Fish tacos are an easy meal to put together anytime of the week! These flaky cod tacos are topped with an orange and green chili salsa for maximum taste!

fish taco recipe with flaky cod and orange and chili salsa on a plate

If you’re ever in doubt about what to make for dinner, make tacos! Simple, tasty and super kid friendly which makes it easy on yourself. Tacos are usually made with meat but switching things up for a fish taco is always a good idea. Then you have to ask yourself if you prefer a deep fried Baja style fish taco or grilled fish for a healthier, lighter choice. I’m torn between both versions but frying can be a lot of work and mess so grilled fish is usually what I’ll make. But with it still being early January, it’s not full-on grilling season, so a simple saute in a pan takes care of that problem.

Making this easy fish taco recipe

Which fish you use is very important. Firm fleshed white fish are best such as cod, halibut, tilapia, snapper or mahi-mahi. Salmon is another great choice and don’t forget about ahi tuna! You don’t want the fish to fall apart when you cook it and the toppings are a personal choice, I like to keep things simple like a street taco and not overload the tortilla. This easy fresh salsa is made from diced oranges, red onion, green chili, garlic and a splash of sesame oil. Citrus always compliments seafood.

Tips for making the best fish tacos!

  • Try and use fresh fish but frozen will work as well. If you only have frozen fish available, make sure it’s fully thawed. Another important step is make sure to get rid of as much water from the frozen fish as it thaws. You can wrap the fish or the filets in paper towel and let it absorb as much water as possible or you can lightly squeeze the fish releasing the water and then pat it dry. If you skip this step your fish might not get that crispy seared surface a good taco needs as you cook it.
  • Cook the fish as a whole piece and then break it up when the time comes to adding it to the tortillas. It’ll be much easier and won’t dry out as much as cooking individual pieces would.
  • Plan for about 2 pounds of fish to feed 6 people. That’s using small street size corn tortillas which are abut 3 inches in diameter.
  • Char your tortillas over the grill or simply over a gas flame on the stove. Using metal tongs, you can place the tortilla directly over the flame and flip it after about 20 seconds or when you see the edges become toasted. Charred tortillas taste MUCH better than regular tortillas.

simple fish taco plate with cilantro and hot sauce crema

What else can I serve with this fish taco recipe?

  • Spanish rice
  • Pico de Gallo or your favorite salsa
  • Guacamole
  • Extra tortilla chips. I love these Cabo Chips which have a hint of soy sauce flavor to them. They’re so good!
  • Hot sauce. Cholula or tabasco are my favorites!
  • Beans. Pinto or black beans are perfect. You can use refried but I prefer the whole bean texture.
  • Ice cold beer!! Light beers work well and don’t overpower the fish.

orange and chili salsa in a bowl

Making the salsa

This isn’t the traditional red sauce type of salsa you might be used to. It’s more like a Pico de Gallo with the chunkier ingredients and not blended. The orange needs to be segmented to get to the pure orange slices without the skin. Slice a serrated knife down and around the contour of the orange taking off the peel and the white pith. Take the orange in your hand and carefully slice into each orange segment on both sides of the skin and you’ll be left with a slice of pure orange. Chop up the orange slices and combine with the diced red onion, jalapeño (or Serrano) chili, garlic and some salt and pepper and mix well. The longer it sits, the better the flavors will be so making this first is a good idea.

fish tacos on a plate with cilantro

More tasty taco recipes

Taco side dish recipes

Simple Fish Taco Recipe

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Author: foodnessgracious
Print Recipe


  • 1 large orange
  • 1 small jalapeno chili, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp diced red onion
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp minced garlic
  • 2 pounds cod
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 12 small street size tortillas, corn or flour
  • fresh cilantro

For The Crema

  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp hot sauce
  • tbsp lime juice


  • Peel the orange using a sharp knife taking away the outer peel and the white pith.
  • Carefully slice between each segment taking out the orange slice so it has no skin.
  • Chop the orange slices up and transfer to a bowl.
  • Add the diced chili, red onion, sesame oil and garlic and mix well. Set aside.
  • For the crema, mix together the sour cream, hot sauce, lime juice and enough water to make it a consistency to drizzle.
  • Lay the cod on a plate and drizzle with 1 tbsp of the olive oil.
  • In a small bowl combine the oregano, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper.
  • Generously sprinkle the spice mixture over both sides of the fish.
  • In a large pan, heat the remaining olive oil to a medium high heat.
  • Place the cod into the pan and cook for about 4 minutes before flipping the cod over and cooking for another four minutes depending on the thickness of your fish.
  • Once the cod is cooked, transfer to a plate and roughly break into chunks.
  • Place some fish onto a tortilla and top with a spoonful of the salsa and a drizzle of the crema.
  • Add some fresh cilantro if desired.