Fish Tacos with Pineapple Mango Salsa

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(Fish Tacos with Pineapple Mango Salsa, served with jalapeno, corn, and avocado – recipes in post)

Rain is falling, flowers are blooming, birds are singing ad nauseum… Spring has most certainly sprung. The smell of grass and soil mingle in the damp air like musky perfume, lingering on the senses. Strange to think it snowed just days ago, the last of winter melting away.

It’s May, now, and Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner. Whether you celebrate for the historical significance of the holiday, or simply for the sake of celebration, it’s hard not to get swept up in the festivities.

Though not entirely traditional, I couldn’t help but think of these fish tacos. A tantalizing mix of Mexican and tropical flavors, the play of sweet and sour, hot and cold, cool and spicy, all balanced atop a simple corn tortilla. Light, healthy, and bursting at the seams with tastes and textures.

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As a kid, my family had fairly classic taco nights – ground beef, refried beans, and all of the usual suspects. We’d break out the Lazy Susan, centered on the table with bowls of each ingredient. A kind of build-your-own, buffet style, taco conveyer belt. It was like taco heaven.

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I wanted to honor that tradition with all of the toppings I could possibly desire at my fingertips. All of my favorite add-ons are included in this recipe (as well as a tip on how to turn those extras into an amazing little salsa).

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(Second salsa, made from tomatoes, bell pepper, corn, red onion, jalapeno, chives, garlic, lime juice, and salt)

As an adult, however, I like to punch up the flavors and step up the nutrition. Enter – marinated rock cod and pineapple mango salsa. This is one taste combination you shouldn’t miss out on.

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Fresh mango and pineapple are paramount to the success of this dish, so don’t skimp with buying canned or frozen. For step-by-step photo tutorials on how to prepare fresh mango and pineapple, check out my how-to’s:


Fish Tacos with Pineapple Mango Salsa
(Makes 4 servings – two 6 inch tortillas each – can easily be doubled)

1 lime, juiced
1 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP honey
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt.
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 lb. fresh cod (halibut, tilapia, or even chicken would make fine substitutes)

8 small corn tortillas

For the pineapple mango salsa
(Makes approx. 3-4 cups)

1/2 fresh pineapple, finely diced
1 large red mango (or 2 small yellow), finely diced
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 jalapeno, finely chopped (seeded and de-veined to taste)*
1 lime, juiced
Fresh cilantro or mint leaves, chopped fine, to taste
Small pinch of salt

(For topping, or all ingredients except the cabbage and sour cream can be tossed with lime juice, a clove of minced garlic, and salt to create a second salsa if desired)

2 cobs fresh corn, grilled or steamed (or 1 1/2 cups frozen)
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 avocado, sliced or diced
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped (seeded and de-veined to taste)*
1 lime, cut into wedges (for squeezing over top)
Fresh chives, chopped
Fresh cilantro or mint leaves
Purple or red cabbage, shredded or finely sliced
Sour cream (or plain yogurt)

Any additional toppings you desire

*The heat of the pepper is held in the seeds and veins – remove part or all of these depending on your own personal heat preference.

Combine the first nine ingredients in a large zip-top bag. Add the fish, seal, and marinate in the fridge for 1 – 2 hours.

Finely dice or chop the pineapple, mango, bell pepper, chives, and jalapeno. Add the lime juice, fresh cilantro or mint, and a very small pinch of salt. Toss to combine.

Prepare other ingredients, and serve as toppings alongside. Or, combined toppings (corn, red pepper, red onion, chives, jalapeno, and cilantro) with a squeeze of lime, minced garlic, and salt, to create a secondary salsa.

(Extra salsa and toppings can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week)

Heat a grill, or large non-stick skillet, over medium-high. Brush pan or grill with oil.
Remove the fish from its marinade and place directly on the hot grill or pan. Seer 1-3 minutes, or until lightly charred on one side. Gently flip each fillet, and cook for another minute, or until flaky and opaque all the way through.

In an oven, skillet, or microwave, lightly warm the tortillas.

Assemble tacos as you like, and enjoy!

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Happy Cinco de Mayo!
Seasonal Eats Badge

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27 Responses to Fish Tacos with Pineapple Mango Salsa

  1. Eileen May 2, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    Mmm, fish tacos–my favorite kind! I like mine with the traditional pickled onion, cabbage, and maybe some radishes–but that salsa certainly sounds like it’s worth a try!

    • Willow May 2, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

      Fish tacos are always good. This salsa was a fun way to punch things up!

  2. Elly McCausland May 2, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

    How funny, I made something really similar to this last week but using chicken, which will probably be on my blog soon. It didn’t have any fruit though… I love the idea of fish with pineapple and mango as I’m obsessed with tropical fruit salsas!

    • Willow May 2, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

      The salsa was definitely a flavor boost! It would go great with chicken too, though. It’s hard to go wrong with tacos. :)

  3. Julia @The Roasted Root May 2, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

    This is quite the fiesta of awesome cinco de mayo recipes and flavors! This is exactly what I want on Saturday :)

    • Willow May 2, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

      Wonderful! If you decide to make it, I’d love to hear what you think. :)

  4. Jen @ Juanita's Cocina May 2, 2012 at 11:04 pm #

    Willow, we could be best friends. Because similar food love=bonding.

    Everything you post is SO beautiful. <3

    • Willow May 2, 2012 at 11:42 pm #

      *Grins* thanks, Jen!

      Don’t get too hasty with the compliments, though… I’m about to post about chocolate chip cookies, and I know you don’t like chocolate. :P

  5. Michelle K May 3, 2012 at 2:22 am #

    Cinco de Mayo here I come! These look amazing and incorporate fresh fish – I have two in season for me right now, Pacific halibut and lingcod, that would work great in this dish. I would love for you to link up this recipe on my Seasonal Eats May roundup found here, which highlights posts about using seasonal ingredients in great recipes.

    • Willow May 3, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

      Thank you so much for inviting me to the roundup! I added my link, and am so happy to participate. :)

  6. Peter Block May 3, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    love the photography! and the recipe too.

  7. Ritroviamoci in Cucina May 3, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    I really like the idea of taco ​​night with all the taco seasoning to be added to customize your own taco. Here in Italy not many know the taco and often, people are attached to traditional Italian cuisine and are not excited in front of the new “exotic”.
    But I think I could make some of my friends happy by replacing the tacos with tortillas, somewhat reminiscent of the piadina.
    PS Your photos are always gorgeous.

    • Willow May 3, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

      Thank you! Tortillas would work very well here. The dish can certainly be customized.

  8. Kiri W. May 3, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    I love how you served these – and avocado slices are a fantastic idea in a taco :)

  9. Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes May 3, 2012 at 7:17 pm #

    1 please extra avocado minus the fish – I love bright and healthy tacos, we have them at least once every couple of weeks :)

    • Willow May 3, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

      You got it! These would probably also work well with marinated and pan-seared tempeh or tofu, for protein. Or chickpeas, or potato wedges… :)

  10. D B May 4, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

    Congratulations on making foodbuzz Top 9!

  11. TastefullyJulie May 5, 2012 at 3:59 am #

    Just found your blog on healthy aperture. Your photography is breathtaking! Also, these fish tacos look delicious. I can’t wait to see more.

    • Willow May 5, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

      Wow, thank you so much! Happy to have you as a reader. :D

  12. Kat May 7, 2012 at 2:10 am #

    I just had a mango and pineapple-type sauce with fish yesterday and I really loved the combination of flavors, so I would love to try this salsa recipe (I love the addition of the jalapeno in it).

    PS. The taco conveyor belt is one of my favorite meals.

    • Willow May 7, 2012 at 2:37 am #

      It seems like an unusual combination at first, but such a good one! And the heat from the jalapeno is just right with the cool/sweet of the fruit, in my opinion. Let me know what you think of you do give this a go! :)

  13. Carrie's Experimental Kitchen May 11, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    Good morning! I featured this recipe on my blog today, it looks great! Thanks for allowing me to share. Here is the link

    • Willow May 11, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

      Thanks for the feature – looks good! :)

  14. Sarah Priestess July 2, 2012 at 10:44 pm #


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