Photo: Oxmoor House 
Hands-on Time
25 Mins
Total Time
25 Mins
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.

How to Make It

Step 1


Step 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.

Step 3


Step 4

Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high.

Step 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.

Step 6

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

Step 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.

Step 8


Step 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.

Step 10

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

Step 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.

Step 12

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

Step 13

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

Step 14

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

Step 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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