Simple. Fast. Delicious. This is the beauty of the fish taco. Whether it’s taco Tuesday or any other average day of the week, if you’re looking to throw down a gourmet looking and tasting meal in 30 minutes or less, this is your dish. Add in that it has great health benefits for Multiple Sclerosis and we are completely sold.
Why we love the fish taco
We love the fish taco because it’s simple and tasty. That easy. It’s a basic build – start with a fresh pan-seared, pan fried or air fried, filet of fish wrapped in a warm tortilla. Top that with a cilantro slaw and finish it off with la crema. The heat off the spice of the fish meets the citrus from the sauce and the crisp sweetness of the slaw and you’re in flavor heaven. Squeeze on some lime, maybe dabble on some pico… Is your stomach rumbling yet?
What are you going to need?
The ingredients list for the fish tacoe is simple as well. Tilapia fillets and and tortillas are the foundation. For the fish itself you’ll need some salt, pepper, chipotle spice, and a little olive oil. You’ll also need a sautee pan. Simple.
If you’re home making the slaw the ingredients list is a little longer. Get yourself some purple cabbage, shredded carrots, cilantro, red onion, mayo, lime juice, jalapenos, sugar, and a little salt. Beauty is, you can easily pick up a base slaw mix at the store and add in the rest of the ingredients if you don’t feel like chopping everything up. Once you’ve got your ingredients ready, it’s a simple mix and refrigerate for 30 minutes so the flavors can all marinate.
The Chipotle Lime Crema requires sour cream, lime juice, chipotle power and some lime zest. you can again substitute yogurt for the sour cream. It will change the flavor just a little bit, but it will definitely do the trick.
Quick Tips and Questions
Do you have to use tilapia? Simple answer- no. We love the tilapia because it’s a mild, flaky white fish that allows the other flavors in the dish to shine. It also has nice health benefits that directly impact MS, which we’ll talk a little more about below.
If you don’t have tilapia or aren’t in love with it, you can definitely substitute cod, sea bass, grouper, or mahi mahi. Keep in mind you’re looking for a flaky, white fish filet. If you take a drastic move to something like a salmon, it is definitely going to change the flavor profile of the taco. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it, but do know a stronger fish is going to take over the flavor.
Secrets to cooking tilapia: Tilapia is easy to sautee and only requires about three to five minutes on each side to cook, depending on the thickness of the filet. If you haven’t worked with tilapia before, check out this quick guide from Seafood Nutrition Partnership. When fully cooked it will temp at 145 degrees and have a solid white appearance rather than the translucent appearance when not cooked. It will also flake easily. Keep an eye on it, as overcooking will make it tough, but you don’t want it undercooked.
Quick tip – if you want to cut down on the fats in cooking oil, use an air fryer instead of pan frying the fish. Each air fryer is a little different, so pay attention to the settings necessary for yours to thoroughly cook the fish filets and make sure they temp at 145 degrees.
Prep order: Because the fish cooks within about ten minutes, go ahead and make the slaw and crema first. That way you can cook your fish while your slaw is marinating.
Keeping Tortillas Soft: You can warm up your tortillas a couple of ways. If you are using the stove top, warm up a non-stick skillet to medium, then place the tortillas so they can individually receive the heat. Flip them after about 30-45 seconds on each side.
In the microwave, stack the tortillas, cover with a towel, and warm up for about 30-60 seconds, depending on how many tortillas you have. You are just going for warming the tortillas – you don’t want to cook them or they won’t be as pliable.
Health Benefits for Multiple Sclerosis
Cooking with and for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) does not mean you can’t have flavorful, fantastic dishes. This is a great example.
Tilapia is rich with Vitamin B12, which is a key vitamin in maintaining the nervous system. While there may be differing opinions on if a Vitamin B12 deficiency is directly linked to MS, it is known that B12 deficiency leads to fatigue, depression, and memory loss, all of which are symptoms of MS. Overall, getting B12 into an MS diet is important, so we love the tilapia as a fish selection for this dish.
Tilapia is also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, higher in this content than many other proteins. In addition, it is stocked with Calcium, Vitamin D, Magnesium, and Phosphorous, all of which are great for bone strength, another important factor in maintaining MS.
The reasons to love this recipe for MS don’t end with tilapia. Cabbage is a member of the Bassica family of vegetables, which makes it kin to cauliflower, kale, and broccoli. We love the health benefits of all of these vegetables for MS, and cabbage doesn’t disappoint. Packed with B6 and Folate, cabbage also helps maintaining normal functioning of the nervous system.
It is also stocked with fiber (great for digestion) and antioxidants (great for protecting against free radicals).
This isn’t where the health benefits of this dish end, but these are some of our favorite highlights. So, if you’re looking for healthy and delicious to cook for MS, other autoimmune disorders with similar symptoms, or just healthy eating in general, these fish tacos absolutely deliver.
Please visit our Resources page if you are interested in finding some of the tools and gadgets Dre uses to make cooking accessible while combatting MS.
Pan Seared Fish Tacos with Cilantro Slaw and Lime Crema – Simple and Delicious!
Chipotle Lime Crema
Pat fish filets dry to remove excess liquid. This will allow fish to keep a firm texture.
Mix chipotle powder, salt, and pepper then generously sprinkle over both sides of fish filets to flavor.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.
When the pan is hot, add olive oil and cook tilapia 3-5 minutes per side until golden brown.You can air fry the fish filets if you want to cut out the cooking oil. Follow the heating directions for your particular air fryer and make sure the fish temp at 145 degrees.
Heat tortillas in a dry skillet or in the microwave.
Remove from fish heat, cut into 1 inch slices.
Assemble tacos with fish, slaw, pico de gallo and or crema.
Serve with lime slices and/or avocado
In a mixing bowl, whisk together mayo, lime juice and sugar.Plain Yogurt is a great substitute for the mayo if you do not want to use mayo.
Add cabbage, carrots, cilantro, jalapenos, and onions. Mix well. Sprinkle with a small amount of salt to taste.If you do not want to or have the time to prep the slaw base, you can use a store bought base. You will need to prep the cilantro, jalapenos, and possibly onions, as those are not typical ingredients in store bought slaws.
Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Chipotle Lime Crema
In a bowl, mix/blend all of the ingredients. Taste, then add whatever flavors you want to bring out more sweet or spice!
- Tilapia, cod, mahi-mahi, salmon, shrimp, or other fish will work. A white fish will tend to allow the flavors of the slaw, spices and crema to be more predominant.