Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw

by Kimberly Hickok

I have a freezer full of fish. Why? Because my husband Mark is an avid fisherman. He makes five trips or so a year to Lake Ontario. He brings home King salmon, Coho salmon and Steelhead  filets in vacuum-sealed bags. All I have to do is pull a bag of fish out of the freezer and I’m good to go.

Since we have such an abundance of fish, I’m always on the hunt for different fish recipes. I recently added a fish taco recipe to my collection. I had been looking for a good fish taco recipe for a while. As I flipped through my Food & Wine cookbooks, I found my inspiration with this recipe for Dry-Rubbed Salmon Taco with Tomatillo-Avocado Slaw.

I followed the recipe for the dry rub to a “t”. The slaw, however, I omitted the tomatillos and avocado. Mark and Justin were thrilled with the result. We now have a fish taco recipe that’s a keeper.

Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw
Serves 4
Total prep and cook time is about 45 minutes
The Rub:
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chile powder
1 tsp. brown sugar
¼ tsp. finely ground coffee (yes, it does make a difference)
Salt & Pepper
1 ½ to 2 lbs. salmon or steelhead 
Cabbage Slaw:
4 cups shredded cabbage (red, green or Napa)
2 tbsp. roughly chopped cilantro
1 small jalapeno, seeded and quartered
1 clove garlic
2-3 tbsp. sour cream
Juice of one lime
Salt & Pepper
8-10 corn tortillas (some packages have 8; some have 10 – just get the small package)

Place the cumin, chile powder, brown sugar and coffee in a re-sealable plastic bag that’s large enough for the fish.  Brush the fish with a little oil and place in the bag, making sure the rub completely coats the fish. Set aside.

In a food processor or blender add the cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, sour cream and lime juice. Process until smooth. Now taste it. Does it need salt or more heat? Is it too thick? If so add more lime juice. Too thin? Add a little more sour cream. This is the base for the cabbage slaw.

Once you’re happy with how it tastes combine with the cabbage in a bowl and set aside. Preheat oven to 300F.

You can really see the cilantro and jalapeno in the slaw.

Brush each tortilla with oil, stack on top of each other and wrap in foil. Place on a baking sheet and place in warm oven.

Now it’s time to grill the fish. I have a grill pan. If you don’t have one, just use a heavy skillet. Oil the grill or pan and bring to medium-high heat. Add the fish and grill until done. Thinner fish filets will take 5-6 minutes to cook (2-3 minutes per side). Thicker filets will take 8-10 minutes (4-5 minutes per side).

Once the fish is cooked, it’s time to put everything together. Take a warmed tortilla, add some flaked fish and then top with the cabbage slaw. Bet you can’t eat just one!

The perfect bite – tortilla, flaky and flavorful fish and then some crunchy, tangy slaw.


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Kimversations Puerto Rican Food Inspiration » Kimversations January 2, 2013 - 9:31 am

[…] I’m going to try to recreate the dish with some of the Steelhead that Mark caught. […]

Isabel November 24, 2013 - 7:24 pm

So funny, I came across your recipe looking for different things to do with the abundance of fish in my freezer. My husband & sons have stocked my freezer with salmon & trout on their trips to upstate New York. They actually fish the streams & rivers that stem off Lake Ontario. Trying your recipe tomorrow, can’t wait!

Kimberly Hickok November 24, 2013 - 8:37 pm

I would love to hear how it turned out – all adjustments/comments/feedback are welcome!

Tangy Coleslaw For Two - Kimversations September 12, 2014 - 2:32 pm

[…] like a barbecue or picnic. Sometimes, though, I just want to make a small batch to go with fish tacos or to serve on a pulled pork sandwich. So I’ve come up with a recipe for a tangy coleslaw […]

christine July 18, 2015 - 8:07 am

These sound delish. I love that little addition of coffee, I bet it elevates the flavors.

Debi @ Life Currents July 18, 2015 - 6:13 pm

These look great! I love fish tacos, and can’t wait to try your version!

Reply July 18, 2015 - 8:45 pm

I love tacos, have to try these yummy fish tacos next time I catch some salmon Lol! Nettie

Joanne T Ferguson July 20, 2015 - 5:47 am

These looks delicious and wish I could try now Pinned and shared!

It's All About The Slaw - Kimversations April 14, 2016 - 7:56 pm

[…] that kind of inspiration, I was on the fish taco train. Normally I do a blackened fish taco with cabbage slaw but the crowd wanted fried. I’m not including the recipe for frying the fish. I did the […]


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