Fish Tacos - San Diego Style

My husband and I are both native to San Diego. I am the daughter of a builder. He is the son of a fisherman. These facts combined, we know how to build an awesome fish taco!

San Diego Fish Tacos – Serves 6

Ingredients for Marinade - (10 ounces tilapia fillets)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/8 cup chopped cilantro
1 tbsp adobo pepper sauce
2 tbsp lime juice (I like to add some zest as well)
2 tbsp honey
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Salt and ground black pepper

For the marinade, whisk together in a medium bowl the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, adobo sauce, honey, garlic, cumin, chili powder, cilantro, salt and black pepper until blended. Place the tilapia in a shallow dish, and pour the marinade over the fish. Cover and refrigerate 4 to 8 hours.

Dressing Ingredients:
4 oz light sour cream
3 tbsp mayonnaise
3 tbsp adobo sauce
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp honey
1/8 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste

To make the dressing, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise and adobo sauce in a bowl. Stir in the lime juice, honey, cumin, chili powder, cilantro and garlic. Add salt, and pepper in desired amounts. Cover, and refrigerate until needed.

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil grate. Set grate 4 inches from the heat. Remove fish from marinade, discard excess marinade. Grill fish pieces until easily flaked with a fork, turning once, about 8-9 minutes.

Assemble tacos with warmed 6” corn tortillas, a layer of red cabbage, desired amount of fish, cilantro, avocado slices, crumbled queso fresco cheese, a spoonful of dressing, and a splash of your favorite hot sauce or salsa. Squeeze a wedge of lime all over it, devour, and repeat.

That is how we do it in San Diego. How do you do it?


  1. OMG!!! These look absolutely fabulous!!! This is definitely a "must try" for me... excellent post!!

  2. I love San Diego fish tacos...the best!

  3. good friend of mine is from San Diego and she is always raving about amazing fish tacos you can get there... and yours look and sound pretty much like she's always been describing them :)

  4. Mmmmm tacos! One thing that I sorely miss here in France is good Mexican food! Your post makes me feel like I should make some this week!

  5. I love a good fish taco! Yours look so tasty...I love the spices on the fish and the flavors in the dressing. Sounds great!

  6. These look absolutely wonderful!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and for the kind comment :)

  7. These look so flavorful! I've been just craving fish tacos lately. That dressing looks spectacular! Thanks!

  8. Fish Tacos look delish!!! love your blog & San Diego! :)

  9. Beautiful! I have just recently been turned on to fish tacos and now crave them often. I think it's the lime and the fresh cilantro that I like best. Nice use of adobo sauce, too :)

  10. Hehe, love your logic on Taco building :) The tacos look delicious, bravo!

  11. I have long wanted to make fish tacos and yours look fantastic! A must make. :)

  12. That looks better than the originals in san felipe, and better than the the ones from the original rubios too. Slurp, those look so good.


Thank you for your comments!