Morro Bay Fish Tacos

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Oh how I love this recipe!

My inspiration for this comes from our family vacation in California a couple of years ago. Me, Chris, the children and my friends spent 16 days traveling from San Francisco to San Diego.

It really was a dream vacation with stops in Carmel, Morro Bay, Santa Monica, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon and Disney, of course. We were also able to spend time with the family we have there, and Chris was also able to drive this baby for a week:

Chris and I were pampered at our stop in Morro Bay, where my parents took the children with them, so that Chris and I could have a few days to ourselves.

If you have never been to Morro Bay, it is a calm and peaceful place, with the silence only disturbed by the barking of the sea lions. We had a beautiful hotel, with a balcony just over the water, and the sea lions approached the water's edge to say hello.

Just a short walk from our hotel was the fish market and Giovanni's café, where they sold the most beautiful fresh fish I have ever tasted.

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We ate there three times in the three days we stayed; in fact, we had to compensate for the additional meal hours so that we could include all the meals we wanted…

My absolute favorite was the fish tacos with salsa verde and Mexican cream.

We sat outside, looking at Morro rock with the warm sea breeze that covers us. A perfect location with my beautiful husband and amazing food. Total happiness!

As soon as we got home I started experimenting until I managed to recreate the recipe, and I've been doing it ever since.

Halibut is not available in supermarkets where I live in the UK, so if I haven't had a chance to make a special trip to the fishmongers, I'll do this version of sea bass. Lemon soles, cod, and even haddock (though not smoked haddock) also work very well.

For these Fish Tacos, the fish needs to be fried in butter to get that slightly golden exterior with a smooth, melted texture in the mouth.

Served in soft, smooth tacos or flatbreads with crispy cabbage, red onion, fresh, juicy tomatoes, and a little creamy, grated cheddar cheese.

Even though slime already sounds, that doesn't stop there. The tacos are sprinkled with TWO additional ingredients:

A green sauce that itches the tongue made with lots of fresh coriander and green chilies.

And a creamy garlic sauce to cool your mouth again after that chili hit.

I can't believe I've never blogged this before. I'm so sorry, I feel like I've completely disappointed you 😉

I really hope you will try them, absolutely one of my favorite fish foods!

If you're looking for a healthier option than regular Tacos, why not try my delicious, flavorful Taco Bowl?

The fish taco recipe:

Morro Bay Fish Tacos

Fish tacos with a mountain of toppings and TWO sauces: a Mexican garlic cream and a spicy green chili sauce!

Course: dinner

Cuisine: American, Mexican


Mexican Cream:

  • 4 tablespoons of sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons double / thick cream
  • 2 tablespoons coriander, chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • juice of ¼ lime
  • Good pinch of salt

Green sauce:

  • 2 cups fresh coriander
  • 10 fresh basil leaves
  • 5 chives / chopped chives
  • 2 chopped green chilies
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons of fish sauce
  • ½ lime juice
  • pinch of salt and pepper


  • 4 soft white tortillas or flatbreads
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 sea bass fillets – skin on or exchanged for your favorite white fish
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1/2 of a sweet cabbage cut into thin slices
  • 1/2 red onion, peeled and sliced
  • 8 cherry tomatoes cut into quarters
  • ½ cup grated cheddar cheese

To serve:

  • 1 red chili, sliced
  • handful of fresh coriander
  • Lemon slices


  • Prepare the cream first by mixing the sour cream and double / thick cream in a small bowl, then add the rest of the ingredients and mix. Test and add a little more salt if necessary. Cover with cling film and refrigerate until necessary (you can do this a few hours before).

  • Prepare the green sauce by placing the coriander, basil, chives / chives, chilies and garlic in a chopper / blender. Give it a couple of quick pulses until the garlic is completely minced. Add the fish sauce, lime juice, salt and pepper and give it another quick pulse. To have a flavor, it must be fresh, a little salty and very hot. Add a little more lime and / or salt if necessary. Put the green sauce in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until necessary (you can do this a few hours in advance).

  • When you're ready to make the fish tacos, wrap the tortillas in a little foil (with a piece of foil between each tortilla to prevent sticking) and place them in the oven at very low temperature.

  • Heat butter and oil in large skillet. Sprinkle the fish fillets with a pinch of salt and pepper and place them in the pan, skin side down. Cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until the skin begins to brown and then turn and cook for another 2 minutes. At this point, you can peel the skin off the fish. I like to leave the skin on during cooking as it keeps the fish moist and tender.

  • Turn off the heat and leave the fish in the pan.

  • Take the tortillas out of the oven and place them on a plate. Break the fish and distribute it among the tortillas. Top with cabbage, red onion, tomatoes, and finally cheese. Sprinkle some cream and green sauce on top, then sprinkle with some chopped coriander and some chopped red chilies.

  • Serve with extra cream, sauce and lime wedges.

Recipe Notes

Nutritional information is per serving.

Hi, I'm Nicky

I love to cook and I want to share with you my favorite, delicious and familiar recipes. I want to inspire you to create a fantastic meal for your family every day.

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