May 10
2011

Fish Tacos with Creamy Green Chile & Cilantro Sauce Recipe

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Fish Tacos with Creamy Green Chile & Cilantro Sauce Recipe

We had only lived in Utah a short time when my husband and I read an article in Sunset Magazine, touting the west’s best taco joints. It turns out that the joint with the “west’s best taco” was a mere ten minute drive from our house. Score! Quite simply, Lone Star Taqueria is the home to the best fish taco I have ever eaten. Apparently, we are not the only ones who agree with that magazine article. When Guy Fieri and his Food Network crew of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dive descended upon the small lime green building, they praised both the funky, bumper-sticker covered car permanently parked on the lawn of the restaurant and the simple, authentic menu items.

The fish used for the tacos at Lone Star Taqueria ranges from tilapia to salmon to mahi mahi. Whatever fish you choose to use, do your best not to overcook it. Lift it out of the pan just before you think it is done and you will end up with tender, moist pieces of fish.

Add in whatever “extras” your palate desires – avocado, tomato, slaw, salsa. But I beg of you…do not leave out the creamy green chile and cilantro sauce. This recipe I came up with is not an exact match to the restaurant’s version, but it is pretty darn close. It is so good I would consider trading in a wedge of Brie for a container of it. That is serious stuff.

If you make the sauce and spice mixture ahead of time, this is a dinner that can be prepared quickly. Store the sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Any leftovers from the tacos can be used for dipping veggies or chips.

The recipe:

The Sauce:
In the bowl of a food processor, puree mayonnaise, sour cream, milk, diced chiles, lime juice, cumin and salt until smooth. Add cilantro and pulse until just combined.

FishTacosSauce1

The Fish:
In a small bowl, mix chili powder, cumin and salt. Pat the fish fillets with paper towel to remove excess moisture. Rub both sides of each fish fillet with spice mixture.

Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Add fish fillets and cook on both sides until fish is just opaque. The time will vary depending on thickness of the fillets. The mahi mahi fillets I used took about 4 minutes per side.

FishTacosSauce2

Remove fish from skillet, let cool slightly and gently pull apart with your hands to form strips.

Wrap tortillas in foil and warm on lowest setting of the oven. Using 2 corn tortillas for each taco, fill with fish, cheese, cabbage, tomato and desired amount of sauce. Serve.

FishTacosSauceLS

Other seafood taco recipes:

Cookin’ Canuck’s Roasted Tomatillo Shrimp Tacos with Honey-Lime Slaw
Love & Olive Oil’s Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa & Cilantro Lime Sauce
White on Rice Couple’s Crispy Shrimp Taco from Chef Rick Bayless
The Novice Chef’s Blackened Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos with Creamy Green Chile & Cilantro Sauce Recipe

Yield: 8 tacos

Serving Size: 2 tacos

Fish Tacos with Creamy Green Chile & Cilantro Sauce Recipe

From the kitchen of Cookin' Canuck. www.cookincanuck.com

Ingredients

    The sauce:
  • 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 tbsp skim milk
  • 2 oz. canned diced green chiles
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • The fish:
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 fillets (4 oz. each) firm white fish, such as Mahi Mahi or halibut
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • The rest:
  • 16 corn tortillas
  • 3 oz. Cotija or queso fresco cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 small green cabbage, cut into shreds
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced

Instructions

    The sauce:
  1. In the bowl of a food processor, puree mayonnaise, sour cream, milk, diced chiles, lime juice, cumin and salt until smooth. Add cilantro and pulse until just combined.
  2. The fish:
  3. In a small bowl, mix chili powder, cumin and salt. Pat the fish fillets with paper towel to remove excess moisture. Rub both sides of each fish fillet with spice mixture.
  4. Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Add fish fillets and cook on both sides until fish is just opaque. The time will vary depending on thickness of the fillets. The mahi mahi fillets I used took about 4 minutes per side.
  5. Remove fish from skillet, let cool slightly and gently pull apart with your hands to form strips.
  6. The rest:
  7. Wrap tortillas in foil and warm on lowest setting of the oven. Using 2 corn tortillas for each taco, fill with fish, cheese, cabbage, tomato and desired amount of sauce. Serve.

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{ 77 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katrina May 10, 2011 at 11:46 pm

These sound super tasty! Great recipe…again!

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2 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) May 11, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Thank you, Katrina.

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3 Jessica May 10, 2011 at 11:54 pm

These look so amazing! I love the photos! Wow…..now I REALLY want Fish Tacos!!

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4 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) May 11, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Thanks, Jessica. I’ve had a craving for another batch of these all day.

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5 Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) May 11, 2011 at 4:20 am

fish tacos look great and the Creamy Cilantro & Green Chile Sauce….wow, now we’re talking! i love dips and sauces of all kinds!

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6 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) May 11, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Thanks, Averie. I feel the same way – if the dip or sauce is good, then the dish holds a lot of promise.

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7 Heather (Heather's Dish) May 11, 2011 at 5:40 am

i love creamy sauces on fish tacos…this one sounds amazing! i love the flavor of green chile and cilantro together!

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8 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) May 11, 2011 at 1:51 pm

A Creamy sauce is definitely the way to go with fish tacos. They’re just not the same without it.

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9 megan @ whatmegansmaking May 11, 2011 at 7:02 am

I can’t believe I’ve never had fish tacos before…and that cilantro sauce sounds amazing!!

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10 brandi May 11, 2011 at 7:49 am

any tacos with corn tortillas are a-okay with me! Those are always the best.

These look delicious – the perfect light dinner for spring.

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11 Pretend Chef May 11, 2011 at 8:12 am

These fish tacos look great. I love reading articles about the “best” of something and actually getting to try it. Recreating the recipe to match the original, even better. I would love the creamy cilantro and green chile sauce. That sounds amazing. Yummy!

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12 Jenny Flake May 11, 2011 at 8:24 am

What perfect little fish tacos! Love everything about them!

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13 Lori @ RecipeGirl May 11, 2011 at 9:03 am

If they taste anything like they look, then WOW. I’m a huge fish taco fan– have plenty of recipes for them on my site, but now it looks like I have to try another!

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14 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) May 11, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Thanks, Lori. Yes, you have some great ones on your site that I’m looking forward to trying.

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15 kelley May 11, 2011 at 9:12 am

Mmmmmm………. The Lone Star is without a doubt my favorite place to eat when I’m in Salt Lake. And you’re right- the sauce is the best!

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16 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) May 11, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Let’s plan on meeting there for lunch someday.

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17 Maria May 11, 2011 at 9:22 am

Josh loves fish tacos. These will be great during the hot summer months!

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18 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) May 11, 2011 at 1:53 pm

I know you and Josh love Lone Star as much as we do. You just can’t beat their fish tacos.

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19 Julie M. May 11, 2011 at 10:25 am

Just delicious Dara! Isn’t it fun when the best restaurants are in your own backyard? I’ll be giving this one a try!

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20 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) May 11, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Yes, I was so excited to be able to try this restaurant. It’s now one of our favorite casual dining places.

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21 Asiya @ Chocolate & Chillies May 11, 2011 at 10:33 am

These look great! I recently tried fish tacos a few weeks ago for the first time. I’m looking forward to giving these a try. All your recipes have turned out fantastic!

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22 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) May 11, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Thanks so much, Asiya. I hope you enjoy this one, too.

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23 kellypea May 11, 2011 at 11:39 am

Sounds so delicious about now even though we’ve had quite a bit of Mexican food lately. I’ll have to try that sauce. The taco stand sounds great too — even though I think San Diego always gets a bad rap in that area. There are so many great places here that make fish tacos.

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24 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) May 11, 2011 at 1:54 pm

I can imagine that San Diego is packed with great fish taco places. I’ll have to ask you for some recommendations the next time I travel there.

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25 Barbara | VinoLuciStyle May 11, 2011 at 11:43 am

True confession? I have never made my own fish tacos. Even worse? I love the ones at Del Taco (please don’t hate me but it’s true!).

You got me with the cilantro sauce…

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26 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) May 11, 2011 at 1:55 pm

You’re too funny, Barb. Give these ones a try – they’re easy and I’ll bet they can rival your favorites.

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27 Lana @ Never Enough Thyme May 11, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Love these fish tacos! Especially the sauce. Yum. I could eat that on just about anything :-)

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28 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) May 11, 2011 at 1:55 pm

I agree, Lana. So far, I’ve eaten it on quinoa, tortilla chips and straight off of a spoon.

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29 Fight the Fat Foodie May 11, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Wow! These look great.

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30 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) May 11, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Thank you.

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31 Mike May 11, 2011 at 12:28 pm

This looks really good.

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32 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) May 11, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Thanks, Mike.

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33 Kelsey/TheNaptimeChef May 11, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Fish tacos is one of my favorite meals!!!

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34 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) May 11, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Me too, Kelsey. They’re such an easy meal for a busy weeknight.

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35 Rose May 11, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Made fish tacos the other night. Wish I’d had this recipe. The sauce sounds amazing.

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36 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) May 11, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Thanks, Rose. I hope you give it a try next time.

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37 Becky at VintageMixer May 11, 2011 at 12:35 pm

I love fish tacos, but its really all about the sauce!

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38 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) May 11, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Hear, hear!

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39 Donna May 11, 2011 at 1:00 pm

You had me at Fish Tacos – one of my very favorite dishes of all time. These look fresh-tasting and beautiful.

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40 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) May 11, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Thanks, Donna. We’re big fish taco fans here, too.

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41 Kristina @ spabettie May 11, 2011 at 1:24 pm

fish tacos are my favorite! these look perfect as do the others you linked to!

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42 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) May 11, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Thank you, Kristina. Yes, I want to try each of those recipes I linked to.

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43 KalynsKitchen May 11, 2011 at 2:47 pm

I’ve never been to Lone Star Tacqueria (no idea where it is even!) I can tell I need to get out more. Or get you to come over and make fish tacos for me, one or the other!

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44 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) May 11, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Kalyn, I would be more than happy to come over and make you some fish tacos. However, if you ever want to try Lone Star’s version, it is on Fort Union Blvd., about 1/2 mile east of 2000 E.

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45 Kathy - Panini Happy May 11, 2011 at 5:08 pm

You’ve made a number of “California-friendly” recipes lately – we’ll have to make you an honorary resident! Love fish tacos. :-)

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46 LiztheChef May 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Hey, you and your fantastic recipe belong here in San Diego, home of the fish taco! It only took me about 20 years before I tried one and I was (no pun intended) hooked…

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47 averagebetty May 11, 2011 at 5:57 pm

OH!!! Fish Tacos are my favorite — and that sauce looks so yummy! I will be trying this fo sho!! And thanks for keeping up with Guy so we don’t have to :)

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48 Cathy/ShowFoodChef May 11, 2011 at 6:04 pm

OK, you got me with the sauce, darn ya! Loving and bookmarking for the weekend!

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49 Marla May 11, 2011 at 8:55 pm

Score! is right. You guys are so lucky to have this high quality Tacqueria so close to home. I love me a good cilantro sauce. Thanks for the hook-up :)

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50 Tickled Red May 11, 2011 at 8:59 pm

Okay that does it. You have to come visit so that we can spend a week just playing with seafood :) NUM!!

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51 Terris@Freeeatsfood May 11, 2011 at 9:29 pm

I’m so happy to have stumbled upon your site. Beautiful photos and lovely recipes! This looks so refreshing and delicious. That fish is making my mouth water!

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52 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen May 12, 2011 at 4:46 am

This reminds me of when I lived in San Diego, fish tacos are the specialty there!

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53 Yuri May 12, 2011 at 7:11 am

Dara, I’ve been dying to try fish tacos. I keep hearing how good they are, glad you posted this recipe with that dreamy sauce. Delicious :)

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54 Kerri May 12, 2011 at 11:41 am

Hi Dara,
I love your site and this sauce looks amazing.
I’m kinda confused by using TWO tortillas for each taco? Have I been missing something all my life??

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55 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) May 12, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Kerri, I meant to explain that in the post. We find that the tortillas start to break apart if we don’t double up. Actually, we first got the idea to do this from the Lone Star Taqueira that I reference in this post.

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56 Claire May 12, 2011 at 12:44 pm

As much as I love fish tacos, I’ve yet to make some. I must try this recipe!

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57 Tracy May 12, 2011 at 1:12 pm

These look divine and so simple too!

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58 Lauren from Lauren's Latest May 12, 2011 at 1:50 pm

I think I could drink that sauce! Holy moly…sounds so good.

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59 Sommer@ASpicyPerspective May 12, 2011 at 4:01 pm

I bet that green chile sauce is the key! Dara these look so fresh and amazing, like a could just grab it off the screen!

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60 Culinary Escapade May 12, 2011 at 4:24 pm

I love fish tacos. I normally have it simply with a squeeze of lime, although your sauce sounds really good. Will have to try it next time I make fish tacos.

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61 Drick May 12, 2011 at 5:44 pm

oh wow Dara, that is a killer sauce for the fish… or just about anything actually – just finished a grilled carbon chicken recipe I worked on, made into tacos and made several salsas, but this sauce would have been an easy adaption to the chicken as well… that is just a fine recipe I know for both the sauce and fish by reading down the ingredients… and I hope you know I know (or think) a thing or two about grilling and Mexican flavors…

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62 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. May 12, 2011 at 7:48 pm

omg this looks fantastic

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63 Pretty. Good. Food. May 12, 2011 at 8:51 pm

I’ve been branching out and trying to cook/eat fish more. This seems simple yet delicious! Can’t wait to give this recipe a try:)

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64 Chef and Steward May 13, 2011 at 1:36 am

LOVE this idea! Dara, you know we love you right? Really fresh post! Fish lightens up the taco and that sauce sounds delish!

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65 Kate@Diethood May 13, 2011 at 8:32 am

How do you make fish tacos look so sexy?! And that sauce! aye aye aye… thank you, Dara, for the eye candy and the bit of drool on my keyboard. :)
Gorgeous photos…as always.

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66 Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) May 16, 2011 at 9:32 am

I’m just catching up on posts on Stumble upon and these fish tacos caught my eye. I think we posted similar recipes on the same day. :-) I used mahi mahi, too and used the same seasonings. Of course, your photos are infinitely better than mine, though.

I also didn’t have this sauce. Will definitely have to try this next time. :-)

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67 Megan May 16, 2011 at 1:38 pm

I’ve had fish tacos many times in restaurants, but have yet to try making them on my own–I think I need to give this one a shot–they look amazing!

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68 Rebecca @ How the Cookies Crumble May 16, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Delicious! Fish tacos always make a great meal!

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69 Frank May 17, 2011 at 6:02 am

Fish tacos are such a delicious and healthy alternative to the usual meat-based ones! And with all those lovely toppings they’re just as satisfying. I hadn’t come across that cilantro sauce before but it sounds fantastic!

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70 Megan May 17, 2011 at 7:41 am

I love fish tacos and this fish looks so good. I bet with the sauce, it’s a perfect dinner!!

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71 Calli May 18, 2011 at 6:54 pm

We LOVE Lone Star… especially when we can sit out on the patio. Never mind that it’s a 45 minute drive both ways for us to get there! Their fish tacos are the best in Utah by a mile… except when they serve Red Snapper, which is a bit fishy for me. If it’s Snapper, then I order the “Taco the boys eat.” I don’t know what it’s really called, but when I order it they seem to know what I’m asking for and, I get a delicious taco with Carnitas and sauted diced veggies which is totally divine too.

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72 Kim at 4virtu May 25, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Thank you for being such a wonderful inspiration over and over! I am so excited about this recipe – we are making it this weekend! And I fixed my typo (eek!) Thanks SO much!

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73 Diane {Created by Diane} June 18, 2011 at 12:26 am

I LOVE fish tacos, these look amazing!!!

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74 Correen July 28, 2011 at 11:12 am

Dara you have hit a home run with this recipe…love,love fish tacos and your sauce recipe sounds amazing! Pleased to share it on my newer page on how to eat crab cakes :)

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75 Ellie July 29, 2011 at 10:50 pm

Making these right now. Just waiting for my bf to get home so I can throw the fish on and eat them! I made the sauce and it tastes so yummy just by itself. I’m using yellow eye instead of my norm halibut. Can’t wait for it to be in my belly! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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76 Nicole December 27, 2012 at 6:19 pm

these were really great! i substituted plain yogurt for the sour cream, tilapia for the fish, and one chipotle pepper (adobado) for the can of green chiles. turned out delicious.

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77 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) December 27, 2012 at 10:22 pm

I’m so glad you enjoyed this, Nicole! You’ve inspired me to make this again. :)

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