These blackened mahi-mahi tacos are served with the best mango salsa and a super easy cilantro lime sauce. They're fast and easy, and the toppings are easily customizable. They're the perfect summer fish tacos.
💗 Why We Love These Tacos
- They're not fishy: Mahi-mahi has a mild flavor and a firm texture, so it takes on other flavors really well and provides the meaty bite that you want in a good taco. It's especially good with blackening seasoning, which you can throw together on your own in literally a minute.
- They're inexpensive: We usually buy a bag of frozen fish from Costco, Sams, or the grocery store about once a month. Wild-caught frozen mahi-mahi is usually less than $10 a pound.
- They're fast: The mahi-mahi itself takes barely any time at all to cook, and you can customize the toppings to fit your schedule and time restraints.
🐠 Key Ingredients and Substitutions
For the tacos:
- Mahi-Mahi: We usually buy our mahi-mahi frozen at Costco, Sams, or our local grocery store. Walmart has it too. We prefer wild-caught fish, but use whatever you prefer. You can also use fresh mahi-mahi if you live in the right region. To defrost your frozen mahi-mahi, leave it in the refrigerator overnight.
- Blackening seasoning: We make our own blackening seasoning with cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, and cumin. If you prefer, you can buy store-bought blackening seasoning.
- Bacon: We love topping our mahi-mahi tacos with bacon for added flavor. We use thick-cut bacon and cook it til it's crunchy.
- Corn tortillas: You can substitute flour tortillas if that's what you prefer, but we like the flavor of the fish better in corn.
For the mango salsa:
- Mango: Use a fresh mango for best results. Follow this tutorial if you don't know how to cut a mango. Peaches are a great substitute if they're in season!
- Cherry or grape tomatoes: You can also dice a large tomato.
- Cilantro: If you're one of the unfortunate souls that thinks cilantro tastes like soap, you can leave it out.
- Jalapeño: If you want something more mild, use a bell pepper instead.
- Red Onion: If your red onion is too strong, soak it in some ice water for a few minutes after cutting it.
- Lime juice: We use fresh lime juice, but you can use bottled if you're in a time crunch or if that's what you prefer.
For the cilantro lime sauce:
- Plain greek yogurt: You can substitute sour cream or even mayonnaise if that's what you prefer.
- Lime juice
📋 Step-by-Step Instructions
Step 1: Make the mango salsa. Finely dice the mango, tomatoes, jalapeño, and red onion and add to a mixing bowl. Chop the cilantro and add that to the bowl, followed by the lime juice and salt. Mix to combine. Taste and add more salt if needed. Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the other components.
Step 2: Add all of the cilantro lime sauce ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until combined and smooth. Set aside.
Step 3: Add cayenne powder, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, and cumin to a bowl and mix to combine. Then pat the mahi-mahi dry with a paper towel and coat with 1 tablespoon of oil. Evenly apply the seasoning mixture to the fish.
Step 4: Heat a cast-iron or non-stick pan over high heat with the rest of the oil. Once hot, turn down to medium-high heat and add the mahi-mahi. Cook, undisturbed, for 3 minutes, then flip and cook for another minute and a half or until it flakes easily with a fork. Remove from heat and cut into bite-sized chunks.
Step 5: Construct the tacos. Add blackened mahi-mahi, bacon, mango salsa, and cilantro lime sauce to each tortilla and enjoy!
💭 Top Tips
- Heat the tortillas before filling them to make them more pliable and less likely to break. We heat ours directly over our gas stove, but you can also heat them in a pan over medium heat or pop them in the microwave.
- Only flip the fish once. Allowing it to cook undisturbed helps it develop a nice blackened crust and keeps it moist.
- Use our recommended toppings if you have time! They complement the fish so well. If you don't have time, Costco has a delicious mango peach salsa.
- You can use store-bought blackening seasoning to cut down on time. Just make sure it contains salt. If it doesn't, add about ½ teaspoon to the fish.
Frequently asked questions
We use our own blackening seasoning, but store-bought blackening seasoning also tastes great. If you prefer something different, store-bought taco seasoning would also work well and be super easy!
We love ours with mango salsa and cilantro lime sauce. If you don't have time to make those, guacamole, pico de gallo, and store-bought salsa are all good options.
If you have leftovers, store all of the components in separate air-tight containers for up to 3-4 days. To reheat the mahi-mahi, cook it in a pan over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, or until warm.
These sides go well with our mahi-mahi tacos: