Easy Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa

It’s the big summer send-off. The last hurrah before the ease of summer ends and the air becomes charged with the busy bustle of schedules and routines. Right this minute is a great time to gather all that basil and make some pesto. Slice some tomatoes and cucumbers. Add slivers of onion, salt, pepper, oil and vinegar and soak up all the juicy goodness of those vine ripened tomatoes. Pickle something, like some quick-pickled onions, to use on your burgers and tacos. Enjoy the warm air and the cool breeze as autumn slowly creeps in. 

Say a sweet goodbye to summer with some Easy Fish Tacos. And when I say easy, I mean easy. This simple prep is so flavorful and quick, it has become my go-to for fish night. You get a beautiful sear on your fillet and there’s no mess. Truly, the most difficult thing about this recipe is having the foresight to thaw your fish. After that, it’s smooth sailing. If you don’t want to measure, the juice from half of a lime is one tablespoon. 

Next, make a side of Mango Salsa. One bite and you’re somewhere tropical. A little vacation you can take at home. Spicy, sweet, and bright, this fresh, summery salsa makes a great appetizer with tortilla chips and it’s an excellent accompaniment for the tacos. Best of all, it has most of the same ingredients, so if you’re already making the tacos, you’re on track to stir some together. If you happen to have cherry tomatoes from your garden, pop ‘em in. If tomatoes aren’t your thing, swap in some diced red bell pepper or chunks of avocado. Equally delicious! 

Finish your party on a fun note with an easy Ice Cream Sandwich Cake. Use a very deep baking dish, like a lasagna pan, and plan to make this at least 1-2 hours ahead, so your cake has time to freeze and firm up before slicing. You can also make a smaller cake by using an 8×8 pan, or by forming your cake to size on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Get creative and have fun with this. Try using ice cream, chocolate or other flavored, to make the middle layer, or add chocolate pudding mix to some of the whipped topping and use that in between. Or, add some warmed peanut butter and chopped peanuts, if you like. Top with chocolate, sprinkles, chopped nuts or Oreo cookies, or candy, like chunks of peanut butter cups or mini M&M’s. Enjoy your Labor Day weekend!

Easy Fish Tacos with Spicy Sauce


  • 1 cup sour cream or plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons sriracha
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar 
  • 2 Tablespoons water

tacos and assembly

  • 1/4 small head of cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  •  1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs. skinless, boneless cod or halibut fillets
  • warm small corn tortillas, thinly sliced red onion, thinly sliced jalapeño, cilantro leaves with tender stems, and lime wedges (for serving)

Combine sour cream or yogurt, sriracha, fresh lime juice, kosher salt, sugar and water in a small bowl and whisk together. Cover and chill sauce until ready to use.

Toss cabbage, lime juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.

Mix cumin, paprika, cayenne and remaining 2 teaspoons salt together in a small bowl, stirring until evenly combined. Place cod or halibut fillets on a small baking sheet or plate and pat dry; sprinkle spice mix evenly over to coat. Drizzle fish with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, then rub with your hands until a light paste forms on fish and there are no dry spots. 

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Place fish rub side down and cook until golden, gently turning halfway through, roughly 12 minutes or less total cooking time. Flesh should be opaque and flake easily with a fork, internal temperature 145º F.  Remove from heat and transfer to a warm plate.

To serve, top warm corn tortillas with pieces of fish and prepared slaw. Top with thinly sliced red onion, jalapeño and cilantro leaves with stems. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing over. 

-Rachel Gurjar, bonappetit.com

Mango Salsa

  • 1 ripe large mango, cut into 1/2” pieces
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Combine mango, red onion, jalapeño, cilantro, cherry tomatoes (if using) and lime juice in a bowl. Season with salt and toss to combine. 

-Zaynab Issa, bonappetit.com

Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

  • 24 vanilla ice cream sandwiches, unwrapped
  • 2  (8 ounce) containers whipped topping, thawed overnight in refrigerator
  • 1  (12 ounce) jar hot fudge ice cream topping, warmed, or chocolate syrup
  • chopped nuts, cookies, chocolate or candy

Arrange a layer of ice cream sandwiches in the bottom of a 9×13-inch dish, cutting to fit, if needed. Allow to soften a bit, then use a spoon to gently press down. Top with a layer of whipped topping; spoon hot fudge or drizzle syrup over. Layer with remaining sandwiches, then spread whipped topping over all. Sprinkle with chopped nuts, cookies, chocolate or candy. 

Freeze until set, about 1-2 hours or overnight. Remove and let sit on counter a few minutes before serving. To cut slices, dip a knife in hot water and wipe dry. Repeat between slices.   

Donna Ferguson

Donna Ferguson

I love to cook, garden, and write about all the things in Vancouver and the Northwest that make life so great.

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