Mahi Mahi on the boat

Blackened mahi-mahi tacos

Eat like a tourist in Baja, wherever you are

Sometimes we must endure grueling trips to bring you the finest recipes for the good life. Far-off locales, such as the Mexican Baja peninsula. Forget Taco Tuesday — these gems are worthy of any day of the week you choose. 

From San Diego to Guerrero Negro, you’ll find tasty handheld feasts like this in Baja. From street carts to restaurants, it’s difficult to imagine fish any fresher — unless you’re in the ocean. (We recommend this method instead.) Plus, you can’t get avocado lime sauce out in the surf.

The top fish tacos consist of grouper, sea bass, and mahi-mahi. The last is a favorite, for taste, substance, and ease of cooking. These tacos have it all — salt and spice, crispiness, and creaminess packed with flavor.


Avocado Lime Sauce Ingredients

  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 avocado, medium-sized and ripe
  • ¼ cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, fresh
  • ½ teaspoon lime zest, about 1 lime
  • ½ teaspoon minced serrano pepper, seeded

Fish Tacos Ingredients

  • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 ½ pounds mahi-mahi fillets, cut lengthwise into smaller pieces if needed
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 8 corn tortillas, 6-inch
  • 8 lime wedges
  • 1 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup red cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1 cup green cabbage, sliced thin
  • Cilantro, for garnish

Fish Tacos recipe:

Start with the guacamole lime sauce part of the show. Add sour cream, avocado, cilantro, fresh lime juice and zest, and serrano peppers in a blender. Blend until smooth. As with blackened spices, the sauce is easily customizable. 

Sub Greek yogurt for sour cream. Swap in the pepper of your choice, to match your heat preference. The avocado sauce keeps it all in check. As you blend it, you might need to scrape down the sides with a spatula to keep it all together. Move it to a small bowl and refrigerate.

Mix paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, cumin, chili pepper, and black pepper in a bowl. Season both sides of your fillets. Blackened spices are subject to change as you see fit, but this is a solid baseline. 

Mahi-mahi’s mild taste makes it ideal for a spicy combination to lift it. Upcycle it with cayenne pepper if your heat profile is above average. Brown sugar balances the mix and helps your fish brown quickly. It only takes a few minutes to cook in the pan.

A cast-iron skillet works best, but stainless steel pans will also suffice. Heat it on medium-high for a few minutes before adding the fish. Coat the pan with oil, and when you feel the heat rising, add your fillets carefully. Press them lightly with a spatula for direct contact with the pan. Cook the fish for 2 ½ to 3 minutes on each side.

Warm tortillas on each side, using a comal or flat skillet. Divide the fish among the tortillas, and serve with your favorite toppings. Mango salsa, lime wedges, cabbage, and cilantro … the possibilities are delicious. 

A spicy margarita for every two tacos seems reasonable.

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