- Why You'll Love Blackened Fish Tacos
- What You'll Need for Cod Fish Tacos
- How to Make This Fish Taco Recipe
- Recommended Equipment
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Variations and Substitutions
- How to Store Blackened Cod Fish Tacos
- Expert Tips
- How to Serve This Recipe for Blackened Cod Tacos
- More Seafood Recipes to Try
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
Why You'll Love Blackened Fish Tacos
I've made variations on these amazing fish tacos for many years. They're endlessly versatile! You can swap out the pico de gallo for a tropical mango pico de gallo or a sweet and savory roasted pineapple habanero salsa.
You can use a different white fish or swap the flour tortillas for corn tortillas. Add avocado or sour cream or hot sauce - whatever sounds good to you!
They're easy and quick, making them perfect for a weeknight dinner. Plus, they're incredibly delicious.
With savory, smoky fish topped with a homemade blackening seasoning, vibrant, crisp cabbage, tangy lime juice, and fresh salsa, these are the best fish tacos when you want something flavorful, filling, and healthy!
What You'll Need for Cod Fish Tacos
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- Cod This is my favorite option when making these fish tacos, but you can swap the cod for another white fish if needed.
- Cabbage Red cabbage adds beautiful color and texture to this dish. You can also use green cabbage.
- Lime Juice Fresh lime juice is best here, but you can also buy bottled lime juice.
- Tortillas I like to use the soft tacos size of flour tortillas. Feel free to swap for corn tortillas or whatever variety of tortilla you prefer.
- Sour Cream Optional. Adds a nice bit of tanginess and creaminess to the dish.
- Oil You can use olive oil or a neutral oil like grapeseed oil or avocado oil to cook the fish in.
- Blackening Spice The ingredients for this homemade blackening spice are linked below. You can also use storebought blackening spice.
- Pico de Gallo You can also use whatever salsa you like. The ingredients for this pico de gallo recipe are shown below.
Pico de Gallo
You'll need to make one recipe of this pico de gallo, which calls for:
- Tomatoes I like to use roma tomatoes, but you can use globe tomatoes as well.
- Onion White onion is my recommendation for this recipe, but a red onion or yellow onion will work as well.
- Fresh Cilantro Check out this article on cilantro for guidance on picking the best bunch and storing your cilantro properly.
- Lime Juice Again, fresh lime juice is best, but go ahead and use bottled lime juice if you don't have access to fresh limes.
- Jalapeños You can devein and deseed the peppers for a milder salsa.
- Salt I always recommend using kosher salt when you are cooking. It's less salty per teaspoon than table salt or sea salt, making it easier to taste for seasoning as you go without oversalting.
You'll also need to mix up one recipe of this blackening spice. You'll need:
- Cayenne Pepper You can swap this for chili powder if you'd prefer a less spicy blend.
- Paprika I used sweet paprika when making this recipe, but smoky will work well, too. It will have a more savory, smoky taste.
- Garlic Powder Many people also add onion powder, so feel free to do so if that's a flavor you enjoy.
- Oregano Dried oregano is best for this recipe. Using all dry ingredients increases the shelf life of the finished seasoning blend.
- Thyme I recommend using dried thyme, too.
- Black Pepper Freshly ground black pepper will add to the smoky, somewhat spicy taste of this dish.
- Salt Be sure to use about half of the salt recommended in this recipe if you are using table salt or sea salt instead of the kosher salt that's called for.
How to Make This Fish Taco Recipe
Step One Make the pico de gallo. It's best to make this a little bit in advance for the flavors have a chance to meld. Try making it the day before if you have time!
Step Two Prepare the blackening spice blend. Set aside.
Step Three Thinly slice the cabbage and dress it with the juice of half a lime (approximately 1 tablespoon).
Step Four Pat the fish dry on both sides with a paper towel to remove as much moisture as possible.
Step Five Evenly coat both sides of the fish with the blackening seasoning.
Step Six Cook the fish in a skillet over medium heat. The length of time it takes to cook the dish will depend on the thickness of the fish. For fish that is about 1 inch thick, cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until the fish is cooked through. It should flake easily and have a glistening white color inside.
Step Seven Optional, while the fish is cooking: char your tortillas over the burner of a gas stove. This can also be done on a grill.
Step Eight Assemble the tacos! Add the fish, topping with cabbage and pico de gallo to taste. Serve with lime wedges and your favorite beverage.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
White fish is the best choice for fish tacos. It has a milder flavor than other types of fish that won't compete with the other elements in the dish. It's also relatively inexpensive and cooks quickly.
Cod is a better choice when making fish tacos. It has a meaty texture, mild flavor, and cooks evenly and quickly. The delicate texture of flounder is better suited to sautéeing, steaming, or roasting.
Outside of the upper west coast of Mexico, California is best known for its fish tacos, particularly southern California and coastal areas of the state.
Variations and Substitutions
Different Kind of Fish White Fish like tilapia or mahi mahi or halibut will work well in place of cod.
Corn Tortillas Swap the flour tortillas for corn tortillas if you'd like.
Creamy Slaw In place of the cabbage simply dressed with lime juice, you can make a creamy slaw by combining the sliced cabbage and a few tablespoons of cilantro lime crema.
How to Store Blackened Cod Fish Tacos
Fridge Store the components of this dish separately so that the tacos don't become soggy. Cooked fish will last for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
Salsa will also last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. I would store cabbage without the lime juice or it will wilt quickly.
Freezer You can store cooked fish in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 months. Tortillas can freeze for about 2 months without a change to their quality.
I do not recommend freezing pico de gallo or raw cabbage, as their texture will not be the same once defrosted.
Reheating I recommend reheating the fish in a pan with a bit of oil until it is heated through. The internal temperature should reach at least 125 degrees F before serving.
- Cook time will depend on the thickness of the fish. For a 1-inch thick fillet, try 2 to 3 minutes per side. If the fish flakes easily with a fork, this is a good indicator it is done. However, you can also measure its internal temperature to confirm. Cod should be served at 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
- You can personalize these tacos with different types of salsa for different flavor combos: pineapple pico de gallo adds a bright, tropical note, serrano salsa is a vibrant green, spicy salsa, mango pico de gallo adds sweetness to the dish, mango habanero salsa has a rich, roasted flavor, and pineapple habanero salsa is a perfect blend of sweet and heat.
- This spice mix can be adjusted to your personal tastes. Add onion powder if you'd like, swap the cayenne for chili powder if you're sensitive to spicy food, or increase the cayenne if you want things fiery!
How to Serve This Recipe for Blackened Cod Tacos
These fish tacos are a delicious meal alone, but are also great with the sides, below!
Try them with an elote bowl! This creamy, bright, smoky Mexican corn is much like elote but it's served in a bowl to eliminate the mess. This preparation is often referred to as esquites.
Serve up a side of beans and rice with these tacos for a traditional side
More Seafood Recipes to Try
Blackened Cod Tacos
- 1 pound cod
- 12 tortillas soft taco size
- ¼ head cabbage small, shredded
- 1 lime juice of
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or neutral oil like avocado oil or grapeseed oil
- 1 lime cut into wedges
- sour cream optional
- 1 recipe blackening seasoning see note 1
Pico de Gallo
- 1 recipe pico de gallo or prepared salsa of choice, see note 2
- Thinly slice the cabbage and dress it with lime juice.
- Pat the fish dry on both sides with a paper towel to remove as much moisture as possible.
- Evenly coat both sides of the fish with the blackening seasoning. This recipe makes enough seasoning to liberally coat 1 pound of fish.
- Cook the fish in a skillet over medium heat. The length of time it takes to cook the dish will depend on the thickness of the fish. For fish that is about 1 inch thick, cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until the fish is cooked through. It should flake easily and have a glistening white color inside.
- Optional, while the fish is cooking: char your tortillas over the burner of a gas stove. This can also be done on a grill.
- Assemble the tacos. Divide the fish into 4 equal portions, then separate the fish into 3 tortillas per person. Top each tacos with a bit of cabbage and a few tablespoons of pico de gallo to taste, then serve with fresh lime wedges.
- Homemade blackening seasoning can be replaced with 8 to 9 teaspoons of jarred blackening spice from the store.
- I use about 2 tablespoons of salsa per taco.
- You can use another white fish in place of cod. Halibut, mahi mahi, or tilapia are all good options. Be aware that if the fish fillets are thinner, they will cook much quicker.
- Fridge Store the components of this dish separately so that the tacos don't become soggy. Cooked fish will last for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge. Salsa will also last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. I would store cabbage without the lime juice or it will wilt quickly.
- Freezer You can store cooked fish in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 months. Tortillas can freeze for about 2 months without a change to their quality. I do not recommend freezing pico de gallo or raw cabbage, as their texture will not be the same once defrosted.
- Reheating I recommend reheating the fish in a pan with a bit of oil until it is heated through. The internal temperature should reach at least 125 degrees F before serving.