Thursday, February 6, 2014

Recipe: Blackened Tilapia Tacos

‘So good you’ll want to snort it.’

Or at least that’s the tagline I told my roommate Vic she should use when she bottles this shit and sells it and makes SO MUCH CASH MONEY that I will never have to pay rent ever.

Maybe don’t snort it though. Because there’s cayenne. And I think that would pretty much be game over for your nostrils. <----- very serious disclaimer pls don't sue me.

So this spice rub: it’s wildly amazing and completely transforms tilapia, which can sometimes be a bit... meh. It's a little spicy and a little sweet (you can definitely taste the brown sugar), and it forms this nice crust that keeps the fish incredibly moist. To the point where if you microwave the leftovers the next day, the tilapia is still perfectly flaky and not the least bit dry. Dry fish = no bueno. 

I recommend getting your taco fixings all sorted out before you start cooking the fish, because it cooks FAST. Like, 5-minutes-total, fast. Faster than ordering Seamless, fast.

As with any taco, feel free to go wild with whatever toppings you'd like, but I think the shredded cabbage is pretty vital. Sounds boring, I know, but you need that crunch. Oh also, make extra avocado crema because some will likely get eaten before it makes it to its final taco destination. Speaking from experience(s). 

Recipe: Blackened Tilapia Tacos
[original recipe from A Tbsp of Therapy]

Taco Fixings
Corn tortillas (for pliable tortillas, warm a stack in the microwave with a damp paper towel over the top; for crispy tortillas, bake them at 350 degrees for 5 minutes on each side; for charred tortillas, use tongs to hold one tortilla at a time over an open flame on the stove)
Avocado crema (in a food processor, blend 2 ripe avocados, salt to taste, lime juice, and 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt; adjust seasoning as needed)
Fresh salsa (I like Trader Joe's fresh salsa)
Lime wedges 
Shredded green cabbage (I use the pre-shredded bag from Trader Joe's)

Blackened Taco Ingredients (note: these spice measurements will coat four 6 to 7 ounce filets. I highly recommend at least doubling the recipe so you have some to spare!)
1 tb paprika
1 tb brown sugar
2 tsp oregano 
1.5 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
.5 tsp cayenne (red pepper)
Four 6 to 7 ounce tilapia filets 
Cooking spray

Pat the tilapia filets dry on both sides with paper towels. Spray one side of each of the filets with cooking spray, and liberally sprinkle on the blackening spice mix. Pat it into the fish with your hands. Flip the filets over, and repeat so that both sides are well coated with the spice mix. 

Heat 2 large skillets over medium-high heat. Spray pans with cooking spray, or coat with a little canola/vegetable oil. Place 2 filets in each pan. Cook for 3 minutes, then carefully flip. Cook for 2 minutes on the second side, until fish is cooked through and easily flakes apart. Transfer to a serving dish. (If you're only using 1 pan, cook in batches.)

To make a taco with the fixings listed above, start with 1 corn tortilla. Layer the green cabbage first, then about 1/2 of a tilapia filet, a spoonful of salsa, and a dollop of avocado crema. Top with a squeeze of lime. 


  1. In the Ingredients section you show that we have to use brown sugar. but If I use white then it will be differ in test?

    1. you can certainly try subbing white sugar! it might not have the deep, caramelized flavor of brown sugar but I think it will still taste great. let me know how it turns out!

    2. Thnaks for your Information Katie

  2. This spice rub is awesome! Perfect blend of sweet and spice.

    1. so glad you liked it! did you use it on tilapia or something else?

    2. I've actually used cod the few times I've made it.

  3. Made these for dinner tonight. Even my super picky 9 year old liked them. Although, she did request "regular" (flour) tortillas instead of the "weird" ones for next time!

    1. oh man you totally made my day!! that's impressive that your 9 year old liked them since they do pack a little heat. maybe not so picky after all! and you can tell her I would TOTALLY prefer 'regular' tortillas too, if I could :)

      thanks so much for commenting, Andrea!

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