Grilled Fish Tacos with Roasted Corn and Pepitas

Grilled Fish Tacos with Roasted Corn and Pepitas

I’m currently in Mexico at the beautiful ClubMed Ixtapa resort with my good friend, Diane of WhiteOnRiceCouple and my brother. It would be silly to call this a “work trip,” since we’ve done more relaxing, napping, eating and drinking than actually working, but I guess that’s the whole point of ClubMed, right? They’re hosting us for a wonderful Food and Wine festival and I’ll be posting more when I return. In the meantime, enjoy this recipe for Grilled Fish Tacos with Roasted Corn and Pepitas.


All my friends from “not-Florida” and are gushing about their cozy Fall dishes, how it’s time to break out the dutch oven and that finally, they can start wearing boots without looking like a summer fashion faux-pas. And I’m just here loungin’ in my swimsuit, sipping iced tea, toes dangling a $3 flip-flop and beaming from ear to ear, gently shaking my head.

Don’t get me wrong, I love long braises and warming stews, but Fall is just starting to breeze in and it’s still too damn hot to turn my kitchen into a sauna. Fall is finally grilling time. Oh, sure, we grill plenty during the summer, but pity the poor person with grilling duty outside in the middle of the sweltering, suffocating summer heat, which usually is my husband. It’s worse especially when we have a dinner party and I have to hand him his sunglasses, hat, sunscreen and a mountainous platter of foods to be grilled.

I get the glare. He heads outside.

And then we air-conditioned folks feel all guilty for leaving the lone man outside (but not guilty enough to join him), huddle right in front of the patio sliding glass door and give him the occasional smile-nod and thumbs up to make him feel like he’s still part of the party.

Fall is time when that dinner party heads outside, guests hover around the smoking grill, husbands gets the congratulatory slaps on the back, beers are passed around and all is well and dandy. That is…until I am forced back inside the very lonely kitchen to finish off a dish on the stovetop that couldn’t be grilled and to assemble that salad last minute so it can be served chilled.

My husband strolls towards the glass door, entourage behind him, raises his drink towards me and smirks.


Grilled Fish Tacos recipe

Grilled Fish Tacos with Roasted Corn and Pepitas Recipe

Buy firm fleshed fish at leat 3/4″ thick, otherwise the fish will come apart on the grill. If using thinner fillets, cook the fish in a frying pan. You can still stay outdoors – just use your frying pan directly on the grill grates. To prevent the fish from sticking to the grill grates, make sure your grates get a good scrubbing. You can also pour a little oil on a wad of paper towels and wipe on the grates. The fish will be coated in some olive oil to also prevent sticking. This recipe was inspired by Jim of The Lucky Pelican in Lakewood Ranch, where I had the best fish tacos outside of San Diego.

Recyclable plates made of pressed fallen leaves from Verterra. These biodegradable plates are so cool – they are oven, microwave and dishwasher safe. has a slideshow on how they are made.

1 1/2 pounds firm fleshed fish fillet, 3/4 inch thick (I like grouper or mahi-mahi)
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 ear corn, shucked
1 large tomato, 1/4″ dice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
8 corn tortillas
1/2 cabbage, shredded
2 limes, cut into wedges
1/4 cup pepitas or roasted pumpkin seeds

For the sauce (stir together)
1 cup light sour cream
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder (substitute with regular chili powder)

Preheat your outdoor grill. Cut the fish into 8 thick strips, about 1″ wide x 4″. You’ll be using 1 fish fillet per taco, 2 tacos per person. On a plate or bowl, toss the fish with the garlic salt, paprika and olive oil. Brush a bit of the oil onto the corn on the cob. Grill the corn on the grill over direct heat, rotating a few times.

Three minutes after starting the corn, it’s time to grill the fish for 2-4 minutes each side, depending on thickness of the fish. During the last 2 minutes of grilling, throw the corn tortillas on the grill, flipping halfway. The corn, fish and tortillas should be ready around the same time.

Use a serrated knife to cut the kernals off the cob. Toss with the tomato, salt and cilantro. Assemble tacos with cabbage, a piece of fish, a spoonful of sauce, grilled corn/tomato, a squeeze of lime and a sprinkling of pepitas.

Serves 4

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Comments 48

  1. Syd

    Dude…are you working for AIG? πŸ˜›

    I love the idea of grilled fish rather than the fried variety that I always make.

  2. RecipeGirl

    Hope you’re having a great time! And say hello to Diane for me. I’m totally jealous.

    You’re talkin’ to a fish taco fanatic here. Love fish tacos of every kind, and I’ve tried quite a few. Haven’t had one w/ roasted corn or pepitas so that’s a fun and interesting twist.

  3. Luna Pier Cook

    Yeah, I KNEW I had reason to be jealous when you IM’d me from there yesterday! I did notice you were up early again this morning. I didn’t IM then … why? BECAUSE I’M FRIGGIN’ JEALOUS!! πŸ˜‰

    Oh, hugs to Diane again … πŸ˜€

    I’ve had fish tacos once, at a Wahoo’s near the La Brea Tar Pits. They were pretty darn tasty (the tacos, not the tar pits), and since Mary doesn’t like fish and abhors the idea of a fish taco, I may ave to make these sometime when the kids are here. Looks great!

    BTW, I hope a coconut drops out of a tree and lands in your morning Margharita. So there. :-p

  4. Terry B

    Beautifully written, Jaden. I remember once visiting Miami in February, basking in the gorgeous weather and telling a local I wouldn’t mind living there—if for no other reason than to never have to shovel snow again. He reminded me that snow shoveling would be replaced with year ’round lawn mowing.

    I love fish and I love tacos, but I’ve never gotten my head around the two combined. Interestingly, though, I recently told my wife that we needed to try fish tacos. I think this may be the recipe to get me there.

  5. Deb

    This may not sound an elegant enough technique to flourish in front of guests, but if you put one end of that roasted corn cob into the hole in the middle of a bundt pan that you’ve wedged up on top of a dish towel against one corner of your sink, you can cut the kernels off easily without the cob slipping around and all the roasted corn bits fall neatly down into the pan.

    Maybe that’s part of what you do back in the kitchen while your hubby and entourage are outside smirking….

  6. Mike

    I love fish tacos (but avoided them for so long. The name “fish taco” just doesn’t help, lol)! These look delicious and I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip!

  7. Carrie Hasson

    Hilarious, sounds like something that would happen in our house (the glare that is!). What an insightful post on Florida life and what Fall means here. With Matt home, every night seems to be grill night (I’m lovin’ it!). These fish tacos look delish! Mexico?! So jealous! Have fun…

  8. Micha

    This is exactly how it is in Tucson! In summer you can be out in the early, early morning – but after that you’ll get fried. It’s finally time to grill again and I can’t wait to hang out outside! Whoopee to grilled fish tacos!

  9. Hιlθne

    I spent 2 weeks in California, in March, and all I wanted to eat was Fish Tacos. I just love them. Yours looks so yummy. Enjoy your trip and have a drink for me.

  10. Veronica

    MMM those look amazing. It’s been getting cold in michigan for a few days, then warming up for the next few. I’m not sure if I should make a pot of Guinness stew or grill some brats.

  11. Cakebrain

    I’m a 4-seasons lovin’ person. I don’t do too well in heat and high humidity! I have a tendency to melt(-down) like chocolate. Right now, the leaves are all turning red and falling and the kids are already gearing up for a chilly Hallowe’en night of trick-or-treating. Fall is my favourite season, but it doesn’t stop me from drooling over tish tacos. Looks good any season!

  12. jules

    Ohhh yeahhhhh … Jaden you are a legend! Whenever I hit the “argh I don’t know what to do for dinner” wall, you always save me. I am SO making these this weekend. We’re heading into full-on summer BBQ-ing mode here in Western Australia [we don’t have spring & autumn, just winter & summer, the changeover lasts about a week] & these will be a perfect addition & break from red meat overload. Gluten free too, you goddess you! I like the DIY possibilities too, everyone makes up their own – great party idea.

  13. FlaNboyantEats

    those press trips are the best!! L.O.V.E. them! I’m so glad you and D are having a great time! Have lots of fun and careful with the water, for real… I’ve gone through that….

    And wait, have you tried “sopes” there yet? If not, have someone recommend a whole in the wall that serves them. Especially the marlin ones. You’ll like them a lot.

    Be safe!

  14. mikky

    you deserved the break… enjoy and cheers to both of you there in mexico… πŸ™‚ i love your tacos… πŸ™‚

  15. Paula

    Oh MAN! This looks sooo amazing. I love that sauce, too … simple yet flavorful. These tacos have me hugging my computer screen. Loved the story about you and your hubby at party time … I could just picture everyone looking outside while he’s grilling, and them him giving you a thumbs up when you’re stuck inside! Eating one of these tacos would make all of it worth it!

  16. Paul Smith

    Wow Jaden, you could make Burger King look tasty! I’m glad you’re using your powers for good, not evil. Our plates look almost edible here, yum. If anybody has any questions about Verterra plates, just give a holler here, I’ll track comments and get back to you here.

    Meanwhile, if you want to see how they went from fallen palm tree leaves to sturdy, toxin free, easy on the eye plates, mosey over here to this photo essay in Time:,29307,1846838,00.html

  17. Chez US - Denise

    Your poor hubby πŸ˜‰

    Your fish tacos look just as good as the ones I remember in Mexico – fantastic!

    Welcome home, too …. like I told Diane, “Definitely jealous reading all the tweets & now this fantastic post. Nothing like being in Mexico, on a beach with cold cocktails in hand! Beginning to see a pattern here; did you two even do anything remotely related to cooking or was this the story told to the men! πŸ˜‰ Okay … time to stop reading your blog!

    (kidding) .. can’t wait to hear rest of the capers!”

  18. astrorainfall

    I always wondered if fish tacos were possible and there you have it πŸ™‚ I didn’t dare try it because I never see it on Mexican restaurant menus. Looks delish!

  19. Diana

    I am so jealous, of Mexico and being able to still grill outdoors. The pumpkin seeds add a nice fall touch to the tacos.

  20. rita

    bad enough that seafood is expensive here in germany – we are not allowed to grill on our balcony! reason being, it has to be a unanimous vote from the neighbors to allow certain things. we’re not even allowed to have a satellite dish sticking out on our balcony or on the roof. oy…

    back when we used to live in MD – we used to grill all the time. even when it was snowing! haha. we miss that. good times.

  21. Big Boys Oven

    awesome delicious taco . . . . that piece of grill fish sounds really yummy . . . have a nice time in CluMex .. .. send my regards to Diane too! take care and have fun on whatever you do . . . we boys have been busy till now! πŸ™‚

  22. Sophie

    This looks like a meal I’d definitely want to dive into :). I would love to include your recipe in our pre-loaded Demy, the first and only digital recipe reader. Please email [email protected] if you’re interested.

    To find out more about the Demy, you can visit this site:


  23. Archana

    HI Jaden,
    Lovely pictures as always. Could you please tell me which lens you used for taking photo # 1, i have always tried to get my photos that way without much success. Thank you

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