Seared Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa for One

published Aug 22, 2023
Cooking for One
Fish Tacos for One Recipe

The ultimate dinner for one? Pan seared fish tacos with avocado, spicy crema, and fresh mango salsa.

Serves1

Makes2 to 3 tacos

Prep20 minutes to 25 minutes

Cook10 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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three fish tacos topped with pico de gallo, avocado, spicy crema, and lime on parchment paper
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Ola Wadley

Cooking for One is my column dedicated to solo dining. No matter what stage of life you’re in, you’ll find a new recipe every month that makes preparing a meal for yourself a special occasion. Follow along and find the recipes here.

Welcome back to another month of Cooking for One! Summer is not almost over. No matter how much everyone insists on lamenting the end of summer in August, or anticipating the arrival of pumpkin spice lattes while the trees are still green, we’ve still got summertime left to enjoy. Personally, in case you couldn’t already tell, I am determined to savor every last second of this summer, and that is the inspiration behind this month’s recipe: pan-seared fish tacos with mango salsa.

Similarly to the scallops and corn salad from last month, fish tacos just don’t hit the same for me outside of the summer months. Don’t get me wrong, I will eat a fish taco if offered to me at any time of the year, but there’s no denying that they seem to taste especially delicious on a warm, sunny day.

What’s in These Fish Tacos?

These tacos consist of pan-seared white fish, sliced avocado, spicy crema, and mango salsa in warmed corn or flour tortillas.

Here, the fish is lightly coated, and then pan-seared in a hot skillet. You can use any fillet of white fish you prefer — my favorites are tilapia and red snapper, but you could also use cod or mahi mahi. For the spicy crema, feel free to go with either sour cream or full-fat Greek yogurt. 

As for the mango salsa, I’ve included a recipe for it (it makes more than you need so enjoy the extra with tortilla chips). However, I take no offense — and actually fully endorse — the use of store-bought mango salsa to make this dish quicker to throw together.   

How Many Tacos Does This Recipe Make?

This recipe makes about 2 to 3 tacos depending on how you’re feeling. Whether you use corn or flour tortillas, I recommend sticking with ones that are 6 inches in size. You can cook the fish the day before then assemble all of the tacos the next day, or warm up only 1 or 2 tortillas the first day and use the remaining fish for more tacos later on. Whatever works for you! Seriously — you’re the only person you have to please here.

Fish Tacos for One Recipe

The ultimate dinner for one? Pan seared fish tacos with avocado, spicy crema, and fresh mango salsa.

Prep time 20 minutes to 25 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes

Makes 2 to 3 tacos

Serves 1

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the mango salsa:

  • 1

    medium ripe mango

  • 1/4

    small red onion

  • 1/2

    medium red bell pepper

  • 1/2

    small jalapeño pepper

  • 1/2

    medium lime

  • 6 sprigs

    fresh cilantro

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

For the tacos:

  • 2

    lime wedges, divided

  • 2 tablespoons

    sour cream or full-fat plain Greek yogurt

  • 1 teaspoon

    hot sauce, such as Cholula or Sriracha

  • 1/2

    medium ripe avocado

  • 2 to 3

    (6-inch) corn or flour tortillas

  • 1 6 to 7 ounce

    skinless white fish fillet, such as tilapia, cod, or red snapper

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1 tablespoon

    all-purpose flour or cornstarch

  • 1/8 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1

    pinch cayenne pepper

  • 2 tablespoons

    vegetable oil

Instructions

Make the mango salsa:

  1. Prepare the following, adding each to the same small bowl as you prepare it: Peel, pit, and dice 1 medium mango until you have 1/2 cup. Dice 1/2 medium red bell pepper (about 1/2 cup). Finely dice 1/4 small red onion (about 1/4 cup) and 1/2 small jalapeño (about 1 1/2 tablespoons). Coarsely chop the leaves and tender stems of 6 fresh cilantro sprigs (about 2 tablespoons). Stir with a fork to combine.

  2. Juice 1/2 medium lime over the salsa (about 2 tablespoons). Season with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and stir again. Refrigerate while you prepare the tacos.

Make the tacos:

  1. Juice 1 of the lime wedges into a small bowl or measuring cup. Add 2 tablespoons sour cream or full-fat plain Greek yogurt and 1 teaspoon hot sauce, and stir to combine. Peel and thinly slice 1/2 medium ripe avocado.

  2. Warm 2 to 3 (6-inch) corn or flour tortillas one at a time by holding them directly over a medium flame on a gas stove, or in a skillet over medium heat, flipping occasionally, until charred in spots and pliable. Stack and wrap in a clean kitchen towel or aluminum foil to keep warm.

  3. Pat 1 (6- or 7-ounce) white fish fillet dry with a paper towel. Season all over with 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt. Place 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour or the cornstarch, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, and 1 pinch cayenne pepper in a shallow bowl and stir to combine.

  4. Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a medium nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Meanwhile, dredge the fish fillet in the flour mixture and shake off any excess.

  5. Add the fish to the hot oil and use a flat spatula to firmly press down on the fillet so that it sits flat on the bottom of the pan. Cook, still pressing on the fish, until it is opaque about halfway up the sides and the bottom is a deep golden-brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the fish over with the spatula and cook until the second side is golden-brown and the fish is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat.

Assemble the tacos:

  1. Use a fork to flake the fish apart into pieces. Divide the fish between the tortillas. Squeeze the remaining lime wedge onto the fish. Top with the avocado, spicy crema, and 1 to 2 tablespoons of the mango salsa per taco.

Recipe Notes

Substitutions: You can use store-bought mango salsa in place of the fresh mango salsa.

Storage: Leftover mango salsa can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Leftover cooked fish can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.