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Grilled Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw

If there's one thing you should know about me it's that I'm accident prone. As a friend and former colleague once joked: "for someone who primarily works behind a desk and wears nice clothing, you sure do injure yourself a lot."

This is true. Up until recently, I ran the marketing and managed events at a concert and sporting events arena in the Pacific Northwest for twelve years. I was never asked to haul heavy equipment or operate any kind of machinery. Was never assigned to do anything too physical. And yet, I ended up in the emergency room twice. Once from a paper cutting incident and the other from carrying a piece of barricade twenty feet. It's okay. You can laugh.

As bad as I was in the workplace, the worst thing that ever happened to me in the kitchen was when I was 24 and tweaked my back bending over to get cookies out of the oven. Again, you can laugh.

Other than that, a few minor cuts and a slight BBQ flare up were the only other #kitchenfail stories that I had. Until now.

This past Friday, I ended up in urgent care after severely inuring my thumb on a mandoline. Let me just say this: they give you a safety guard for a reason. Use it. Don't get cocky like me. Don't think, "I know what I'm doing. I'm not going to hurt myself." Nope. Use the safety guard. Before you get too concerned, everything is fine. I'm fine. No fingers were lost. Just a little bit of my ego gone. You can laugh now.

These fish tacos are the bomb, you guys. Dry rubbed with tons of spices, cooked on the grill, topped with a spicy cabbage slaw and chipotle lime mayo, served in a homemade blue corn tortilla. Perfection.

Definitely worth the $45 detour to urgent care.

I served this with a personal favorite: Spanish-Style Cauliflower Pearls. I've been totally into cauliflower these days and this is a great, flavorful veggie-focused alternative to rice.

Special note: I used fresh Halibut in this recipe. It's my favorite and there was a great special on it at my local fishmonger, but any white fish will work perfect! Heck, you could even make this with salmon.



Grilled Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 6-8 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Servings: 4-6


Grilled Fish & Dry Rub:

1lb fresh white fish, skin removed and patted dry with paper towels

1 Tbsp Chile de Arbol powder

1 Tbsp New Mexico Chile powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp Ancho chile powder

1/2 tsp black pepper

2 tsp fresh oregano, minced

spraying oil

Cabbage Slaw:

1/4 purple cabbage, julienne

1/4 green cabbage, julienne

1 jalapeno, seeds removed +juliene

1/3 cup cilantro

1/2 lime, juiced

2 dashes of hot sauce

salt + pepper

Chipotle Lime Mayo:

1/3 mayo

2 chipotle peppers in adobo

1/2 lime, juiced

1 garlic clove, minced

salt + pepper (if necessary)

served with homemade corn tortillas, sour cream, quick-pickled red onions, cotija cheese and a side of Spanish-Style Cauliflower Pearls.


  1. Mix together julienne cabbage, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice and hot sauce in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and store in fridge until ready to use.

  2. In a food processor, combine mayo, chipotle peppers, lime juice and garlic. Once well processed, taste. Season with salt + pepper if necessary. Transfer to a bowl, cover and store in fridge until ready to use.

  3. In a small bowl, whisk together chile powders, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper.

  4. After the fish has been patted dry and skin removed, rub seasoning mix on both sides of the fish.

  5. Turn on the grill to a medium-high heat. Just prior to placing fish on the grill, spray one of the sides with cooking oil. Place fish, oiled side down, on grill. I never have the best luck with placing the fish directly on the grill, so I use a grill grid. Prior to flipping the fish, spray the other side with cooking oil.

  6. The fish will cook quickly, about 3-4 minutes per side.

  7. When fish is finished cooking, chop up into pieces an assemble your tacos with chipotle lime mayo and cabbage slaw!

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