Quick, Healthy Fish Tacos

Although I’ve always loved ordering fish tacos when going out to eat, I’ve never mastered them at home. I like the idea of making fish tacos at home, but I’ve never really gotten a handle on deep frying food— much to the relief of my scale. Aside from the disastrous mess my kitchen becomes during the attempt, the golden goodness just never quite matches that in restaurants. No matter how careful the attempt it’s either slightly soggy, too crisp, or my fish is undercooked. The frustration has ensured no further attempts.

Then, a breakthrough! Like Melissa Clark, author of many NYTimes recipes and cookbook, Dinner: Changing the Game recommends, I gave the broiler a go. Not only were my tacos foolproof, they were healthier and packed with chile-spiced flavor. Topped with a crunchy cabbage slaw, avocado, and a garlic lime crema these tacos deliver at home with half the guilt.  

World’s Best Healthy Fish Tacos

Total time: 25 minutes

Serves 4


  • 2 limes
  • 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • ½ small head red cabbage, thinly sliced (4 cups)
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced scallions (white and green parts)
  • 1 to 2 jalapeños, to taste, seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 12 ounces skinless flaky white fish, such as hake or flounder
  • Corn tortillas, for serving
  • Sliced avocado, for serving (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, for serving


  1. In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream and garlic. Finely grate the zest of 1 lime into the sour cream (reserve the bald lime). Season to taste with salt. Set this lime garlic sauce aside.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the cabbage, scallions, and jalapeño. Squeeze in 2 teaspoons lime juice (from the bald lime) and the 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Set this slaw aside.
  3. Arrange an oven rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat source, and heat the broiler to high.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the cumin, chili powder, and remaining ¾ teaspoon salt together to combine. Place the fish on a rimmed baking sheet, and rub the spice mixture all over the fish, then coat it lightly with olive oil. Broil, turning the fish over halfway through, until it is just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  5. To serve, flake the fish with a fork. Lightly toast the tortillas over the open flame of a burner or in a large dry skillet over high heat. Fill each tortilla with fish, slaw, and avocado slices if using. Top the filling with the lime garlic sauce and cilantro leaves. Cut the remaining lime into wedges, and serve them alongside.