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Titillating Tilapia Tacos

January 17, 2011

Titillating Tilapia Tacos with Refried Beans

Up until this past week, I had never really tried tilapia. It was upon the urging of a friend that I try it – she described it as the chicken of the fish world. Who could resist? Not this gal!

I love tacos too, so I thought this would be the perfect application!

First, the main cast of of characters*.

Titillating Tilapia Tacos Cast of Characters

The supporting cast:
Cumin, Chili Powder, Coriander, Salt and Pepper

This post is filled with lots of action shots! Yes, it’s an experiment!

Chopping Onions

Look at those onions fly!

Cutting Jalapeños

Please don’t mind my ever chipping nail polish. They’re impossible to keep up.

Cutting Jalapeños

Make those strips THIN!

Cutting Jalapeños

You don’t want to take a big chomp out of a jalepeño, do you? Ok, well maybe you do. I won’t judge.

Cutting Tomatoes

Get those tomatoes diced.

Cutting Tomatoes

Now, we’ll add the spices to our salsa.

This one’s Cumin:

1/4 Teaspoon Cumin

1/4 Teaspoon Coriander

1/4 Teaspoon Chili Powder

Our salsa, ready to be mixed!

Onion, jalapeños, tomatoes, spices

Dangit, I forgot the cilantro…


Here we go!

Chopping Cilantro


Mix cilantro into salsa

Taste for seasoning. Originally I thought two jalapeños would be just about right, but when I tasted the salsa, it was the perfect heat. All depends on the jalapeño. You like more heat, go for it, baby!

Salsa Taste Test

Now, it’s cabbage time:

Cut the core out of the cabbage

Thinly slice cabbage

Thinly Sliced Cabbage

Mix the cabbage into the salsa.

Mix Cabbage into Salsa

In an effort to reduce the fat/calorie intake, I opted to go half and half with the sour cream and greek yogurt.

I hear that greek yogurt is really good for you. Dr. Oz said so.

Mayo and Plain Greek Yogurt Mixed

I LOVE CHEESE! Cotija is a really nice tangy cheese, and really dry. It’s crumbly like some blue cheeses, but definitely not as creamy. It doesn’t melt well… or at all really, but it’s GOOD! Love the tang.

Chopped Cotija Cheese

Cooking the fish is honestly the easiest part of this whole process.

Tilapia Filets Seasoned with Salt and Pepper

Pan Seared Tilapia Filets

It really is essential to do this if you want to have tortillas that actually hold filling. You can deep fry your tortillas – the fat and heat helps the tortilla hold together nicely -OR- if you’re watching your fat intake, I like to wrap them in a damp towel, and microwave. The steam also helps them hold together more nicely than if you didn’t. It’s not as good as the deep-fry, but quid-pro-quo, right?

Corn Tortillas Wrapped in a Warm Towel

Now, let’s get a-building!

Flaked Tilapia Filets

Flaked Tilapia Filets on Corn Tortillas

Cabbage Salsa on top of Tilapia Tacos

Cream Sauce on top of Tilapia Tacos

…and there you have it! Awesome fish tacos!

Titillating Tilapia Tacos with Refried Beans

Taking a bite of Tilapia Tacos

Ohhh so good!

*The cast of characters was an experiment, so some items pictured weren’t used.

Titillating Tilapia Tacos

By Natalie Wiser-Orozco
Published: January 17th, 2011
These fish tacos will be a hit with your family!

1 pound Tilapia Fillets
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
12 Corn Tortillas
1 Small Red Onion, diced
1 Medium Tomato, diced
1 Jalepeño, finely diced
2 Cloves Garlic, fine
Juice of 1 Lime
¼ Teaspoon Cumin
¼ Teaspoon Coriander
¼ Teaspoon Chili Powder
¼ Head Green Cabbage, thinly sliced
½ Cup Plain Greek Yogurt/span>
½ Cup Light Sour Cream
4 Ounces Cotija Cheese, crumbled
/span> Salt & Pepper, to taste

Combine onion, tomato, jalapeño, cilantro, garlic, lime, cumin, coriander, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Taste, and adjust seasoning. This should be strongly flavored, as we’re not going to do much to the tilapia fillets. Add cabbage to salsa mixture, cover, and refrigerate. Combine yogurt and sour cream in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, and add in olive oil. Season the tilapia fillets with salt and pepper, and add to pan, cooking until done, about 3 minutes for each side. Place tortillas in a warm towel and microwave for one minute. Flake the tilapia fillets, and add 1/3 of each fillet to a tortilla, top with salsa/cabbage mixture, cream sauce, and cotija cheese. Serve with lime wedges, and enjoy!

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 7 min
Total time: 17 min
Yield: 12 Tacos

Titillating Tilapia Tacos Printable Recipe


  1. heather
    January 18, 2011 at 8:37 am

    From a serious fish taco-lover, those look killer! Tilapia is always a great choice, and you’ve highlighted it with some great flavors. Currently living in southeast Texas, the hit of Cotija on top is right up my alley, too! The only addition I would have to make would be chopped cilantro, but I know that’s not everyone’s thing.



    • Natalie Wiser-Orozco
      January 19, 2011 at 10:01 am

      Thanks for the comment Heather!! I’m one of those cilantro LOVERS!!! I can’t get enough of the stuff… Maybe I should have topped the tacos off with it…. I did get some into the salsa though. Hmmm Next time.

  2. Medifast Coupons
    January 18, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Certainly this is a unique taco! Using tilapia is a different idea but looks delicious. Great way to get everyone eating more fish!

  3. Ilona
    January 29, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Made this tonight, and we loved it! We added some mayo to the sour cream and yogurt, but other than that we stayed true to this recipe and we devoured the taco’s like there was no tomorrow! 🙂
    Thanks for the recipe and greetings from the Netherlands!

    • Natalie Wiser-Orozco
      January 29, 2011 at 8:36 pm

      Wow, I’m honored! I love the idea of the addition of mayo to the creamy sauce. I’ll have to try that one myself.

      I was fortunate enough to be able to visit the Netherlands a few years back. You live in a beautiful place! I hope to be able to return one day. Cheers!

  4. crystal
    February 23, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    I’m new to this site and i LOVED this post!! Thank you 🙂 I want fish tacos nowwwww…

  5. Scooter
    June 22, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Prep time was about 20 minutes – cooking time about 10. Amazing, amazing flavor. We substituted wheat tortillas to keep the carbs down – this has made it into the family recipe book as a “keeper” by all including the persnickity 15 year old boy who doesn’t like fish.

    Going to try the tilapia with blackening spice next …

  6. Katie
    October 27, 2011 at 7:27 am

    I just wanted to leave you a note that this was amazing, and easy, and I cannot thank you enough for posting this–we feel like we had the best meal of our lives, seriously. I made a chipotle mayo to go with this, and the flavors and textures were outstanding.

    I will be talking about these fish tacos for a billion years, thank you!

    • Natalie Wiser-Orozco
      April 29, 2012 at 5:07 am

      Oh my gosh, Katie! Thanks for the kind words!! Glad you enjoyed them!!!

  7. Heidi
    April 27, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    These were great. My husband who never eats seafood asked me to make these again. All 3 kids ate them, so I claim these a success. I love trying new recipes and this one is a keeper!

    • Natalie Wiser-Orozco
      April 29, 2012 at 4:55 am

      That’s Sooo great Heidi!!! I’m glad your family enjoys these tacos!!!


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