Fish Tacos…Special Requests Don’t Upset Us

Last month while visiting Florida, I had delicious fish tacos as an appetizer at Racks Downtown Eatery in Boca Raton. I included a photo of the tacos in my post, Hip and Happening Delray Beach.

One of my readers, I know her as Bliss from the blog, Stepping My Way to Bliss, asked if I could replicate the dish when I returned home and share it with my followers. I thought that this would be fun as my husband loves fish tacos. Now it is much easier to try to recreate a dish if you are in the kitchen the next day while the food and flavors are fresh on  your mind. Since we were out of town, it took a couple of weeks to get back to my kitchen. This made the challenge a little harder but I knew that I wanted to give it a try.

I made the tacos with full size tortillas as this was our main meal. If I were having a party and serving small plates, I would use a biscuit or other cutter to get the small size like the appetizer I had at the restaurant. The tacos turned out terrific and I think they looked as good as what we had at the restaurant. Here is my version of fish tacos. Let me know how you think they compare to the original.

Karen's Soon To Be Famous Fish Tacos

Karen’s Soon To Be Famous Fish Tacos

Spicy Lime Vinaigrette

  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. Chipotle Tabasco or to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients except the oil until combined. Slowly drizzle in the  oil, whisk until emulsified.

Avocado Aioli

  • 1/2 avocado, peeled and mashed
  • 3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. green Tabasco
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

Mix all ingredients until smooth.


  • 1 c. each shredded red and white cabbage
  • 1/2 c. shredded carrot

Spicy Pan Sautéed Fish

  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne or to your taste
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 t. black pepper
  • 3 fresh skinless flounder fillets, (or fish of your choice) each cut into thirds

Mix all spices together and sprinkle both sides of fish with the seasoning mixture. Heat just enough peanut oil to barely coat the bottom of a sauté pan to keep the fish from sticking. When very hot sauté the fish on each side until done.

The Tacos

  • 6 tortillas (corn or flower)
  • chopped cilantro
  • chopped peanuts
  • limes

Heat 6 tortillas in a dry skillet 15 seconds on each side. Keep warm under a damp towel until ready to use. Toss the slaw with the vinaigrette. Spoon a little of the avocado aioli on a tortilla, place a couple of pieces of fish on one side and top with a little slaw. Sprinkle with cilantro and peanuts, fold and skewer to hold their shape. Serve with wedges of lime  on the side.

I was very happy with my tacos…but I kept thinking back to the request. Bliss had  actually made two other requests…the first request was “if it is not too much trouble could your please mail me an order” and the second “could you please break into the kitchen’s recipe vault and steal it” and then she thought that might be problematic. Can you see why I love her sense of humor. Not wanting to have any problems but still wanting to keep all my readers happy, I called Rack’s. Their chef was kind enough to supply the recipe. Thank you, Chef! Now you have two recipes for the price of one…mine and the original.

Rack's Blackened Fish Tacos

Rack’s Blackened Fish Taco Appetizer

Ancho Lime Vinaigrette 

  • 1 c. lime juice
  • 2 ea limes zested
  • 1 oz.  sugar
  • 2 oz. spicy brown mustard
  • 2 c. vegetable oil
  • 4 oz. ancho powder
  • 1 T. mince garlic

Buzz everything in a blender.


  • 2 oz. Napa cabbage julienne
  • .5 oz. carrot julienne
  • .5 oz. red onion julienne
  • 1 head bok choy julienne
  • 1 bunch cilantro minced
  • 4 oz. roasted peanuts

Use your favorite Cajun spice, blacken fish. Put fish on flour or corn tortillas. Take the slaw and toss with the vinaigrette and top the fish. Enjoy!

Which ever fish taco recipe you choose, I know you will enjoy them. The next time I’m in Florida, I will be sure to stop into Rack’s Downtown Eatery and give a big thank you to the chef for taking time out of his busy schedule to provide this recipe.

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I travel the back roads of the world, sharing great food and interesting places and enjoyable pastimes.

153 thoughts on “Fish Tacos…Special Requests Don’t Upset Us

  1. First of all .. lovely tasty photos – then this is something I really would fancy … if somebody made it for me. *smile Really like the combination of all the flavors – will put this on file! If you where ever comes to Sweden I will invite you to do it for me. !!!! The price of creating a signature dish.

    1. Hi Viveka, Thank you for your compliment. If I get to Sweden, I’ll make you fish tacos and you can show me around your lovely town.

  2. I think yours look better – I like that I can see the fish and it looks really good with all those seasonings. This looks like a great recipe for this unseasonably warm weather we’re having here! We’ve been on a definite fish kick lately. 🙂

    1. Thank you Kristy, for your nice compliment. Mine did have more fish as it was a dinner instead of appetizers. I think you would like the tacos. Our snow is melted and it may reach 70 today and break records. Amazing weather ups and downs lately.

  3. I’m still in search of a great fish taco recipe for my database. Will give this recipe a try, it sounds WONderful. And looks gorgeous. Great photos.

    1. Hi Lea Ann, Thank you so much for your very nice compliment. I think you will enjoy these tacos. I was happy with the flavors and you can adjust the seasons to your liking.

  4. And one more thing. There’s a Mexican restaurant that we love that serves the small appetizer sized tacos and every time I’m there, I say to my husband, I wish I could find these small corn tortillas. Thanks for the fabulous idea of cutting them myself with a biscuit cutter! Voila! 🙂

  5. Wow, we should be cooking together right now. I made my first fish tacos last week making up my own recipe, and they turned out great. I used tilapia and for the sauce mixed tomatillo salsa from Costco with sour cream. I also bypassed the slaw and used mixed greens. I guess when it comes to cooking we can try all different approaches and be successful.

    1. Hi Lulu, Wouldn’t it be fun to cook together. We get such lovely fresh flounder here and it worked perfectly. I think whatever fish is the freshest in your area will work well.

  6. Isn’t that kind of the chef to let you in on his recipe! But I do like the sound of yours, so rightly named! I made a South Indian style dish recently and people commented that it reminded them of Tacos. I have to admit I’m not that familiar with making Tacos, but looking at yours with all the fresh ingredients and zing of lime juice I know I will remedy that VERY soon.

    1. Hi Claire, Thank you for your nice comment. The chef really was kind to share his recipe. I was pleasantly surprised that the recipe was similar to the recipe that I created. You have such wonderfully fresh fish available to you…definitely try tacos if you get a chance.

  7. You can never have too many recipes for variations on fish tacos! I, too, like smaller ones–so much easier to eat. We have a great restaurant here in San Miguel de Allende which offers either four small ones or two bigger ones–I always opt for the small. Love the avocado aioli too!

    1. Hi Victoria, Thank you for your comment. The avocado aioli added a nice creaminess to the tacos. I wish I had the opportunity to eat in one of the restaurants in your lovely town in Mexico.

  8. I haven’t tried chopped peanuts on my fish tacos before, that sounds like it could really give it a unique flavor and crunch. These look beautiful and delicious — fish tacos are a great light meal around here, we’ll have to try your recipe too.

    1. Thank you Tanya, for your nice compliment. I really enjoyed the challenge of trying to recreate the tacos and am happy with the result.

  9. Oh. my. GOODNESS! You are the sweetest cooking blogger woman I know. I am overwhelmed. First, thanks for the mention/link and thinking I am funny (there are some things that one works really hard on and then days go by and no one seems to notice ; ) ). Secondly, I can’t believe you called the restaurant AND the chef gave it up–just like that. You must have secret powers you have yet to reveal to the rest of us. Thirdly, I will be trying both of these recipes–yours first of course! I love the spice combination on the fish–total yum. Fourthly, (? hmmm, not sure is a word but I am on a roll) I will be reblogging this on my site because the WORLD (or at least 104 known followers–so not the “world”, however, should the world be shrunk into a village of about 100 people with all present demographic ratios being the same, then I can say the “world plus”–oh my. That was so deep. ; ) ) should be able to make “Karen’s Soon to Be Famous Fish Tacos”.

    Merci beaucoup, ma chere!! xo Bliss

    1. Hi Bliss, Thank you so much for all of your kind words. You always make me smile with both your blog and your comments here. I was happy to recreate the fish taco recipe for you and then felt if I could get you the original I would. Asking the chef for the recipe was a lot less perilous than breaking into their recipe vault. Haha. Enjoy and thank you for a reblog.

  10. Reblogged this on stepping my way to bliss and commented:
    Good morning! I had to share the following post with you all. My friend, Karen from the Back Road Journal, posted this amazing Fish Taco recipe today. Why did she do this? Well, frankly, that is what she does on her blog–she is an amazing cook who loves to share her recipes AND a foodie who loves to take us on her travels, sampling different fare all over the world. But in this particular instance she also posted it because I asked her to. So sweet!! I hope to make her version of this recipe later this week at which time I will record my efforts and let you know how they taste. If only I could smuggle her over here to cook them for me then I KNOW they would be terrific. With me running the show….well, we will just have to see.

    Have a great Sunday, peeps!! ~~Mistress Bliss~~

    1. Hi Jenny, Thank you for you nice compliment. I enjoyed recreating the tacos and was really happy with the results. Try them…you will like them.

  11. I agree with Kristy: your tacos look better! And I think I’d enjoy your avocado aioli better, too. Honestly, though, I certainly couldn’t go wrong with either taco. I really enjoy fish tacos and you’ve shared 2 great recipes. Thanks, Karen.

    1. Thank you John, for your nice compliment. You really can’t go wrong with either recipe. They are both good as far as I am concerned.

  12. Fantastic Karen! The flavor combinations are perfect. So delicious. And I too love the idea of trimming down the large tortilla with a biscuit cutter. Brilliant!

    1. Thank you Karista, for your very nice compliment. When there is a will, there is a way…a biscuit cutter does work. Glad you like the idea.

  13. Karen;
    This looks awesome. I hate to say it, but I had a Taco Johns fish taco that wasn’t “too bad,” and had been thinking I could put something better together. I’d never had a fish taco before tho’ I eat a lot of fish. Who knows why… just never crossed my path. Anyway, I printed these out and I think I’ll try yours.. will have to leave the peanuts out as have family members I’d serve them to allergic to peanuts. Shouldn’t be a big deal, I’d think.
    Anyway, thanks for the awesome post!!

    1. Hi Swantzs, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice comment. You have enough crunch from the cabbage and carrots that the peanuts will not be missed. I hope your family will enjoy them.

    1. Hi Susan, This really is an easy recipe to make at home. Everything can be prepared ahead of time…just cook the fish at the last minute and assemble. The flavors are great…I hope you will enjoy them.

  14. Karen, I have just clicked to compare and frankly your tacos look much more appetising than the ones from the restaurant! You haven’t copied, but improved the dish. I’m really impressed. It’s also so kind of you to post a requested recipe. Avocado aioli is worth remembering. I love this idea.

    1. Hi Sissi, Thank you for your nice compliment. I’m happy that you like my version. The avocado aioli would be a good condiment for many dishes.

  15. That’s really nice of them to share the recipe for you. I am tempted now to call the restaurant where I had amazing walnut cake on my birthday and ask them for the recipe, but I don’t think I’m as brave as you!

    In the meantime I will try these fish tacos out, they’re perfect for Lent. Well, really, we just like a good excuse to eat fish, haha 🙂

    1. Thank you K.M. for your nice comment. I thought it was very nice that the chef shared the recipe. Always remember…nothing ventured, nothing gained. I do hope you enjoy the tacos.

  16. Oh a gorgeous meal, i love that lime viniagrette.. and the coleslaw.. lovely.. you put a lot of work into this post, thank you for taking the time to do all that.. c

  17. I just made some fish tacos a couple of days ago. Yours look awesome and reading through it, I know it’ll turn out great. Since I’m making Caribbean Fry Bakes and Plantains tomorrow, I’m going to have to try your fish tacos to go along with them! Thanks for the recipes.

  18. I saw your post while I was out shopping and standing in line today. Talk about inspiration … they looked so good that at my next stop, the market, I picked up all the ingredients I needed and will be making them for dinner tonight. I can hardly wait to try them! I’ll let you know how they turn out.

    1. Hi Marlene, Thank you for your nice comment. I’m happy to hear that I have inspired you to make the tacos tonight. I hope you enjoy them.

      1. The tacos were so delicious. My partner is a little wary of fish, but he loved this dish – a convert! I had to make a few minor modifications to suit the spices I had on hand, but the overall result was definitely of ‘make again, soon’ calibre! I’ll be blogging about these before long, with a link back to your post. Thank you!

      2. Thank you Marlene, so much for letting me know you enjoyed the tacos. I believe that recipes are suggestions…use what you have, make what you like. I look forward to when you do a blog with my recipe as your inspiration.

  19. This looks amazing! We actually ate fish tacos at a mexican restaurant the other day and we wanted to find a recipe to make it at home. Thanks for posting this!

    1. Hi Christine, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. I’m happy that I have a recipe that you can make at home. I think you will enjoy them.

  20. It’s hard for me to marry fish and tacos in the same meal, but yours look pretty amazing. If I can talk my husband into eating fish tacos, I will try your recipe. I am certain it’s amazing!

    1. Hi Tricia, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. If you and your husband like fish, then I think you will enjoy the fish tacos. You could always deconstruct the taco. Just pan sauté the fish and serve it with the slaw as a side dish. You could serve the avocado aioli on the side like tartar sauce.

  21. As a Floridian, fish tacos are my FAVE thing to eat…I will definitely be trying out this recipe!

  22. I’m with those above. I like the look and sound of your fish tacos better than the restaurants…they look more seasoned and less blackened, and since I don’t really like blackened that appeals to me. They are very pretty and enticing tacos, Karen!

    1. Thank you Betsy, for your nice compliment. I’m very flattered that so many people like the looks of mine better. I do have to admit that I was pleased with how good they turned out.

  23. Beautiful! And I am sure you feel entirely appreciated that the collective “we” of your readership find you so enjoyable that of course we give requests! How delightful. My husband thanks you in advance for this recipe! He loves a good fish taco, and I believe I can replicate this one 🙂 I love the avocado aioli! 🙂 Debra

    1. Hi Debra, Thank you so much for your nice compliment. I do appreciate my readership…you are a wonderful group. I hope you and your husband will enjoy the fish tacos. They are easy to prepare as much can be done in advance.

  24. Both of these look delish. I’ve never had peanuts on a fish taco but I know I’d like it. My husband freakin’ loves fish taco so this will be fun!

    1. Thank you France, for your nice compliment. I hope that you and your husband will enjoy the fish tacos. I think you will enjoy the flavor and crunch that the peanuts add to the tacos.

    1. Thank you Tandy, for your very nice compliment. I know that you have so much fresh fish available…I hope you get a chance to try these.

  25. Karen, these look fantastic! My son has an aversion to fish, and I really want him to eat more of it, and I think you’ve just come up with a way that will do that! I’ve seen SO many recipes for fish tacos, and they’ve always turned me right off. Can you believe I lived in Southwest Florida for almost five years, and I’ve NEVER tried a fish taco? My son and I definitely developed a love for all foods Mexican-inspired, so I’ll have to try a more “Tyler-friendly” version of your recipe. When i do try it, would you mind if I post it to my blog, and refer back to you as the original recipe source?
    Thank you,

    1. Thank you Tami, for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. I hope that you are able to take the taco recipe and create a dish that your son will enjoy. Of course, post your version and I will appreciate the link…that is very kind.

  26. Mmmm…Fish tacos are one of my favorites! We make ours with catfish or swai with a scoop of chipotle slaw and avocado on top. My husband is standing here asking when I am going to make these for dinner..LOL

    1. Hi Mary. It seems that fish tacos are very popular. I hope you and your husband like the recipe. Yours sounds good as well. Thanks for your comment.

  27. Oh I am saving this – I have never had fish tacos that made me sing – but the listing of ingredients say “yes” to all. They’re beautifully spiced and the accompaniments are heaven on a plate.

  28. wow! I love all of the options to pick from. I’m always nervous about cooking fish in my own kitchen. (for some reason)… any suggestions when it comes to cooking fish? and, scallops are my favorite, any tips on how to cook scallops the best way possible!?

    1. Hi Cayla, Fish and scallops are really easy to cook. Until you feel comfortable preparing fish, I would use a nonstick skillet with just a small amount of peanut or other neutral oil. Pan sear each side until golden, only turning once on medium high heat. Use a spatula that will fit under the fish for turning. You can even use a second one to help turn the fish if necessary. Cutting the fillet in half or thirds can make it easier if the fish is very thin. Scallops are even easier…just remember to only turn once after to get a nice golden color. I’ll be having a scallop recipe up in the next post of two that I think you will really like.

      1. here’s where i get nervous… if you cook meat it’s obviously really easy to see if it’s cooked based off of the color. but scallops are white and stay white even when cooked. you obviously can see if it’s “done” on the side based off of the color the skillet gives it… but how do you know if it’s cooked on the inside!? (p.s thanks for your comment! i’m really dying to cook scallops at home!)

      2. Cayla, On average I would tell you to cook scallops in a hot pan between 2 to 4 minutes on each side depending on their size. You will see that the sides of the scallop will go from a translucent to an opaque white. You can also tell by feel. The scallop will go from very soft to almost firm…it is much better to have a scallop be undercooked than overcooked. People eat them raw so don’t worry too much. Try cooking one and time it on each side, then take a peak inside. You can always return it to the heat. I’ll post my recipe soon.

    1. Hi Katerina, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice comment. I think you will enjoy using fish when preparing tacos. I hope you will give this recipe a try.

    1. Thank you Carol, I always like to know when people have enjoyed one of the recipes I created and appreciate the compliment. I hope you will enjoy the fish tacos as well.

  29. I love fish tacos, and yours look delicious! I like the fact that fish tacos take advantage of crunchy and tasty cabbage as opposed to regular tacos which tend to use lettuce. I also love the use of cilantro in your dish, I am a huge fan of cilantro!

    1. Hi Linda, I’m happy that I could give you two good recipes for fish tacos.I think you will be happy with both of them.Thank you for your comment.

  30. I feel like you were making this for me Karen lol. I LOVE fish tacos and yours came out looking so darn scrumptious.. that I think I will make this for my simple but fun date night 🙂

    1. Hi Kay, Thank you so much for your nice comment. This would be great for a date night. You can do all of the prep in advance…even seasoning the fish ahead of time. At the last minute, you can sauté your fish. I hope you have a great time and I hope you enjoy the tacos.

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment. I think that both taco recipes are really good and very flavorful…hope you will give them a try.

  31. I think this recipe is just over the top, outstanding! I order these in restaurants all the time and am so glad you’ve posted the recipe! Now I get to try these at home!!

  32. Boy you sure know how to tackle a challenge head-on Karen. Your fish tacos are calling to me….so I’m going to have to make them. Like many of your readers, I enjoy these at restaurants so it is nice to finally have a good recipe to make them myself!

  33. Wow, I have to make these tacos. We love a good fish taco and this looks like it has it all! I prefer making them at home because I can make them to my own taste. Love that vinaigrette. I think I’ll make them with halibut tonight.

    1. Hi Cathy, Halibut would be perfect for the tacos…flounder had just come in when I made mine. I like making them at home as well. That way you get them just the way you like them. Thank you and I hope you enjoy them.

  34. I am bookmarking this recipe. I love the whole combination with the slaw and vinaigrette and avocados and of course dont forget the fish. What a perfect dish to celebrate spring. Take Care, BAM

  35. Karen’s Soon-To-Be-Famous look (hand’s down) every bit as good as the restaurant variety!! You deserve a major award!!! 🙂 I’m making those, for sure. Fish tacos are very popular out here in the desert. My husband thanks you.

    1. Hi Lisa, Thank you so much for your very nice compliment. I hope you and your husband enjoy the tacos as much as my husband and I did.

  36. I’m so excited to try these!! I love to recreate dishes I enjoy when dining out! And I think you definitely have a winning recipe!! How cool then to get the chef’s recipe too!! Thanks so much Karen!

    1. Hi Linda, Thank you for your nice compliment. I hope you get a chance to try the tacos…I think the recipe turned out well. It was so nice for the chef to supply his recipe. I like both as they are very similar.

  37. Karen, I am so glad you recreated the dish because I am at a standstill with new meal ideas and this literally popped off the page! Your fish looks golden, succulent and combine with the crisp slaw…perfection. I showed my husband as I read and said, “We’ve got to have THIS for dinner this week!” He agreed wholeheartedly. Pretty cool that the chef actually shared his recipe. You really did give us two for the price of one today.

    1. Hi Geni, I’m so glad that my post came at an appropriate time. I hope you and your husband will enjoy the tacos. I thought it was nice that the chef shared his recipe. Now you can make one or both.

  38. Me and Devoted Husband have just treated ourselves with your divine fish tacos (your version), so thank you Karen for a delicious dinner! 🙂

    All the best


    1. Hi Meggie, Thank you so much for letting me know that you made my fish tacos and enjoyed them. It means a lot when someone takes the time to let me know that they liked one of my recipes. Have a great weekend.

    1. Thank you Marlene, I’m happy that you tried and enjoyed the tacos. It is so nice when someone takes the time to let you know they enjoyed the recipe.

  39. WHAT A HOOT! I can’t believe you called the restaurant AND got the recipe! I love it! Both look delicious even though I am not fish fan but I bet they would be delicious with shrimp!

    1. Hi Carol, You never know until you try. What is the worst that could have happened…they could have said no. By then, I had already recreated the recipe as best as I could remember from having it a few weeks earlier. I thought it was very nice that the chef shared his recipe and I look forward to when I can go back and thank him myself. You could definitely do this with shrimp…it would be delicious.

  40. Your fish tacos look and sound delish! I ate fish tacos once at an outdoor beach restaurant in San Diego. They were very plain, but also delicious. Small tortillas served with small pieces of quickly sauteed fish and a bit of shredded lettuce. The sauce was added at the table. It was all about the fish.

    1. Hi Nina, Thank you so much for stopping by to visit and your very nice compliment. Fresh fish is so good in tacos…we like them from simple to fancy.

  41. This looks great! I’m always trying to find a really good fish taco recipe. Mainly because the last time I went out to eat I ordered one and all I could taste was the carrot. This one sounds fantastic. I can’t wait to try it in my home 🙂

  42. I love fish tacos – we have been on quite a spice kick lately, and enjoyed them three times in the past two weeks! I must add your lime vinaigrette to our slaw topping – great idea!

  43. My favorite fish tacos are from a small Mexican restaurant in our area. They grill the fish and then add sauteed spinach, sauteed mushrooms and shredded cheese. They are served with pico de gallo, a fresh lime and (believe it or not) mayonnaise. They are delicious. I may have to see if they will share their recipe. I have never thought of asking before. Your fish tacos look good too, I may have to try them also. Thanks!

    1. Hi Beth, Thank you for stopping by and your nice comment. It never hurts to ask…all they can do is say no. I think you would enjoy this recipe.

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