Recipe: Fish tacos with marinated squash and cucumber

These fish tacos are light, healthy and perfect for summer.

As for toppings, I did away with the typical heavy and fattening taco toppings such as cheese and sour cream. I also skipped the cabbage that usually is found in fish tacos. I decided not to purchase an entire head of cabbage for the tacos, and instead used a cucumber and yellow squash that I had on hand. The marinated cucumber and squash added a bright bite to the tacos. Instead of cheese, I topped the taco with avocado. While avocados contain fat, it is the good kind of fat. They have been shown to lower cholesterol and are high in fiber.

I did not specify weights in my recipe, as I created it as a dish for one. Adjust weights depending on how many tacos you are making, and how much you like the taste of the particular spices.

Fish Tacos

Marinated cucumber and yellow squash
Yellow squash
Olive oil
White vinegar
Black pepper
Dried chili flakes

Use a vegetable peeler on both the cucumber and the squash to create long, thin ribbons from the vegetables. Place the ribbons in a mixing bowl and add all the other ingredients. Toss to cover. Place in refrigerator to marinate for an hour.

The fish
Tilapia fillets
Juice of a lime
Black pepper
Dried cilantro
Dried cayenne pepper
Fish fry breading
Olive oil

Cut the Tilapia filets into bite size pieces. Place them in a bowl and squeeze lime juice over them. Add salt, both black and cayenne pepper, and dried cilantro. Allow to marinate for at least ten minutes.

Heat your skillet and olive oil to medium/medium-high. While the skillet heats up, dredge your fish in the fish fry breading. You don't need a lot of olive oil, you are going to saute the fish, not deep fry it. Also, you don't need a thick breading on the fish, try to keep the breading light, so it doesn't hide the flavor of the fish. Fry the fish in small batches so that you don't cause your skillet to lose its temperature. You should only need to fry the pieces for approximately two minutes (for each individual piece).

Place fish on paper towel after frying, so that any oil left on the pieces will soak into the towel.

Building the tacos
Corn tortillas
Fried tilapia
Marinated cucumber and squash
Jalapeno, sliced
Red onion, diced very small
Fresh cilantro
Avocado, sliced
fFesh salsa

Warm your tortillas by placing a few at a time in the microwave, covered by a damp paper towel. I recommend using two corn tortillas for each taco, to help them stay together (You can also use flour tortillas if you choose, I just happen to prefer the taste of corn tortillas). Add fish, toppings of your choice, and then a quick squeeze of lime juice. Enjoy these wonderful, fresh tacos.


These fish tacos are perfect for summer. They are light and healthy, and the lack of cheese or cream means that they will travel well to picnics and the beach.

For the fish, I chose Tilapia. It is a white fish that has a delicate flavor and holds up well in the tacos. 

According to the FDA’s chart on “Mercury Levels in Commercial Fish and Shellfish”, tilapia has the lowest amount of mercury found in fish. Tilapia is a low total fat, low saturated fat, low calorie, low carbohydrate and low sodium protein source. It also contains Phosphorus, Niacin, Selenium, Vitamin B12 and Potassium. Beware of farmed Tilapia, as it does not contain as much of the healthy omega-3 fatty acids that wild Tilapia contains. And, farmed Tilapia contains too much of the bad omega-6 fatty acids. Stick with wild Tilapia, and you will have a great healthy fish taco. I was planning to grill the Tilapia for this recipe, but rain forced me to cook indoors, so I decided to lightly fry the fish. You can easily switch up this recipe and grill the fish, just negate the fish fry breading.

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