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Baja-Style Grilled Fish Tacos with Cabbage and Crema

Photo: Oxmoor House


Hands-on time 25 mins
Total time 25 mins
Yield Serves 4 (serving size: 2 tacos)
Travel to San Diego, and you'll find fish tacos everywhere, from gastropubs to quick-service joints to celebrated restaurants. Hop the border into Mexico, hitting up Tijuana, Puerto Nuevo, and Ensenada, and you'll experience myriad opportunities to explore tortillas and Pacific Ocean fare. For this Baja-inspired recipe, it's especially important to regulate heat, erring on the gentler side, as the mahimahi needs sufficient time to firm up without charring too deeply. Be mindful about seasoning the grill grates and super-careful when turning. If you botch it the first time around, make sure to build the tacos strategically by blanketing your first-run grilled fish with perfectly shredded cabbage.


  • 1/4 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 dried pasilla chile
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, grated
  • 2 (3/4-pound) mahimahi fillets, deboned and skinned
  • cooking spray
  • 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups finely shredded white cabbage
  • 4 Mexican limes, cut "seviche-style"
  • 1 cup First-Cut Salsa Fresca
  • 1 cup yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves

Nutrition Information

  • calories 362
  • fat 7.9 g
  • satfat 2 g
  • monofat 2.6 g
  • polyfat 1.8 g
  • protein 38 g
  • carbohydrate 36 g
  • fiber 6 g
  • cholesterol 131 mg
  • iron 3 mg
  • sodium 590 mg
  • calcium 162 mg

How to Make It


  2. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, the sour cream, and the milk in a small bowl. Whisk to blend evenly. Cover and refrigerate.


  4. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high.

  5. Grind the pasilla chile in a food processor (or a coffee-type grinder designated for your spices and other non-coffee items). You should have 1 tablespoon of ground chile.

  6. In a medium bowl, combine the pasilla, the brown sugar, the canola oil, the salt, the garlic, and the jalapeño.

  7. Lay the fish fillets on a large plate or platter and massage on all sides with the pasilla mixture. Refrigerate while you season the grill.


  9. Spray a clean grill rag with cooking spray and rub the grill grates liberally. Repeat until the grill is well seasoned and ready to be kind to fish.

  10. Grill the fish fillets for about 4 minutes on each side, leaving it untouched and unturned during the first 4 minutes.

  11. Turn the fillets once and only once, or you'll have fish bits everywhere. People will feel cheated when you try to hide massacred fillets in their tacos.

  12. Using a thin fish spatula, lift the fish gently from the grill and place on a platter.

  13. Now, brush the tortillas lightly with 3 tablespoons water and grill until marked and softened. This happens fast--30 seconds.

  14. Bundle them up in a clean tea towel and lay the bundle in a bowl or basket.

  15. Serve the fish on a platter with a large serving spoon. Present the fish alongside the tortillas, the cabbage, the cut limes, the onions, the First-Cut Salsa Fresca, the crema, and the fresh cilantro.

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