These fish tacos are irresistible thanks to a double-hit of our Creamy Garlic Sauce: once in the marinade and once in the Garlic Baja Sauce. See the Chef’s Tips below for instructions on how to quick-pickle red onions for a flavorful garnish.
Garlic Lime Marinade
¼ cup Armanino Creamy Garlic Sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons fresh lime zest (from 1 lime)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)
1 teaspoon honey or light agave syrup
¼ teaspoon salt
2 lbs skinless firm white fish fillets such as mahi-mahi, cod, halibut, snapper or tilapia
Garlic Baja Sauce
2 tablespoons Armanino Creamy Garlic Sauce
¼ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
4 teaspoons fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon finely chopped cilantro leaves
salt, to taste
12 corn tortillas
finely shredded green and/or red cabbage
salsa or pico de gallo
For the marinade: in a small bowl, whisk together the creamy garlic sauce, oil, lime zest and juice, honey or agave nectar and salt. Pour the marinade into a shallow dish large enough to accommodate the fish fillets in a single layer.
Pat the fish fillets dry, add to the marinade, turn to coat, and let sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes, turning halfway through. Do not marinate longer than 30 minutes total or the acid in the citrus will start to “cook” the fish.
For the baja garlic sauce: in a small bowl, whisk all the sauce ingredients together until well combined. Set aside until needed. Can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated.
Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct grilling over high heat. Brush the grill grate clean. Lightly oil a folded paper towel and, using tongs, carefully oil the grate.
Remove the fish from the marinade, discarding any excess. Season the fish on both sides with a pinch each of salt and pepper.
Place the fish on the grill directly over the fire and cook, turning gently once with tongs and a spatula, until it’s opaque throughout and flakes when prodded gently with a fork. For timing, follow the general rule of about 8 minutes total per 1 inch of thickness, but be aware that it can take up longer if your fire isn’t hot or your fish is especially thick or faster if your fish is on the thin side. Transfer the grilled fish to a platter.
Place the tortillas on the grill, flipping often with tongs, until warmed through, about 1 minute on each side. They can be grilled until just warm and pliable or a little longer for a little char and color. Stack the grilled tortillas and wrap them in aluminum foil to keep warm. Continue with remaining tortillas.
Using a fork, break the grilled fish into bite-size chunks. To assemble each taco, top a tortilla with some fish, a little cabbage, a generous spoonful of salsa, a drizzle of garlic baja sauce and a bit of cilantro. Serve immediately.
Grilling fish can be a little tricky and frustrating as some varieties tend to break apart. The good news is the fish is flaked into pieces for the tacos so appearance isn’t really that important but to make things a bit easier, consider using an oiled grill basket.
If desired you can double up and use 2 tortillas per taco, taqueria style, as sometimes a single tortilla will begin to fall apart due to the liquid – lime juice, baja sauce, salsa – soaking through.
Pickled red onions are exceptionally delicious on fish tacos and very easy to make: thinly slice a red onion and pack into a pint jar with a tight fitting lid. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup distilled white vinegar, ½ cup water, 1 ½ teaspoons salt and 1 tablespoon sugar; boil until dissolved. Pour the mixture over the onions and let sit until cooled, then use – about 30 minutes. Refrigerate any leftovers up to 2 weeks.