As a fan of fish tacos, I know that the perfect side dish can make all the difference in creating a delicious and satisfying meal.
Whether you’re looking for something light and refreshing or hearty and filling, there are plenty of options to choose from.
In this article, I’ll explore some of the best side dishes to serve with fish tacos, including salads, slaws, fruits and vegetables, chips and snacks, and more.
When it comes to understanding fish tacos, it’s important to know that they are a traditional Mexican dish made with grilled or fried fish, and typically served on a soft corn tortilla.
Some key ingredients for fish tacos include fresh fish, lime juice, cilantro, and a variety of spices. While the fish is the star of the dish, the right side dishes can complement and enhance the flavors of the tacos.
Popular side dishes for fish tacos include rice, beans, guacamole, and salsa. However, there are many other options to consider that can add variety and excitement to your meal.
From sweet and tangy fruit salsas to crunchy and salty chips, there’s no shortage of delicious sides to choose from. So, let’s dive in and explore some of the best options for serving alongside your favorite fish tacos.
- Fish tacos are a traditional Mexican dish made with grilled or fried fish and served on a soft corn tortilla.
- Some key ingredients for fish tacos include fresh fish, lime juice, cilantro, and a variety of spices.
- Popular side dishes for fish tacos include rice, beans, guacamole, and salsa, but there are many other options to consider, including salads, slaws, fruits and vegetables, chips and snacks, and more.
Understanding Fish Tacos
As someone who loves Mexican cuisine, I can confidently say that fish tacos are one of my favorite dishes.
Fish tacos are a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional beef or chicken tacos. They are made with a variety of white fish such as tilapia, cod, or mahi-mahi that is marinated in a flavorful mixture of spices before being grilled or fried.
The fish is then served on a warm tortilla, either flour or corn, and topped with a variety of fresh and flavorful toppings.
Some popular toppings include shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, avocado, and lime wedges.
When it comes to choosing the type of tortilla for your fish tacos, it really comes down to personal preference.
Flour tortillas are soft and pliable, while corn tortillas are slightly firmer and have a more distinct flavor.
Grilled fish tacos are a popular and healthy option. The fish is marinated in a mixture of spices and grilled to perfection.
The result is a flavorful and tender piece of fish that pairs perfectly with the fresh toppings and warm tortilla.
White fish tacos, such as tilapia or cod, are a popular choice for fish tacos. They are mild in flavor and have a firm texture that holds up well when cooked.
For those looking for a heartier option, salmon can also be used in fish tacos. The rich and flavorful fish pairs well with the fresh toppings and adds a unique twist to the traditional fish taco.
Overall, fish tacos are a delicious and healthy option that are easy to make at home. With a variety of fish and toppings to choose from, there is a fish taco recipe out there for everyone.
Key Ingredients for Fish Tacos
As someone who has eaten their fair share of fish tacos, I can confidently say that there are a few key ingredients that make them stand out from the rest. Here are some of my favorites:
Lime juice is a must-have ingredient for any fish taco recipe. It adds a bright, tangy flavor that complements the fish perfectly.
I recommend squeezing fresh lime juice over the fish before cooking it, and then serving the tacos with extra lime wedges on the side.
Avocado is another essential ingredient for fish tacos. It adds a creamy, rich texture that balances out the acidity of the lime juice.
You can slice or dice the avocado and serve it as a topping, or you can make a quick guacamole recipe to serve alongside the tacos.
Mango might not be the first ingredient that comes to mind when you think of fish tacos, but trust me, it works. The sweetness of the mango pairs well with the savory fish and adds a tropical twist to the dish.
Cilantro is a divisive herb, but if you’re a fan, it’s a great addition to fish tacos. It adds a fresh, herbaceous flavor that complements the lime and avocado.
If you’re not a fan, you can always leave it out or substitute it with another herb like parsley.
Onions are a classic topping for fish tacos. You can use red onions for a milder flavor or white onions for a sharper flavor. Either way, they add a nice crunch and a bit of bite to the tacos.
Of course, the star of the show in fish tacos is the seafood itself. You can use any type of white fish, but my personal favorites are cod, tilapia, and halibut.
If you’re feeling fancy, you can also make shrimp tacos, which are equally delicious.
In conclusion, these key ingredients are what make fish tacos so delicious.
Whether you’re a fan of classic toppings like lime juice and avocado or you like to mix things up with mango and cilantro, there’s no wrong way to make a fish taco.
Popular Side Dishes
When it comes to fish tacos, the side dishes are just as important as the main event. I always like to have a variety of sides to choose from, so everyone can find something they like.
Here are some of my favorite side dishes for fish tacos:
Mexican rice is a classic side dish that pairs perfectly with fish tacos. It’s easy to make and adds a nice texture and flavor to the meal. I like to make mine with diced tomatoes, onions, and garlic for a little extra flavor.
Black beans, refried beans, and pinto beans are all great options for a side dish with fish tacos. They add a nice protein boost to the meal and are very filling.
You can serve them on their own or mix them with some rice for a heartier side.
Mexican Street Corn
Mexican street corn, also known as elote, is a delicious side dish that’s perfect for summer meals and potlucks.
It’s made by grilling corn on the cob and then topping it with a mixture of mayonnaise, cotija cheese, chili powder, and lime juice.
Mexican coleslaw is a refreshing side dish that’s perfect for balancing out the heat of spicy fish tacos. It’s made with shredded cabbage, carrots, and a dressing of lime juice, honey, and chili powder.
Mexican Avocado Salad
Mexican avocado salad is a healthy and delicious side dish that’s perfect for summer meals. It’s made with diced avocado, tomatoes, red onion, and cilantro, and dressed with lime juice and olive oil.
Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad
Tex-Mex quinoa salad is a flavorful and healthy side dish that’s perfect for summer meals and potlucks. It’s made with quinoa, black beans, corn, tomatoes, and avocado, and dressed with a lime-cilantro vinaigrette.
Tex-Mex salad is a hearty and flavorful side dish that’s perfect for potlucks and summer meals. It’s made with mixed greens, black beans, corn, tomatoes, avocado, and a spicy dressing of lime juice, cumin, and chili powder.
Overall, there are many great side dishes that pair well with fish tacos. Whether you prefer classic Mexican rice and beans or more unique options like Mexican street corn and quinoa salad, there’s something for everyone.
Sauces and Toppings
When it comes to fish tacos, the right toppings and sauces can make all the difference. Here are some of my favorite options to consider:
Salsas are a classic choice for fish tacos, and there are plenty of options to choose from. Pico de gallo is a simple and fresh choice, made with diced tomatoes, onions, and cilantro.
Mango salsa is a sweet and tangy option that pairs well with fish. Pineapple salsa is another fruity choice that adds a tropical twist to your tacos.
For those who like some heat, mango habanero salsa is a spicy option that can balance out the flavors of the fish.
Guacamole is a creamy and flavorful addition to fish tacos. It adds a rich and savory element that complements the fish well.
You can make your own guacamole with ripe avocados, lime juice, salt, and other seasonings, or you can buy pre-made guacamole from the store.
There are many sauces that can be used to top off your fish tacos. Cream sauce, made with sour cream, lime juice, and seasonings, is a popular choice that adds a tangy and creamy flavor to the tacos.
Hot sauce is another option for those who like their tacos spicy. You can use your favorite hot sauce, or make your own by mixing hot peppers, vinegar, and other seasonings.
In addition to salsas and sauces, there are other toppings that can add flavor and texture to your fish tacos. Shredded cabbage is a classic choice that adds crunch and freshness.
Pickled onions are another option that can add a tangy and slightly sweet flavor to the tacos. You can also add diced tomatoes, cilantro, and other herbs and spices to your tacos to customize the flavor to your liking.
Overall, there are many options to choose from when it comes to sauces and toppings for fish tacos.
Whether you prefer sweet, tangy, spicy, or creamy flavors, there is a topping or sauce that can complement your fish and take your tacos to the next level.
Salads and Slaws
When it comes to fish tacos, salads and slaws can be the perfect complement to the dish. They can add a refreshing crunch and a burst of flavor that can elevate the overall experience.
Here are some of my favorite salads and slaws to pair with fish tacos.
Coleslaw is a classic side dish that can be a great addition to fish tacos. It’s easy to make and can be customized to your liking.
You can use green or red cabbage, carrots, and other vegetables to create a colorful and flavorful slaw.
You can also add a dressing made with mayonnaise, vinegar, and other seasonings to give it a tangy and creamy taste.
Cabbage slaw is a variation of coleslaw that uses only cabbage as the main ingredient. It’s a lighter and more refreshing option that can still provide a satisfying crunch.
You can add a dressing made with lime juice, olive oil, and other seasonings to give it a zesty and citrusy taste.
Red Cabbage Slaw
Red cabbage slaw is another variation of coleslaw that uses red cabbage instead of green cabbage. It’s a colorful and vibrant option that can add a pop of color to your plate.
You can add a dressing made with apple cider vinegar, honey, and other seasonings to give it a sweet and tangy taste.
Caesar salad is a classic salad that can be a great side dish for fish tacos. It’s made with romaine lettuce, croutons, and Parmesan cheese, and is typically dressed with a creamy Caesar dressing made with anchovies, garlic, and other seasonings.
You can add grilled chicken or shrimp to make it a more substantial meal.
Mexican Caesar Salad
Mexican Caesar salad is a variation of Caesar salad that uses Mexican ingredients such as cotija cheese, tortilla strips, and cilantro.
It’s a flavorful and zesty option that can add a Mexican twist to your meal.
Cucumber salad is a light and refreshing option that can be a great side dish for fish tacos. It’s made with sliced cucumbers, red onion, and a dressing made with vinegar, sugar, and other seasonings. You can add chopped tomatoes and herbs to give it more flavor.
Watermelon salad is a sweet and juicy option that can be a great side dish for fish tacos. It’s made with cubed watermelon, feta cheese, and a dressing made with lime juice, honey, and other seasonings. You can add chopped mint or basil to give it more freshness and flavor.
Overall, salads and slaws can be a great addition to fish tacos. They can provide a refreshing and flavorful contrast to the savory and spicy flavors of the tacos.
Fruits and Vegetables
As a nutritionist, I always recommend adding fruits and vegetables to every meal. Fish tacos are no exception.
Fruits and vegetables not only add flavor and texture to your tacos, but they also provide essential nutrients that your body needs.
One of my favorite fruits to add to fish tacos is pineapple. Grilled pineapple is a great addition that adds sweetness and a tangy flavor that pairs well with fish. Pineapple is also high in vitamin C, which supports the immune system.
Mango is another great fruit to add to fish tacos. Mango salsa is a popular topping that adds a sweet and spicy flavor to your tacos. Mango is also high in vitamin A, which supports healthy vision.
Avocado is a versatile fruit that can be used in many ways in fish tacos. You can make guacamole, slice it, or dice it and add it to your tacos. Avocado is high in healthy fats and fiber, which helps keep you feeling full and satisfied.
Pickled onions, especially quick pickled red onions, are a great way to add a tangy flavor to your fish tacos. They also add a pop of color and texture. Onions are also a good source of vitamin C and fiber.
In summary, adding fruits and vegetables to your fish tacos not only enhances the flavor, but also provides important nutrients. Pineapple, mango, avocado, and pickled onions are all great options to consider.
Chips and Snacks
When it comes to serving fish tacos, chips and snacks are always a great addition to the meal. Not only do they provide a satisfying crunch, but they also help balance out the flavors of the tacos. Here are a few options to consider:
- Tortilla Chips: A classic option that pairs perfectly with fish tacos. You can serve them plain or with a dip like guacamole or salsa. If you’re feeling adventurous, try making your own tortilla chips in an air fryer for a healthier version.
- Plantain Chips: If you’re looking for something a little different, plantain chips are a great option. They’re slightly sweet and salty, and their sturdiness makes them perfect for dipping.
- Sweet Potato Chips: Another healthier option, sweet potato chips are a tasty and colorful addition to any fish taco meal. You can make them in an air fryer or bake them in the oven for a crispy texture.
- Popcorn: Believe it or not, popcorn can be a great snack to serve with fish tacos. It’s light and crunchy, and you can season it with flavors like chili powder or lime juice for a little extra kick.
No matter which option you choose, chips and snacks are a great way to round out your fish taco meal. Just be sure to keep portions in check, as it can be easy to overindulge on these tasty treats.
When it comes to pairing beverages with fish tacos, there are a few options that are sure to please. One classic choice is tequila, which pairs well with the citrusy flavors of the tacos.
A high-quality tequila can be sipped on its own, or mixed into a cocktail for a more complex drink.
Speaking of cocktails, there are plenty of options that can complement the flavors of fish tacos. One popular choice is the margarita, which is made with tequila, lime juice, and triple sec.
This tangy and refreshing drink is the perfect accompaniment to a plate of fish tacos.
If you’re not in the mood for something alcoholic, there are plenty of non-alcoholic options that can work well with fish tacos.
A simple glass of water can help cleanse the palate between bites, while a cold soda can provide a sweet and fizzy contrast to the savory flavors of the tacos.
Overall, there are plenty of beverage options that can pair well with fish tacos. Whether you prefer a classic margarita or a simple glass of water, there’s a drink out there that can help enhance the flavors of this delicious dish.
When it comes to making fish tacos, there are several cooking methods to choose from. Here are a few of my favorites:
Grilling fish is a popular cooking method for fish tacos. It’s a healthy option and adds a smoky flavor to the fish. You can use any type of fish for grilling, but some of the best options include tilapia, cod, and salmon.
To grill fish for tacos, simply season the fish with your favorite spices and grill until cooked through. You can also add some lime juice and cilantro on top for extra flavor.
Air Fryer Fish
Air frying is another healthy option for making fish tacos. It’s a great alternative to deep-frying, and it still gives the fish a crispy texture.
To air fry fish for tacos, simply season the fish with your favorite spices and place it in the air fryer. Cook for about 10-12 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and crispy.
You can also use an air fryer to cook tortillas for your tacos.
Other Cooking Methods
While grilling and air frying are my top choices for making fish tacos, there are other cooking methods you can use as well.
Baking, pan-frying, and poaching are all viable options. Just be sure to season the fish well and cook it until it’s fully cooked through.
No matter which cooking method you choose, be sure to use fresh, high-quality fish for your tacos. And don’t forget to add some delicious sides to complement your tacos!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some good low-carb sides to serve with fish tacos?
If you’re looking for low-carb sides to serve with your fish tacos, you can try grilled vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, and onions.
Another option is a side salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and avocado. You can also serve a side of guacamole or salsa with sliced cucumbers or jicama instead of tortilla chips.
What are some traditional Mexican sides to serve with fish tacos?
If you want to keep it traditional, you can serve your fish tacos with sides like Mexican rice, refried beans, and black bean salad.
You can also serve grilled corn on the cob with chili powder and lime juice or elote, which is Mexican street corn.
What type of rice pairs well with fish tacos?
If you want to serve rice with your fish tacos, you can try cilantro lime rice or Mexican rice. Cilantro lime rice is a flavorful and fragrant rice dish that pairs well with fish tacos.
Mexican rice is a tomato-based rice dish that is often served as a side dish in Mexican cuisine.
What are some good corn-based side dishes to serve with fish tacos?
Corn is a staple in Mexican cuisine, and there are many corn-based side dishes that pair well with fish tacos.
You can serve grilled corn on the cob with chili powder and lime juice or corn salad with black beans, tomatoes, and cilantro. Another option is to serve corn tortillas or corn chips with guacamole or salsa.
What types of salsa are recommended to serve with fish tacos?
Salsa is a great condiment to serve with fish tacos, and there are many different types of salsa to choose from.
You can serve traditional tomato-based salsa, pico de gallo, or salsa verde, which is made with tomatillos and jalapenos. Another option is to serve fruit salsa like mango salsa or pineapple salsa.
What are some good side dishes to serve with a fish taco dinner party menu?
If you’re hosting a fish taco dinner party, you can serve a variety of side dishes to complement your fish tacos.
You can serve grilled vegetables, like zucchini, bell peppers, and onions, or a side salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and avocado.
You can also serve Mexican rice, refried beans, and black bean salad. Another option is to serve an appetizer like guacamole or ceviche.
Tiffany McCauley is a celebrated food and travel journalist and cookbook author known for her engaging stories on culinary adventures and cultural insights. With a background featuring collaborations with notable brands and publications, Tiffany brings a wealth of experience and a fresh perspective to Fanatically Food, where she champions taste, sustainability, and the art of cooking. Read More Here