Grilled Fish Tacos with Mexican Rice {football fridays}

by Melissa on November 4, 2011

My favorite type of taco: the fish taco. Hands down.

I should clarify… Even before my pescetarian days, fish tacos were my favorite even when I would eat the beef, chicken, pork and duck tacos.

However, I have found that fish tacos are either a huge hit or big miss when it comes to dining out in restaurants. I have a small catalog of local Atlanta restaurants that have the best fish tacos, and will only order fish tacos when I have the chance to visit those eateries.

Since visiting these restaurants with the great fish tacos now requires a 45 minute drive (hello, suburb life), I finally decided to roll up my sleeves and make my own.

Tilapia is one of my favorite types of fish to cook with. When farmed in the US in environmentally friendly systems, is a sustainable form of seafood. But you have to make sure to be aware of what you are buying in the stores because a lot of the tilapia found in US stores actually comes from China/Taiwan or Central/South America (source: Monterey Bay Aquarium).

If you just ask the fish monger at the store, they will be able to tell you the exact origin of the seafood, if it isn’t already labeled in the display. I’m partial to buying most of my seafood at Whole Foods not only because I know that they are more environmentally conscious than most other stores, but the fish mongers are a lot more friendly and helpful as well.

This fish taco recipe lends itself to be great for both tailgating and in-home football watching parties. The fish, onions and tortillas can be cooked on either an outdoor grill or on your stove top. The Mexican rice can be prepped beforehand and transported to your tailgating spot and serves as a great side to these tacos.

What game(s) are you looking forward to watching this weekend? I know most of the Southeast, including us, will be glued to the LSU v. Alabama game tomorrow.

Grilled Fish Tacos (serves 2)

Tacos and marinade
2 Tilapia fillets, about 3/4 lb
1/3 cup olive oil
juice from 1 lime
zest of one lime
1 teaspoon agave
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon seafood seasoning (e.g. Old Bay)
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (e.g. Sriracha)
4 flour tortillas

1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon lime juice
zest from half of a lime
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder

Topping items
grilled onions
diced tomatoes
roasted corn, cut off the cob
avocado slices

Let’s Cook:
Mix together the olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, agave, cumin, chili powder, seafood seasoning and hot sauce in a small mixing bowl. Marinate the tilapia in the mixture for 1 to 2 hours.

In the meantime, roast the corn in the oven for 30 minutes at 350˚F.

Preheat an outdoor grill on high heat and lightly oil the grate. Remove the fish from the marinate and discard any access liquid. Grill fish on the grill for about 8-9 minutes, until the pieces are easily flaked with a fork. To grill onions for topping, slice the onions and grill on the same grill as the fish for about 3-4 minutes, until the onions start to brown on the edges.

To make dressing, mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.

To assemble tacos, heat tortilla on the grill for about 1 minute, flipping halfway through. Then place desired number of fish pieces in the middle of the tortilla, topped with onions, corn, tomatoes, avocado and sour cream dressing.

Mexican Rice (serves 6) adapted from Pioneer Woman’s recipe
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups, long grain rice, uncooked
1 can Rotel, Original diced tomatoes & green chilies
1 tomato, cut into small chunks
1 can vegetable broth (14oz.)
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

Let’s Cook:
Heat the vegetable oil on medium high heat in a skillet. Add the onion and garlic and saute for about 2 minutes, then add the rice and saute over low heat for another 2 minutes.

Add the Rotel and tomato, and stir to combine. Let cook for 2 minutes.

Add the vegetable broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Then turn down to low, cover and let simmer for 10 to 12 minutes. Fluff when the rice is done, serve and enjoy!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Regan @ The Professional Palate
November 4, 2011 at 9:04 pm

One of my all time fave dishes!! Thanks so much for adding it to the bloghop… I’m taking football friday off. I promise it’s not me being a nasty Auburn fan who is less than interested in tomorrow’s game ;-)


November 5, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Haha! We’re watching the game right now with a couple friends. You can tell how interested I am… sitting at the computer editing photos.


November 8, 2011 at 2:26 pm

This is my kind of football eats! I adore fish tacos and became cranky when I ordered on out the other night and it was icky. ha! I used to carry around a little card I received from the GA aquarium about the right fish to buy. Thanks for the reminder to dig that out!


November 8, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Yes! The Seafood Savvy card :) I always pull it out when shopping for seafood. Drives the husband a little crazy sometimes I think – ha!


November 14, 2011 at 9:54 am

MMM fish tacos are one of my all time favorites. Your recipe sounds really delicious too! I can’t wait to try the mexican rice with my tacos next time.


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