Fish Tacos with Creamy Chipolte Cabbage Slaw

I love a good fish taco, it reminds me of my home in California and the islands all in a single bite.  

Fish Tacos

This recipe was one of the wonderful recipes I had the pleasure of testing for Leite’s Culinaria.  I was patiently waiting for it to be posted on their website so that I could showcase it on my little blog. They were SO good and I wanted to share the goodness with you all… It’s the right thing to do!

The recipe is from Daphne Oz cookbook, Relish. As an  aside, I love The Chew!  I actually record the episodes so that I can watch them after work, do you all like The Chew?  Its totally crazy sometimes, but at least its centered around one of my favorite subjects… Food!

But I digress, on to the recipe…

These fish tacos have a perfect combination of everything.  The slaw is really nicely flavored, balanced spicy, sweet and creamy.  The fish is well seasoned and the peppers are a nice addition to a regular fish taco… simply put, they are GOOD!

Fish Cole Slaw collage

I think that next time I need to make a slaw for any purpose, this will be my go to version.  The addition of the jalapeno adds a nice kick, that and the chipolte.  You can certainly regulate the amount of heat by adjusting the amount of jalapeno, but I really liked the spiciness.

Fish Tacos in the Making collage

The recipe suggested a mild white fish so I opted to use tilapia for my fish tacos.  I found a couple huge tilapia fillets and cut them up into portions that would fit in the tortillas.  I strongly suggest using corn tortillas… mainly because they are so good!  I found some that were ‘like’ homemade, although not completely homemade tasting they were pretty good!

Fish and Fish Taco collage

I hope that you all will give these a try!  In an effort to test the recipe as written I did not add any extra condiments or toppings.  They were excellent even without the addition of guacamole (or even chopped avocado) or salsa.  I do however think that they would be even better (if that’s possible) with these additions.  Because of the coleslaw which already has sour cream, I would suggest only adding guacamole and a good salsa, the sour cream element is nicely addressed by the coleslaw.

I can’t wait to make these again!

Fish Tacos with Creamy Chipolte Cabbage Slaw

Chipolte Fish TacosServes 2


2 cups shredded green cabbage, about 1/2 medium to large cabbage)
1/2 cup shredded purple cabbage
1 medium carrots, shredded
1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
2 large scallions (white and light green parts), thinly sliced
1/2 jalapeño, minced (discard the seeds and ribs if you want less heat)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream (or yogurt – I used sour cream)
1/8 cup freshly squeezed lime juice plus 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon chipotle powder
1 teaspoon finely ground sea salt, or to taste
1/2 pound tilapia cut into taco sized portions, about 4 inches long
3 tablespoons olive oil

Tortilla and Garnish

4 small corn tortillas
Cilantro, chopped


  • In a medium bowl, combine the cabbages, carrots, onion, scallions, and jalapeño.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice and vinegar, sugar, and the cumin and chipotle powder.  Mix together until well combined.
  • Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before serving

Fish Preparation

  • In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, chipotle powder, and 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste. Pat each fish fillet dry and lightly dredge in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess flour.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat and place fillets in the pan, being careful to not overcrowd the pan.  Panfry for 3 to 6 minutes, or until the underside of the fish begins to brown.  Use a spatula to flip the fillets.  Cook until opaque, about 4-6 minutes total (depending on the thickness of your fillets).  Place on a plate lined with a paper towel.  Continue process until all fish is cooked.
  • To serve, for each fish fillet, heat tortillas in a clean skillet in batches with the 1 remaining tablespoon oil, flipping them once, then place them on a plate.


  • You can refrigerate the slaw for up to 2 days. I found that there was quite a bit of juice that accumulated as it sat in the refrigerator.  Be sure to drain this before serving.  It doesn’t compromise the taste, but all that extra juice could make for a soggy taco.
  • I thinly cut the cabbage and onions so that everything was pretty uniform.  You could also use a mandolin which would give you nice cuts.  If doing this, cut the cabbage in quarters to get manageable sizes for cutting with the mandolin.  You can also use a box shredder.



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