Blackened Tilapia Tacos Topped With Chayote-Tomatillo Salsa and Light Chipotle Crema

Blackened Tilapia Tacos
I know I have mentioned this before, but my mom did not cook a lot of fish while we were growing up. For years, after I was married I was always afraid to cook fresh fish. As I prepared this lunch for my husband and I today, I just happened to get a call from my youngest brother Eric. We got to talking and when I told him I was preparing fish he reminded me why I was so afraid to cook fish!! My mom only really cooked fish during the time of Lent. It was always prepared with simple seasoning and pan seared. And I don’t know how fish was processed back then, but it was always loaded with fish bones! My brother reminded me of how my mom would stand over us as we ate the fish and would say, “Chew it good mijo, because the fish has bones.” Hahha… I had the most wicked flashback just about then. Long story short, to this day, my brother only eats store-bought fish sticks! And if he does venture out to that famous fish fillet place, he chews, and chews, and chews the fish before he will swallow it!!!

Yields 8 tacos


For the Blackened Tilapia:
4 6-ounce fillets
1 tablespoon chile ancho powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for cooking

For the Light Chipotle Crema:
1 cup light sour cream
1 chipotle pepper in adobo
1/3 teaspoon smoked paprika
Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste

I am convinced that the best fish tacos are the ones topped with a fresh chunky salsa!

I am convinced that the best fish tacos are the ones topped with a fresh chunky salsa!

For the Chayote-Tomatillo Salsa:
1 large chayote squash, peeled and diced
4 large tomatillos, deseeded and diced
1 whole shallot, minced
1 serrano pepper, minced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Juice of 1 key lime
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of pepper
Salt to taste

You Will Also Need:
16 corn tortillas

Blackened Tilapia Tacos


1. Combine all of the ingredients to make the chipotle crema in a mini chopper. Blend until well combined, taste for salt. Cover and keep chilled until ready to use.

2. Slice the tilapia fillets in half, lengthwise, transfer to a large plate, set aside. In a small bowl, combine all of the dried spices for blackening spice, Season the fillets lightly with salt on both sides, then season with blackening spices. Add fresh lime juice and olive oil and turn fish so it’s evenly coated. Cover with plastic wrap; set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients to make the salsa. Stir well to combine and set aside. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large nonstick skillet to and preheat to medium heat for 3 minutes. Cook half of the fillets for 2 to 3 minutes per side, depending on how thick they are. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. While you cook the second batch of fillets, warm your corn tortillas and keep them warm in a tortilla warmer or in between a clean kitchen towel. I like to use two tortillas, stacked, per taco. Garnish with chunky salsa and crema. Yields 8 tacos.

Blackened Tilapia Tacos

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