Crispy Fish Tacos with Creamy Jalapeño-Cilantro Hot Sauce

Crispy Fish Tacos with Creamy Jalapeño-Cilantro Hot Sauce
Photo by Kelley Jordan

Ordinarily, fish would be fully thawed before cooking, but in this case, it’s fine for the fish to be partially frozen. It allows for easier slicing and a slightly longer frying time without the worry of overcooking the fish. The recipe for the hot sauce yields more than you’ll need for these tacos, but it’s great on everything!

Crispy Fish Tacos with Creamy Jalapeño-Cilantro Hot Sauce | Sitka Salmon Shares

Prep time: 45 min
Total time: 45 min
Serves: 4


  • Creamy Jalapeño-Cilantro Hot Sauce:
  • 1 jalapeño, coarsely chopped (seeded if desired)
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 scallions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups (lightly packed) cilantro leaves and stems
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Fish Tacos:
  • Vegetable oil for shallow frying
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 portions halibut, partially thawed and sliced ½-inch thick
  • For Serving:
  • Lightly charred warm corn tortillas
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Sliced red onion
  • Cilantro leaves
  • Avocado
  • Creamy hot sauce
  • Lime wedges


  1. Make the hot sauce: Combine all of the ingredients except salt and pepper in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a jar.
  2. Make the crispy fish: Set a wire rack over a baking sheet and set next to the stove. Heat 1 inch of oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering and a pinch of flour sizzles when dropped in. In a resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, cornstarch, chile powder, and 1 teaspoon salt. Add the fish, seal the bag, and shake to coat well. Add the fish (in batches if necessary) to the skillet and cook, turning once or twice, until lightly golden brown and crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the wire rack to drain. Immediately sprinkle with salt.
  3. Fill warm tortillas with crispy fish, lettuce, sliced onion, cilantro leaves, and avocado and garnish with creamy hot sauce and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy!

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Pro Tips

Pair it Up

Pair it Up

These tacos scream beer and we’re hearing hoppy IPA with just enough bitterness to balance the spicy sauce.

Level it Up

Level it Up

Swap shredded lettuce with shredded cabbage for extra crunch.

Change it Up

Change it Up

Sauté leftover fish with shredded corn tortillas and beaten eggs for a killer next-day breakfast scramble. Serve with the jalapeño hot sauce.

Lighten it Up

Lighten it Up

Spray the coated fish with cooking spray and air fry it for a lighter crust.


*The information displayed is our analysis of the recipe based on its ingredients and preparation, and should not be considered a substitute for professional nutrition advice.

Crispy Fish Tacos with Creamy Jalapeño-Cilantro Hot Sauce Recipe | Sitka Salmon Shares

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