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The best fish taco sauce recipe for your fish tacos, hands down! Perfectly spiced, and so easy to whip up – one bowl, less than 5 minutes. You’ll love how this white sauce complements the flavors in your fish tacos. Also delicious as a vegetable dip! (with video)
Years and years ago, I came across a recipe for San Diego fish tacos and fish taco sauce. So delicious. I’ve since lost the memory of how to prepare the fish, but the sauce included in the recipe, however, burned a little hole in my brain.
That fish taco sauce … omg, so good. Forget salsa. Forget sour cream. Set aside the tartar sauce. Once you try it for yourself, you’ll always reach for this creamy fish taco sauce.
No doubt my fading memory and stubborn inability to leave well enough alone has inserted itself on the original recipe. But that’s the beauty of a spice-heavy concoction: You can tweak the sauce seasonings to your own tastes.
So, don’t worry if you’re missing an ingredient from the list, and you’re in the middle of a taco craving emergency. It will all be a-okay!
It’s the unique combination of herbs and spices that make it so special, including cumin, coriander, smoky chipotle chili powder, dill, and oregano.
Plus, it features the perfect hit of heat: not enough to say, whoooaa, tongue on fire! But just enough to be all like, hello, I’m alive, and it’s great to be eating tacos!
Here’s what fish taco lovers are saying about this homemade Fish Taco Sauce:
It was SO good! My family loved it! ~ Kerry
This sauce is so good, I’ll eat it on everything. ~ MarlySee AlsoCareer Executive Service BoardPs3 Pkg File DownloadThe unanswered questionsZen Skin Spa - Germantown, PA 19107 - Services, Reviews, Hours and Contact
Absolutely awesome, was even better than the sauce we got with our fish tacos in Mexico ~ Werner
Ingredients for this delicious Fish Taco Sauce
We all like “easy,” right? But sometimes just a few extra ingredients make a difference far beyond their numbers. Let’s go through the list!
- Sour cream and mayonnaise: Start with a nice, creamy foundation of sweet and sour notes that the combo of sour cream and mayo provide. You can choose to go full fat or low fat. And if you don’t like mayo, feel free to substitute plain yogurt. In fact, truth be told, nowadays, I usually skip both the sour cream and mayo and go right for 2% Greek yogurt, which has plenty of creamy richness.
- Lime: Thinning the creamy base with lime juice instead of water adds a lovely acid tang. You can definitely substitute lemon juice, although lime juice is slightly sweeter and more traditional in Mexican-inspired sauces.
- Cumin and Coriander: These classic Mexican spices are a must-have in this sauce, with their deep, earthy notes. Note that in America, coriander is the dried seed of the cilantro plant. In other countries, “coriander” often refers to both the green leaves and the seeds. Spice tip: keep a stock of cumin seed and coriander seed in your pantry, and grind them fresh. So much tastier!
- Dill: What are you doing in here, Dill? Lol. You don’t often expect dill in a fish taco, but it goes so well with seafood that it actually tastes right at home in the final sauce. I love the bright, verdant green flavor!
- Oregano: A beautiful herb, oregano adds a peppery, astringent, pungent note that we love so well in American cuisine.
- Chili powder: Most fish taco sauces barely separate themselves from regular tartar sauce and land in ho-hum territory. Chipotle chili powder livens the works right up with its smoky goodness. You can use chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, yes, but, personally, it annoys me to use just a small portion out of the can. I’m afraid to know how many bags of leftover peppers in sauce have worked their way to the back of fridge! It’s much easier to keep chili powder on hand. Also, if you want a more mild kick, use New Mexico chili powder instead.
- Capers: The secret ingredient in my homemade fish taco sauce! Capers have a unique tang that’s a cross between bitter and briny. But when you combine them with other assertive flavors, like the spice blend above, it somehow turbo-charges everything else, while hanging out quietly in the background. They also go great with seafood. Use non-pareil capers if you can find them (they’re smaller with a more delicate flavor), and mince them well with a knife, or smash them with a fork.
- Hot chile pepper: In addition to the chile powder, I like to include a bit of fresh chile, such as a jalapeno or serrano, for a fresh burst of spicy heat.
- Cilantro leaves: Finally, a nice, hearty hit of minced cilantro leaves cap off the herby flavors of this sauce.
A nice rest in the fridge will let all of the flavors meld and develop into a fully flavored creamy white sauce!
Some extra love for one of my favorite flavor combinations: Lime and cilantro (above) are so natural together, it would not have surprised me one bit to find them growing on the same plant, had I not grown cilantro myself without producing a single lime (I knew better, of course, but was still unreasonably disappointed). There’s plenty of both of these summery flavors in my fish taco sauce!
Coriander, by the way, is the seed produced by the cilantro plant. Redundant, both leaf and seed sharing a spot in the same recipe? No, sirreee. Ground coriander tastes nothing like its leafy parent.
Gently aromatic and somehow citrusy, it adds a bright flavor to Mexican cuisine and is an especially harmonious companion to cumin.
So, for you unlucky ducks where cilantro leaves taste like soap, do not fear the ground coriander!
How to make fish taco sauce
This white sauce is easily whipped up with just a knife and whisk – no special equipment required:
- Whisk together mayo and sour cream until smooth.
- Chop the chile peppers.
- Thin with a little lime juice until the sauce wants to drip from the whisk.
- Add the spices and mix thoroughly.
- Let rest in the fridge for at least an hour, to let all the flavors blend into tasty goodness.
Spoon the sauce over your fish tacos — my favorites are made with grilled flaky white fish, like cod or halibut, but shrimp is scrumptious, too. For an authentic San Diego fish taco experience, try them battered and fried. Delish!
Can you make this creamy fish taco sauce ahead of time?
Yes, absolutely! In fact, it’s better if the sauce has a chance to sit in the refrigerator for a few hours, to both chill down and let the ingredients meld together into its full creamy goodness.
How long can you store it?
Depending on the freshness of the ingredients that you started with — meaning, the dairy products were well within their expiration dates — the sauce should last a week or more in the refrigerator.
Making a big batch and need some ideas to use up the leftovers? Because it’s not specifically fishy, the sauce goes great with chicken and beef, too: tacos and wraps! It’s a fantastic chip dip (Fritos are my favorite!) Or, try it with these recipes:
Loaded Guacamole Vegetarian Tacos
Fish Taco Bowls
Oven Fried Shrimp and Thai Coconut Ramen Noodle Bowl
Watch the video and learn how easy it is to make, then make some for yourself!
4.88 from 131 votes
Wickedly good fish taco sauce
This is without a doubt the best fish taco sauce I’ve ever had or made. The herbs and spices are unique and create an incredible white sauce for fish tacos.
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Main Course
Keyword: fish taco sauce
Author: Karen Gibson
- 1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream (Greek yogurt is delicious as a substitute if you’re not a fan of sour cream)
- 1/2 cup reduced fat mayonnaise (you can use full fat, but, the spices are so delicious, you won’t miss that particular flavor contribution)
- 1 lime , cut in half
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon capers , minced
- 1 hot pepper of your choice , seeded and minced (jalapeno is delicious, as are the cherry bomb poppers I used in this batch).
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro , chopped
In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream and mayonnaise until well blended.
Squeeze the juice from one lime half into the fish taco sauce mixture, then whisk thoroughly. You’ll want the consistency of a pourable, creamy salad dressing. If still too thick, add more lime juice from the other half. If too runny, add sour cream.
Add all of the spices, whisking to mix thoroughly. Add the capers, minced pepper and cilantro, and whisk thoroughly.
Cover the bowl with wrap and refrigerate the fish taco for at least one hour — the longer the better.
Serve chilled. Spoon white sauce over fish tacos, or add into taco salads or rice bowls.
Nutritional information, if shown, is provided as a courtesy only, and is not to be taken as medical information or advice. The nutritional values of your preparation of this recipe are impacted by several factors, including, but not limited to, the ingredient brands you use, any substitutions or measurement changes you make, and measuring accuracy.
Originally published on June 6, 2009
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That tangy, slightly spicy white sauce that often accompanies Baja style fish tacos is usually made with sour cream, mayonnaise, and lime juice. Some variations have more ingredients, often including things like cumin, cilantro, or hot sauce.What is the best fish for fish tacos? ›
What type of fish to use for fish tacos: Lean and flakey white fish fillets are traditionally used in fish tacos because they are mild in flavor, cook quickly and are relatively inexpensive. Popular kinds of white fish for fish tacos include halibut, tilapia, mahi mahi, snapper, cod, bass and cat fish.What is the best frozen fish for fish tacos? ›
Again, cod and tilapia are good choices, but you can also use fattier fish like tuna, salmon, and swordfish. Halibut is also a good grilling option, as it has a steak-like quality (as opposed to flaky).Are fish tacos healthy for you? ›
Your diet may be lacking in essential omega-3s, and fish tacos may be just what the doctor ordered … Fish is also a hearty source of protein, and protein makes us feel full faster, so even a few of our fish tacos will satiate your hunger.What's white sauce made of? ›
A white sauce is just flour, butter and milk. To season your white sauce, some chefs recommend adding nutmeg to give it a depth of flavor and you should add salt and white or black pepper to taste as well.Are fish tacos better on corn or flour? ›
Corn tortillas are the best for fish tacos. This is the most authentic choice to the true cuisine. Of course, if you prefer flour tortillas, you may use them if you wish.What fish tastes most like meat? ›
Swordfish is a mighty, meaty fish: eat it grilled and you'll almost feel like you're biting into a steak. Even non-fish-eaters tend to enjoy a good cut of swordfish, whose taste is somewhat similar to tuna.What is the best fish meat? ›
- Salmon. Salmon is versatile and one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acid, which is essential as the body cannot make it on its own so it must be obtained through food. ...
- Mackerel. ...
- Cod. ...
- Trout. ...
- Sardines. ...
- Crab. ...
- Haddock. ...
water, remove the fish entirely from its packaging either before or after it thaws under running water, then following package instructions. What is the risk to public health? When vacuum-packaged fish is not properly stored and thawed, it has the potential to create a deadly toxin.How can I make frozen fish taste better? ›
But how do you get frozen fish back to that fresh fish flavor? One of the best ways to prepare frozen fish is to rinse it under cold water until it no longer has ice crystals. Then rub it in olive oil and bake between 425-450 degrees for 3-5 minutes, remove and add additional marinate and spices.
Rinse off frost or ice: Rinse the fish under cold water to remove any frost or ice that's accumulated. Dry the fish: Pat the fish dry with a paper towel. Prepare the fish: Brush the fish with a thin layer of olive oil, or your favorite flavorful marinade, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and get cooking.What is the healthiest fish meat? ›
- Albacore Tuna (troll- or pole-caught, from the US or British Columbia) ...
- Salmon (wild-caught, Alaska) ...
- Oysters (farmed) ...
- Sardines, Pacific (wild-caught) ...
- Rainbow Trout (farmed) ...
- Freshwater Coho Salmon (farmed in tank systems, from the US)
Fried fish is not healthier than grilled meat. Hence the word 'Fried'. Usually fried fish contains flour and/or a breaded mixture for coating, which adds more calories. As well as the amount of oil needed to fry the fish, adding much more fat.Is fish healthier than beef? ›
In general, red meats (beef, pork and lamb) have more cholesterol and saturated (bad) fat than chicken, fish and vegetable proteins such as beans. Cholesterol and saturated fat can raise your blood cholesterol and make heart disease worse. Chicken and fish have less saturated fat than most red meat.What is the white sauce you get at Mexican restaurants? ›
What is Mexican White Sauce? Sometimes referred to as “salsa blanca”, this Mexican white sauce is similar to ranch and is served with salsa at many Mexican restaurants in the Hampton Roads Virginia area.What is the white sauce at Mexican restaurants made of? ›
Classical Mexican white sauce is prepared with sour cream, jalapenos, garlic, cumin and oregano. Mayonnaise is included in many recipes that are served chilled. White salsa is another alternative, and it uses mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic, cumin, oregano and crushed red pepper flakes.Which mother sauce is white? ›
Béchamel, or white sauce, is a simple milk-based sauce made from butter, flour, and whole milk.Do Mexicans eat fish tacos? ›
Fish tacos are widely consumed in Mexico and California, and though several taco stands claim to have served the original Baja-style fish taco, many suggest this honor actually belongs to Tacos Fénix, which opened in 1970.Do Mexicans eat corn or flour? ›
Corn tortillas are found all over Mexico and Central America while flour tortillas are generally only found in the northern part of Mexico and the USA, where they are a popular part of Tex-Mex cuisine. Corn tortillas are yellow in color and tend to be smaller than flour tortillas, which are much whiter in color.Can you fry fish in flour instead of cornmeal? ›
Now you can batter your fish with flour, but, for me, that's a little too heavy of a batter. So I'm going to suggest you learn how to fry fish with just a little flour. Yes, we're going to use primarily cornmeal and just a little flour in this recipe. The flour will help bind the crust to the fish filet.
Being a delicate, mild, white-fleshed fish, burbot is versatile in preparation possibilities. When boiled and dipped in garlic butter, burbot tastes and feels like lobster. In fact, many folks call burbot, “Poor Man's Lobster.”What fish is like shark meat? ›
In many ways, shark meat is similar to other large ocean fish like swordfish or marlin. It's a firm, white fish with meaty flesh. But it differs from other large seafood in one key respect, and that is the presence of a chemical called urea.What beer goes with fish tacos? ›
However, if you prefer beer battered and Baja style fish tacos, a Pilsner, Belgian Wit, or American IPA is the best match. Pilsners are a classic match with tacos due to their light body, brightness, and deft hops. American hops go well with citrus, spices, and anything fried making IPA's a fantastic match.What does a fish taco taste like? ›
That's because like San Diego, the fish taco has it all: It's crispy and creamy; it's spicy and salty. It's got that elusive umami (a savoriness from the protein) that satisfies your taste buds and quells your worst hunger.What is the unhealthiest meat? ›
- hot dogs.
- corned beef.
- beef jerky.
- canned meat.
- meat-based preparations and sauces (e.g. certain kinds of Bolognese)
Fish – Adding fish with healthy fats like salmon, tuna, and trout into your diet can help remedy dry eyes. Fatty fish are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids that can reduce the risk of age related macular degeneration.Should you rinse frozen fish before cooking? ›
No matter what method you choose, always rinse frozen seafood under cold water to remove any ice on it. Then pat it dry with a paper towel. Sautéing, roasting, and grilling are the most popular ways to prepare frozen seafood.Is it OK to buy previously frozen fish? ›
Fresh fish and fish fillets sold as “Previously Frozen” may not have all the characteristics of fresh fish (e.g., bright eyes, firm flesh, red gills, flesh, or bloodlines), however, they should still smell fresh and mild, not fishy, sour, or rancid.Can you thaw out fish and put it back in the freezer? ›
If you thawed your meat, poultry, and fish properly in the refrigerator, then you can refreeze it without cooking. However, there may be some loss of quality because of the moisture loss through thawing. After cooking the meat, poultry, and fish that was refrozen, you can also refreeze it.What seasoning taste good on fish? ›
There are many ways to enhance its flavor, however, with fresh herbs like thyme or tarragon, or a marinade of soy sauce, spices and ginger. In the winter, a freshwater fish like whitefish is good seasoned with mustard, lemon and garlic and baked in the oven.Do you season fish before or after cooking? ›
Filets should thaw in as little as 30-40 minutes. Over-season or marinate for too long — this can “cook” it like ceviche or cured fish, and once cooked the texture can be mushy. Instead, season with dry spices, salt, and herbs just before cooking to prevent drawing out the moisture and breaking down the texture.Can you put batter on frozen fish? ›
You cannot dip frozen fillets in batter and then fry them.
Thaw the fish first if you want to use homemade batter. Deep frying is not ideal for crumbed fish fillets – rather bake these as the crumbs can fall off during deep frying. Thaw thicker crumbed or breaded fish pieces so that they bake more quickly.
You can even bread frozen cod fillets—yes, really! Simply brush oil onto the cod, and then sprinkle on seasoned breadcrumbs. Alternatively, par-cook your cod fillets for about five minutes (essentially defrosting them), then crust them with your breadcrumb or preferred breading mixture and finish cooking.What is the number 1 healthiest meat? ›
Liver. Liver, particularly beef liver, is one of the most nutritious meats you can eat. It's a great source of high-quality protein; vitamins A, B12, B6; folic acid; iron; zinc; and essential amino acids.What should you not eat with fish? ›
Milk, buttermilk, honey, urad dal and sprout grains shouldn't be eaten with fish.What's the healthiest animal to eat? ›
Poultry and fish are considered the best animal proteins you can load your diet with, Laster said. Fish is hailed for its omega-3 fatty acids, which can protect against cardiovascular disease. Fish is also rich in vitamin D, selenium and protein.Is McDonald's Filet-O-Fish real fish? ›
We use wild-caught Alaska Pollock for our Filet-O-Fish® sandwich in the U.S., which is 100% sourced from sustainable fisheries. Why is sustainable fish so important to us? Because it helps protect our oceans—something that's important to you.Is Filet-O-Fish healthier than Big Mac? ›
Both filet o fish and big mac are high in calories.
Filet o fish has a little more calories (10%) than big mac by weight - filet o fish has 282 calories per 100 grams and big mac has 257 calories. For macronutrient ratios, big mac is lighter in carbs, heavier in fat and similar to filet o fish for protein.
That's right. Ditch the fries and pick up a second burger for a better approach to health. The simple reason? By upping your protein intake — thanks to each burger's meat content — you'll be kept satiated for longer, your blood sugar levels will remain in-check and your daily calorie goal will be easier to meet.
While they are both excellent sources of protein and add to your nutrient profile, the benefits of fish tend to be slightly higher than chicken, especially when it comes to the Omega-3 content in it.Is canned tuna healthy? ›
Is canned tuna fish good for you? Yes, canned tuna is a healthful food rich in protein and contains many vitamins and minerals such as B-Complex vitamins, Vitamins A and D as well as iron, selenium and phosphorus. Tuna also contains healthy omega 3 essential fatty acids DHA and EPA.Is Ham healthier than bacon? ›
Bacon contains fewer calories than ham. Both bacon and ham are high in fatty acids. Ham is a better source of potassium than bacon. Ham has 0.79mg of iron for each 100g cooked, while bacon has 0.13 mg.What is the white cheese called on tacos? ›
Cotija cheese is one of the most used varieties in Mexico. You'll find it in several different recipes such as enchiladas, tacos, beans, salads, and soups. It's a white crumbly variety with a similar flavor and texture to feta.How do you make Mexican white sauce? ›
- Mix together Miracle Whip, sour cream, milk, crushed red pepper flake, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, jalapeno brine and pickled jalapenos in a food processor.
- Place in a sealable container and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.
Queso blanco (white cheese) is a popular type of queso fresco for Mexican dishes. This cheese made from cow's milk melts easily.What is the most popular sauce in Mexico? ›
Valentina is arguably the most popular Mexican hot sauce in Mexico. This might be the most classic hot sauce you could choose, and it goes with practically everything. This sauce uses puya chiles and the flavor is more chile-forward than vinegar. Use Valentina with your main course, especially seafood!What is the famous Mexican sauce? ›
Pico de Gallo
Pico de gallo is probably the one sauce on this list that you're most familiar with. While you can get it at almost any Mexican restaurant and it's also on the shelf in most grocery stores in America, it's actually not too common in Mexico. Classic salsa de Pico de Gallo is an essential at any taco party.
The most popular Mexican ingredients are beans, rice, avocado and limes. They're utilized in nearly every dish, from hearty enchilada casseroles to creamy drinks like horchata. Read on to learn the top ingredients in Mexican cooking and to find some recipe inspiration for your next taco or burrito night at home!What is the best cheese to melt on tacos? ›
- The cheese: Manchego. The filling: Fresh chorizo, salsa verde, sour cream.
- The cheese: Fontina. ...
- The cheese: Swiss. ...
- The cheese: Cheddar. ...
- The cheese: Fresh ricotta and parmesan. ...
- The cheese: Mozzarella or Pepper Jack. ...
- The cheese: Idiazabal or Mahon. ...
- The cheese: Feta.
Among the ingredients in impeccable Mexican dishes is cheese. Two of the most famous kinds of cheese used in Mexican restaurants are Queso Fresco and Cotija Cheese. Another kind of cheese that is popular is Queso Blanco.Do Mexicans eat cheese? ›
Cheese is an important part of Mexican food, adding a salty, savory dimension to tacos, sopes, tamales, and more. There are so many different kinds of Mexican cheeses that it's easy to get overwhelmed at the grocery store. Below are some of the most popular varieties.What is white cheese called in Mexico? ›
Queso blanco is a general term for fresh white cheese, but is also the name given to a fresh white cheese often described as a cross between mozzarella and cottage cheese. This cheese is typically made from skim cow's milk.What is the white Mexican cheese that melts? ›
Queso asadero is Mexican cheese that's great for melting. It is soft, white and creamy with a mild taste, and is often used to make pizzas, quesadillas and queso fundido.What is Mexican sauce called? ›
Salsa is a variety of sauces used as condiments for tacos and other Mexican and Mexican-American foods, and as dips for tortilla chips. They may be raw or cooked, and are generally served at room temperature.What are the three types of tacos? ›
Three varieties of taco (clockwise from left): carnitas, carne asada and al pastor. As is traditional, they are each garnished simply with cilantro and chopped onion, and served with lime on the side for seasoning to the taste of the consumer.What is traditionally put in tacos? ›
Traditional Mexican Tacos – Traditionally, tacos are served on only soft tortillas, mainly corn, but flour tortillas are also popular. White onions, cilantro, pico de gallo, and homemade salsa all lay gently over grilled or stewed meat.