Taco Night usually means ground beef flavored with a premade taco seasoning packet, and maybe some lettuce, cheese, premade salsa, and sour cream. We wanted to pep up Taco Night by making out own taco seasoning blend and replacing the usual ground beef with a light, flaky white fish like tilapia. It’s actually super easy to whip up your own taco seasoning with just a few spices from your spice drawer, and making your own salsa and creamy dressing is equally as simple. You’ll really appreciate just how fresh this all tastes, and how a little bit of effort can go a long way in shaking up the usual Taco Night routine.
We love this seasoning blend because we’re able to make a large batch of it and save it for later. Tilapia is a super easy fish to work with and it acts as a blank slate to the seasoning and the other taco “accessories” that we plan to serve along with the fish. You’ll want to start by making the chunky mango salsa and creamy dressing. These will sit in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve the tacos and in that time become even more flavorful. We take chunks of ripe mango, some red onion, diced tomato, olive oil, and lime juice and toss them together, cover and refrigerate. A similar process for the dressing, made with plain yogurt, mayonnaise for a little creamy tang, and a little bit of Tapatio for some spice. Use whatever hot sauce you prefer! Into the refrigerator both the salsa and dressing go until we’re ready to serve.
The fish is coated with our homemade spice rub and then baked in the oven for just a few short minutes until the fish is cooked through and just flaky. You can either shred the fish or cut it into strips that will go into the tortillas. We’ve picked up taco-sized tortillas from the store – you can choose either corn or flour, based on personal preference. We like to toast our tortillas a little bit, either under the broiler or in a small skillet, just for a little texture and color. Our beautiful toppings for the fish tacos, that cool savory mango salsa, and slightly spicy dressing are not only tasty but beautiful garnishes to the fish tacos. Everyone’s ready to enjoy Taco Night!
Blackened Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa
- 2 pounds tilapia fillets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8-10 taco-sized tortillas, corn or flour
- 2 cups romaine, shredded or chopped
- Spice Mix:
- 1 tablespoon cayenne
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- Spicy Dressing:
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1-2 teaspoons Tapatio (or comparable hot sauce), more or less to taste
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (more to taste)
- Mango Salsa:
- 1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
- 1 tomato, diced
- ¼ cup red onion, diced
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- ½ tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Mix all of the spice ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
- Whisk yogurt, mayonnaise, sriracha, and salt in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Toss mango with tomato, onion, olive oil, cilantro, and fresh lime juice. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with cooking spray.
- Place fish pieces onto the baking sheet. Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil over both sides the fish. Rub 2-3 tablespoons of spice mix over one side, flip and repeat on the other side.
- Bake fish for 8-10 minutes until fish is lightly browned and flaky. Slice fish into small chunks.
- Build the taco by layering the lettuce and several chunks of fish into the center of the tortilla. Top with mango salsa and the homemade sauce. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Lemon Blossoms.