Grilled Fish Tacos with Chipotle-Lime Dressing

Week 4

Since moving to New Orleans, Jeff and I have been on a quest to find the perfect fish taco recipe.  Prior to moving, we would go to La Luz Mexican Grill in Fort Collins which had the BEST fish tacos EVER.  I’m fairly certain when I get to heaven, the good Lord himself will greet me with a La Luz Fish Potato Burrito in both hands and an endless supply will be readily available to me for the rest of eternity.  To me, that burrito is like a little piece of heaven on earth.  I’m salivating now just thinking about it.  Nothing compares and I have yet to replicate the fantastic flavors of the La Luz burrito.  But that has not deterred me from trying.  What has deterred me is one too many attempts while pregnant; so we have not made fish tacos for probably a year.  Jeff has been asking for them for months so I decided I’d better try a new recipe as the one we had been working on makes me nauseous any time I think about it.  Again, I found this recipe on; you can view it by clicking HERE.

This week I decided to follow the recipe pretty much as written.  I only made a few minor changes.  It’s a pretty long recipe, but don’t be intimidated – most of the ingredients repeat themselves in the marinade and dressing.  So let’s begin: Grilled Fish Tacos with Chipotle-Lime Dressing


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay™
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, or to taste
  • 1 pound tilapia fillets


  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 1/2 cup adobo sauce from chipotle peppers
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay™
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 package tortillas
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • cilantro, chopped
  • 1 small head cabbage, cored and shredded
  • 2 limes, cut in wedges
  • grated Monteray Jack cheese
  • fried potatoes (my addition!)
  1. To make the marinade, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, lime zest, honey, garlic, cumin, chili powder, seafood seasoning, black pepper, and hot sauce in a bowl until blended. Place the tilapia in a shallow dish, and pour the marinade over the fish. Cover, and refrigerate 6 to 8 hours.
  2. To make the dressing, combine the sour cream and adobo sauce in a bowl. Stir in the lime juice, lime zest, cumin, chili powder, seafood seasoning. Add salt, and pepper in desired amounts. Cover, and refrigerate until needed.
  3. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil grate. Set grate 4 inches from the heat. (See #3 under Tips I Learned Along the Way)
  4. Remove fish from marinade, drain off any excess and discard marinade. Grill fish pieces until easily flaked with a fork, turning once, about 9 minutes. (See #3 under Tips I Learned Along the Way)
  5. Assemble tacos by placing fish pieces in the center of tortillas with desired amounts of tomatoes, cilantro, and cabbage; drizzle with dressing. To serve, roll up tortillas around fillings, and garnish with lime wedges.

Tips I Learned Along the Way

  1. First off – you need to buy 6 limes to make this recipe.  Come to find out, I could squeeze 1 tbs of juice from one lime and get 1 tsp of zest from it’s peel.  I had only bought 3 limes (which was not enough) and had to make due with bottled lemon juice and no fresh lime for the tacos.  To get the most juice out of the lime, press and roll it around on the counter until it softens.  Its much easier to squeeze the juice that way.
  2. I had no idea what Adobo sauce was.  I found a little 7 oz can in the Mexican isle of the grocery store that was called “Chipotle Peppers with Adobo Sauce”.  So I bought it.  That’s exactly what you need.  Inside are about 3 or 4 large peppers (discard the peppers) and the rest is sauce which conveniently measures out to 1/2 cup.  And just an FYI, the sauce comes out pretty spicy, so if you don’t like spicy – cut back on the Adobo sauce.
  3. Our BBQ grill had run out of propane so we didn’t grill our fish.  Instead I cooked it with the marinade in a frying pan over medium high heat.  Heat up your pan then just pour everything in.  When the fish is cooked, it will flake apart.  Most of the marinade cooks off; I transferred the fish to a serving bowl, draining off any excess marinade that was left.
  4. I didn’t use cabbage from a cabbage head.  I had some cole slaw mix in the refrigerator that I used instead.  You don’t use that much cabbage anyway and the pre-cut stuff is much easier.

Recipe High Points

  1. The marinade for the fish is EXCELLENT.  It definitely had that Baja Mexican flavor and reminded me of fish tacos we had once in Mexico.  So good.
  2. I had only fried up one potato which wasn’t enough for our whole meal.  So I had one taco with fried potatoes and one with out.  The potato adds a lot of yummy-ness so I highly recommend adding it to yours too!
  3. While it’s a long recipe, the marinade and the dressing were both really easy to make.
  4. I loved all the fresh lime.  That being said….

Recipe Low Points

  1. Zesting limes is a pain in the you-know-what.  And having to zest four limes is even more of a pain in the you-know-what.  Sometimes I put orange peel in the food processor and grind it up really fine when a recipe calls for orange zest.  Maybe that would work here too.  I’ve never peeled a lime though and don’t know how difficult that would be.  Plus, that just makes for more dishes.  Anyway, zesting the limes was definitely a low point.
  2. The sauce recipe makes about 3 times more sauce than what you need for 1 lb of fish.  You could probably half the recipe and be fine.
  3. You have to plan out your prep for this recipe.  Since the fish has to marinade for at least 6 hours, you’ll have to get the fish ready in the morning or the night before.  Not a great recipe if you’re in a hurry.

All in all, we really liked these fish tacos.  No match to the La Luz Fish Potato Burrito, but still good… an acceptable alternative if I can’t have the real thing!  I give the recipe 4 stars because it was really tasty, but the zesting… I’m coming to really loath zesting.  I continue to look forward to my eternity’s supply of La Luz Fish Potato Burritos.


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    […] love of the fish taco continues.  If you recall from Week 4 I have an intense love affair with fish tacos (and I may have found the most delicious at-home […]

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