San Diego-style Fish Tacos

Michael SallustioBlogLeave a Comment

          This is one of my favorite summertime meals. It is wonderful combination of cooked and raw, hot and cold, and it’s fairly easy to make. What makes this “San Diego-style” is the tangy, spicy sauce and the slaw. They also typically beer batter and fry the fish in San Diego, but for reasons I shouldn’t have to explain on this site, we’re gonna marinate it and grill it 😉 I recommend serving this dish with a glass of white wine or some homemade limeade to give true Summer flare. Serves 4 people.


1 1/2 lbs.       Fresh, wild caught fish, prefarably mahi mahi, grouper, halibut, snapper, or sea bass

1/2 lb             fresh corn or flour tortillas


1/2 cup         Greek yogurt (plain)

1/2 cup         sour cream (alternatively use just 1 cup of the Greek yogurt if you don’t want the sour cream)

1                  lime, cut ih half

1/2 tsp          cumin

1/2 tsp          ground coriander

1/2 tsp          dried dill weed

1/2 tsp          oregano

1/4 tsp          grouund chipotle or Mexican-style chili powder

1/2 tsp          capers, minced

1                  hot pepper of your choice, seeded and minced (jalapenos or cherry bombs are best)

1 Tbsp          fresh cilantro, chopped


1/2 head       cabbage or dry slaw, shredded

1                  fresh avocado, peeled and sliced or mashed with lime juice and sea salt for guacamole option



Prepare sauce while fish is marinating.

In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream and/or yogurt until well blended.

Squeeze the juice from one lime half into the mixture, then whisk thoroughly. You’ll want the consistency of a pourable, creamy salad dressing. If still too thick, add more lime juice from the other half. If too runny, add more sour cream or yogurt.

Add all the spices, whisking to mix thoroughly. Add the capers, minced pepper and cilantro, and whisk thoroughly.

Cover the bowl with wrap and refrigerate for 60 minutes.


Prepare the fish by dousing with white vinegar and quickly rinsing with filtered water. This will help to hold moisture during cooking.

After rinsing, pat dry with paper towel and rub in extra virgin olive oil, squeeze fresh lemon or lime juice over top and rub in some sea salt and favorite spices (I use a tequila lime blend for this recipe).

Place in a glass container, cover and place in refrigerator for 30-60 minutes to marinade.

After marinating, grill the fish on medium heat for 10-12 minutes or until cooked; be careful not to overcook.


After cooking the fish, sliced into pieces small enough to fit into soft taco shells.

If you mashed the avocado, spread that onto the warmed tortilla shell first, followed by the fish, slaw, left over fresh cilantro if you have any, and sauce.

Serve with rice and beans and a mixed green salad.

*If you are gluten sensitive or don’t want the extra carbs from the corn tortillas, just throw the fish and some sauce in a salad or in a bowl with some rice and beans.

Pura Vida!!


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