With Cinco de Mayo only a week away, it’s time to start thinking about what you’re going to eat! These Blackened Tilapia Tacos with Corn Elotes are easy, healthy and the perfect addition to your menu!

Blackened Tilapia Tacos with Corn Elotes

Like a majority of the country, my love for Mexican food knows no bounds, and it’s definitely reflected here on the website. I have recipes for beef enchiladas, veggie enchiladas, perfectly authentic street tacos, puffy tostadas, and I even have unique spins on classic Mexican dishes like this Chicken Enchilada Baked Ravioli. At first glance it seemed as if I’d basically covered an entire tex-mex menu, but as I studied the archives more closely, there was one glaring omission — fish tacos.

How could I not have a recipe for fish tacos, which might arguably be the greatest tex-mex taco invention known to man – ok, maybe just to tex-mex enthusiast across the country. Of course Mexican purists might call the fish taco sacrilegious, but I happen to think they’re pretty genius – and delicious too.

Blackened Tilapia Tacos with Corn Elotes

Because my first experience was with a fish taco that happened to include deep-fried cod as the star, that’s what I’ve always leaned towards when ordering fish tacos at a restaurant. And while that’s still my first love when it comes to fish tacos, I’ve really come to appreciate the non-fried version just as much.

Here, I coated the fish (tilapia) in my favorite blackening blend – chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and salt – and seared the heck out of it in a screaming hot cast iron skillet until the edges were super crispy and the flesh had a beautiful redish, almost black hue. I was working with pretty small tilapia filets, so each one made about two tacos, if yours are larger, I’d try to stretch one filet to make three tacos.

Blackened Tilapia Tacos with Corn Elotes

Typically I like to cover my fish tacos in some sort of flavored aioli, but this time I had the idea to combine the ingredients of classic grilled street corn and an easy aioli in to one to make a corn elote of sorts. Instead of actually grilling the corn, I held them over my gas stove to get a subtle smoky flavor out them, but if you don’t have a gas stove, you can just skip that step and go straight to cutting all the kernels off.

From there, the corn gets sautéed with a little bit of butter, onion and garlic until the onion is soft, and the corn is a bright, summery yellow. It gets mixed with a touch of mayo (always light!), a few tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt, plenty of chopped cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Blackened Tilapia Tacos with Corn Elotes

To assemble the tacos, I nestle a piece of fish on to a corn tortilla, spoon the corn elote on top, cover it with sliced radish and then finish it off with a sprinkling of chopped cilantro and queso fresco (you could also use crumbled feta).

These guys are simple, but oh so delicious, and perfect for Cinco de Mayo!

Blackened Tilapia Tacos with Corn ElotesBlackened Tilapia Tacos with Corn ElotesBlackened Tilapia Tacos with Corn Elotes

For more taco recipes, check out these posts:


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Blackened Tilapia Tacos with Corn Elotes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8 tacos
  • 2 ears of corn (about 2 cups kernels)
  • ½ Tbsp. butter
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. light mayo
  • 2 Tbsp. plain Greek yogurt
  • 1½ tsp. lime juice + more for garnish
  • 1 Tbsp. cilantro, minced and divided
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. onion powder
  • 4 tilapia filets
  • 3 tsp. olive oil
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • ½ cup sliced radish
  • ⅓ cup crumbled queso fresco
  1. If you have a gas burner, slightly char the corn over a medium-high flame. Use a knife to cut all the kernels off.
  2. Heat a medium skillet to a medium heat. Add butter. Once the butter melts, add the corn, onion, garlic and ½ teaspoon salt. Saute for 5 minutes or until corn is bright yellow and onion is softened. Turn the heat off and add mayo, Greek yogurt, lime juice and cilantro. Mix until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and ½ tsp. salt. Coat the tilapia in the seasoning on both sides.
  4. Heat a cast-iron skillet to a medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add oil. Add the tilapia filets and cook until blackened on both sides and crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  5. Break up the fish in half and nestle each piece into a tortilla. Top with corn and radish. Garnish with chopped cilantro and queso fresco.

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