California Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos

I am a California girl, born and raised through most of my teenage years (therefore ALWAYS will be), so nothing says “home” like fish tacos to me.  I crave them pretty often if I were to be honest about it.  I absolutely LOVE them and cannot always get that same authentic taste here where I live now. Don’t get me wrong, there are great Mexican restaurants here that have their own versions, but there’s something about this recipe I finally found that just brings me back to the California beach waves and summertime. There’s something about it’s simplicity yet bold in flavors that make it so darn good. I’m sure there is a debate out there somewhere about how the fish should be cooked, breaded, etc. But personally, I like mine just seasoned well (no breading) then grilled or pan-seared and served up with all the fresh ingredients.

Not only are they easy to make (less than 30 min!) but also very healthy.  Plus you can add whatever extras you want on top…cilantro, pickled red onion, fresh diced white onion, sliced radishes, avocado, slaw, spicy sauces…anything goes! (But to me, no matter what you add, a MUST is always a squeeze of fresh lime over each taco!). Yum!

Hope you enjoy these as much as my family and I have enjoyed them!

California Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 1/4 lb Mahi Mahi fillets (skinless) cut into 1 inch pieces (or any firm fish)
  • 4 tsp Chili Powder (can use Mexican Chili Powder for more heat)
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika (or regular is fine)
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice (juice of 1 small lime)
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 12 Corn Tortillas (store bought is just fine, recipe for homemade below)
  • Optional garnishes:
  • 1/2 cup chopped Cilantro
  • 1/4 cup sliced Green Onions
  • 2 sliced jalapeños
  • Lime wedges
  • Cilantro-lime cream sauce (recipe follows)



For the Marinade: mix together the chili powder, cumin, paprika, onion and garlic powders, salt, pepper, lime juice and olive oil. Toss with the diced fish in medium bowl to coat and let rest 15 min. Meanwhile, heat cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.


Place fish in skillet (discard marinade) and let cook until seared (2-3 min). Carefully turn each piece, searing other side another 2 min.


Using metal or wooden spatula quickly turn and toss in the pan until fish is seared on all sides a few more minutes (careful not to move around too much, just toss once or twice, enough to try and get all sides seared, but ok if some sides are not as dark), cooking a total of about 7-8 minutes.


Place fish in warm tortilla and top with favorite toppings.



Cilantro-Lime Cream Sauce: Mix together 1/2 c. Non-fat plain yogurt (or sour cream) with 1/4 c. Chopped cilantro, juice of 1 lime, pinch of salt, dash of cayenne pepper. Mix well and serve over tacos as desired. Homemade Tortillas: Mix 2 cups masa harina flour (I used MASECA brand, pictured above) with 1 1/2 cups warm water by hand in large bowl for about 2 minutes, until you form a soft dough (adding a tsp of water at a time as needed, if dough is too dry and not coming together). Form 19 balls (about 1 ounce each) and cover with damp cloth to keep moist. Place a dough ball between 2 sheets of parchment/wax paper and flatten into round shape by using heavy, cast-iron skillet to about 5 in diameter (or use tortilla press if you have one, of course). Continue same with each ball, until all pressed out. Heat griddle on med-high heat. Slowly peel top paper from tortilla, lay tortilla in one hand and peel other side off slowly. Carefully lay tortilla onto hot griddle and cook each side 30-45 seconds. Keep stack of tortillas warm in oven, wrapped in kitchen towel as you go; keep warm until ready to serve.