Grilled Fish Tacos with Chipotle Yogurt Sauce (and being a Californian)

Grilled Fish Tacos

I used to be comfortable telling people I was and always will be an East Coaster at heart. I’d tell people how desperately I missed things. Things like bagels…and giant deli sandwiches I could barely fit my mouth around…and being able to walk into town down winding 17th century roads and Stew Leonard’s (OMG how I miss thee!) and bonkers summer thunder storms that seem to appear from the middle of no where.

But then a few months back I found myself sounding exactly like that hilarious Californians skit on SNL I was talking about traffic and directions when describing a destination to a friend….as though it was part of the appeal of the place “Oh Culver City? It’s awesome…right off the 5…avoid after 6 pm at all costs. Traffic will suck the life out of you” I don’t know why Californians describe places this way, but they do. And now I do… It didn’t help that I was drinking $10 kale and ginger juice in lieu of my East Coast latte.

So perhaps I’m slowly converting to “California Girl” after all. Consider this fish taco recipe: My summer beach food used to be a classic New England clam bake, but now that I’ve achieved Nirvana with some amazing So-Cal fish tacos, I haven’t looked back. I’ve made a few healthy tweaks to the standard recipe: firing up the grill instead of the deep fryer (which I don’t own…and probably never will own!), using hearty whole grain wraps, and whipping up a chilled, creamy yogurt sauce with just the right amount of heat.

These are simple enough for a weekday but can easily translate over to a casual summer get together with friends. Just don’t forget the beer!

Grilled Fish Taco Seasoning

Lime Juice

Fish Taco Marinade

Whisk together marinade.


If using a grill pan, you can cut up the fish into small chunks. You can keep the fish in full fillets when using an actual grill.

Chipotle Yogurt Sauce

I use fat free Greek Yogurt as a substitute for sour cream, almost always. It’s healthier and I honestly can’t taste the difference. Whisk together the yogurt sauce ingredients.

Chipotle Yogurt Sauce

Slowly add the adobo sauce, little by little, tasting as you go along to make sure it’s not too spicy.

Grilled Fish Tacos

Grilled Fish Tacos

Grilled Fish Tacos

Grilled Fish Tacos with Chipotle Yogurt Sauce

Serves 4

  • 1 lb  tilapia, halibut or other mild white fish
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice (about 2-3 limes)
  • 2 tsp lime zest
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ancho chile powder
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp Old Bay Seafood Seasoning

For the Chipotle Yogurt Sauce:

  • 8 oz Low Fat/Fat Free Greek Yogurt***
  • 2 tbsp to 1/4 cup adobo sauce from canned chipotle peppers, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice (2-3 limes)
  • 2 tsp lime zest
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ancho chile powder
  • 1/2 tsp Old Bay Seafood Seasoning
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

For Serving:

  • 1 Package Whole Grain, Flour or Corn Tortillas
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • lime wedges for serving
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 3-4 Roma tomatoes, diced

Prepare marinade. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, lime juice, lime zest, garlic, honey, cumin, chile powder, Old Bay, hot sauce and ground pepper. Cut the tilapia into large chunks (or keep in fillets if using a grill) and cover with marinade in the refrigerator for at least one hour, preferably 3 hours.

Prepare the Chipotle Yogurt Sauce. In a small bowl, whisk yogurt, lime juice, lime zest, cumin, chile powder, and Old Bay. Slowly whisk in ancho sauce, 1 tbsp at a time. Taste after each addition until at desired level of heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep cold until serving.

Lightly oil grill pan (or grill grate) and set heat to high. Remove fish from marinade, draining off any excess liquid and place on grill or grill pan. Grill fish about 2-3 minutes on each side (depending on thickness of the fish and whether chopped into chunks), until fish is white and flakey in the center. Serve.

***Original recipe called for sour cream which you can certainly use here. Low fat/Fat Free Greek yogurt is a healthy substitution.

Adapted from Allrecipes.

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One Response to Grilled Fish Tacos with Chipotle Yogurt Sauce (and being a Californian)

  1. Pingback: Blackened Salmon Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa | Crumb Coated Life

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