Spicy grilled fish tacos recipe

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Grilled fish tacos are a perfect summer meal, and we found that choosing the right fish was key. Swordfish held up well on the grill; when rubbed with a bold spice blend, the moist fillets charred beautifully, giving them even more depth of flavor. As an added bonus, the marinated fish could not only be held overnight, but actually improved in flavor when cooked the next day. A salsa made with grilled pineapple and crunchy raw bell peppers added great flavor and texture. Mahi-mahi, tuna, and halibut fillets are all good substitutes for the swordfish, but to ensure the best results buy 1-inch-thick fillets and cut them in a similar fashion to the swordfish.

  • Yield: 6 Servings
  • Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt
  • 2 pounds skinless swordfish steaks, 1 inch thick, cut lengthwise into 1-inch-wide strips
  • 1 pineapple, peeled, quartered lengthwise, cored, and each quarter halved lengthwise
  • 1 jalapeño chile
  • 18 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro, plus extra for serving
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice (2 limes), plus lime wedges for serving
  • ½ head iceberg lettuce, cored and sliced thin (3 cups)
  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, and sliced thin
How to Make It
  1. Mix 2 tablespoons oil, ancho chile powder, chipotle chile powder, garlic, oregano, coriander, and 1 teaspoon salt in large bowl.
  2. Add swordfish to bowl with chile mixture, and stir gently with rubber spatula to coat fish. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. For a Charcoal Grill
  4. Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter mounded with charcoal briquettes (7 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
  5. For a Gas Grill
  6. Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot about 15 minutes. Turn all burners to medium-high.
  7. Clean cooking grate, then repeatedly brush grate with well-oiled paper towels until grate is black and glossy, 5 to 10 times. Brush both sides of pineapple with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Place swordfish on half of grill. Place pineapple and jalapeño on other half. Cover and cook until fish, pineapple, and jalapeño have begun to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Using thin spatula, flip swordfish, pineapple, and jalapeño. Cover and continue to cook until second sides of pineapple and jalapeño are browned and swordfish registers 140 degrees, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer swordfish to large platter, flake into pieces, and tent with aluminum foil. Transfer pineapple and jalapeño to cutting board.
  8. Clean cooking grate. Place half of tortillas on grill. Grill until softened and speckled with brown spots, 30 to 45 seconds per side. Wrap tortillas in dish towel or foil to keep warm. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  9. When cool enough to handle, finely chop pineapple and jalapeño. Transfer to medium bowl and stir in bell pepper, cilantro, and lime juice. Season with salt to taste. Top tortillas with flaked fish, salsa, lettuce, and avocado. Serve with lime wedges and extra cilantro.

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