Spicy Fish Taco Bowls

Fish Taco BowlPinitBob Harper wants me to eat more fish.

But Bob has not been to the fish market on my street, and something tells me that eating fish from the market would do something scary to my weakling Western digestive system.

I want to be a really savvy person who lives in the Philippines and shops for fish at her local market, but you guys. I am Type A and I have an irrational fear of the fish eyeballs staring at me and the big knives covered with fish scales. I think I’ll hold off on the fish market just yet.

Spicy Fish Taco Bowl

So I bought familiar-looking fish filets from the grocery store. No eyes or anything. Then I cooked them, put them a bowl with all my favorite things and devoured it in .4 seconds.

Bob is on to something here.

This is like a Chipotle burrito bol, but it’s made with spicy fish and you can put as many pieces of avocado on as you want without paying two dollars extra. It’s what my Mexican food dreams are made of: avocado, brown rice, garlic, roasted corn and peppers, black beans, avocado, cilantro, cheese, avocado, and spicy fish. And avocado. With a little avocado on top.

Besides eating 100 of these bowls, the only thing that would be a better use of my time is melting in the arms of a four year old girl.


Is this real life?

Spicy Fish Taco

4.9 from 29 reviews
Spicy Fish Taco Bowls
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3-4 tilapia filets (or other fish filet of your choice)
  • 1-2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 cup fresh sweet corn kernels (sliced off the cob is the best)
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 can black beans
  • cooked brown rice (I used about 2 cups)
  • fresh cilantro, avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream, or pico de gallo for topping
  1. Mix the spices together in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over both sides of the fish filets. (I like to season my fish a LOT, but just sprinkle on however much looks good to you.) Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat, heat a drizzle of olive oil. Add the garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the fish filets to the pan. Grill the fish on each side for several minutes, checking the middle for doneness (fish should be completely white and flake apart easily). Remove fish filets and set aside.
  3. Add corn, red peppers, and onions to the pan with no additional oil. Heat over high heat for several minutes WITHOUT stirring to get a brown/black roasted look on the outside. Repeat for several minutes (stir, wait, stir, wait) until the peppers and onions are tender-crisp. Add the black beans and heat through.
  4. Layer rice, corn/pepper mixture, and fish in a bowl - or mix everything together in the skillet. Top with any of the toppings listed above!
My favorite toppings were the cilantro, avocado, and pico de gallo (or just salsa).

One thing: How did it become AUGUST? Sheesh.

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  1. When I was in the Maldives, we went on a tour of the fish market and it was probably the most vomit-inducing experience of my life so I don’t blame you for buying your fish from the grocery store. You’re braver than I am to even write about it! Enough about dead fish…look at all those pretty colours and delicious flavours!

  2. Yum! My husband is obsessed with fish tacos lately. How easy just to throw it all in a bowl….and gluten-free!
    Thanks for sharing. It’s fun to hear about your experiences!

  3. That looks REALLY good! I may have to try it!!! Love you.

  4. Looks delicious. Probably good wrapped in a burrito too.

  5. I love fish tacos AND not having to pay $2 for extra avocado in my bowl!

  6. Huge fan of tilapia! And tacos! totally pinning this, it looks (and sounds) amazeballs 😉 Cute picture Too!

  7. Oh this is one of my favs you’ve ever done, had to pin stat! Ive been reading you for awhile but just noticed that you are living in the Phillipines working at an orphanage. How cool is that?! I just returned from spending a few weeks in the Congo working at an orphanage myself. Not the same thing as a year but I can feel where your heart is at. Knowing this about you makes all these recipes that much more special. Thanks for all the great idea and for being an inspiration and leader for these little children.

    • That is awesome! What were you doing there? Just working at the orphanage? teaching? I would love to read more about your time there – I’m hoping you have some posts about it on your blog?!

  8. Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies says:

    I’m sort of scared of fish in general. I have a new project to train myself to enjoy fish, and honestly? This recipe will help. Because I love Mexican food, I love roasted corn and garlic, and I love love LOVE avocado!! I think I might not even notice the fish, with enough avocado! Gorgeous!

  9. G-I-M-M-E-N-O-W.

  10. This looks so yummy! It definitely reminds me of a Chipotle burrito bowl. Minus their delicious salty and lime-y chips. I’m a bit TOO obsessed with those.

  11. Hooray for more fish! I love the combination with all the spicy & savory elements in this bowl. :)

  12. Ummm yep! That’s what my mexican food dreams are made of too! avocado, with a side of avocado and avocado sprinkled on top. With mangoes for dessert….

    LOVE today’s recipe! So easy to make at home. mmmm!

  13. These flavors are so fabulous. I am loving all of the photos you are sharing. So inspirational!

  14. That is such a sweet picture!! (And I love the shirt you’re wearing!)

    This sounds amazing! Definitely loaded with all of my favorite things!

  15. suddenly, i had a hard craving for some chipotle. this kind of makes the bad-ness of those bols a bit better with it being homemade and w/fish and all..love the colors, gorgeous as always!

  16. Elizabeth says:

    I’m so grateful that you posted this today! This evening, I am making my own little concoction which vaguely resembles the Chipotle Burrito Bowl which we love so much. I’m out of avacado, but I have corn, tomatoes, black beans, bown rice, cilantro, lime and chicken. I saute the chicken in a little low sodium soy sauce and then chop it to go in with all the other ingredients. We’re short on the cheese and sour cream, but it tastes pretty darn good! I can’t wait to try with the spicy fish, maybe tomorrow. Thanks again!

  17. This looks amazing! My husband is obsessed with Chipotle bols and I LOVE fish tacos – this is a perfect combination to make us both happy! Thanks for a great recipe!

  18. I went to a fish market in Korean when I was a bit younger and I think back then, you have no fear and no gagging reflexes so I’m used to it now. Although had I not been there when I was kid, I’d be in the same boat as you.

    As for this bowl, love it! You just saved me lots of trips to Chipotle! Actually, you should sell this recipe to Chipotle and make millions :)

  19. Fish tacos are one of my favorites and these bowls look incredible. I can follow Bob’s rule to eat more fish, but is he also going to want me to eat less chocolate : )

  20. I am enjoying following your adventures and recipes, thanks for sharing!

  21. 1. Yum.
    2. Aw.

    I’m so glad you’re loving it there (everything outside of the fish market, of course!).

  22. Oh man, this looks like an incredible burrito bowl. And probably a lot safer than the fish market version would have been. :)

  23. This looks delicious!
    You and Bjork are truly blessed, it looks like youre enjoying your life thoroughly!
    p.s. this recipe made me think of you.
    Mango Lassi Popsicles!!!! OMG!

  24. I love following your story, your honesty and sense of humor. Made the fish taco bowls and for once in my life followed the recipe exactly. We LOVED it, even my 13 year old fish hating son had seconds. My husband commented that this is definitely
    a repeat. Thanks for the inspiration.

  25. These look amazing! Anything with cilantro, avocado and pico is my favorite.

  26. Elizabeth says:

    Ditto on the fish markets. I rarely buy fish there because of the lack of refrigeration etc. for fish we go to the supermarket (SM and S&Rare great places for meat and seafood). But I do love buying crabs, prawns and shellfish at the market.. So much variety.

    Ps I’m definitely making these fish bowls very soon when we get back to the Phil (no access to cumin etc here in Denmark)

  27. Oh Lindsay, do I ever hear you on this one. When we first moved to Bangkok I thought I would totally dive in and buy all my produce, fish, and meat from the fresh market. I quickly changed my tune. The fish market here is far too scary for me.

    As someone who has been through it in this part of the world, I’m loving keeping up with your adventure!

    • Hahahaha! THANK YOU. :) I am going to check out your blog – I’m having so much fun connecting with other people who live abroad! :) Do you have any travel recommendations for Thailand? We’d love to make a stop there before heading back to the states next summer.

  28. Made this for dinner tonight – new favourite!

  29. shannon earls says:

    do you know the nutritional information for the recipe?

  30. THANK YOU. This was incredible. My husband and I were in aw the entire time…we felt like we were eating at Chipotle. We subbed pinto beans for black beans and it worked just fine! Thank you for this – I’ll now be following your blog religiously!

  31. Sarah Johnston says:

    Looks great, with a few adaptations, like skip the beans… I love adding avocado, and wish I had bought some today at Cub.

  32. Hi there,

    I made this dish tonight and it came out TO DIE FOR!!! Thanks for the recipe.


  33. I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks now and “star”-ing all the recipes I wanted to try. I made this tonight and it was SOOOOO good! It came together so fast and was just amazing!!

  34. Just made this for dinner and it was fantastic. My husband said we should have this once a week. Delicious and easy to prepare. The only thing I did different was to bake my tilapia in the oven while I was cooking the other ingredients. Thanks for the recipe.

  35. Used this except substituted Farro for the rice so yummy! Used wild caught red fish and wild caught salmon excellent!

  36. THIS recipe is AMAZING. Plus, this is my favorite blog ever. Thanks for all the tips and great stories! Keep them coming :)

  37. you know grocery stores have back rooms with blood and guts all over the place. the market fish has probably been caught that day. I live in taiwan, and never go to the grocery store. especially after carrefour got caught re-labeling its meats, poultry and fish. only use the local markets and have never gotten sick. interesting how no one has a problem eating it, but they do not want to have to look their food in the eye and acknowledge that it did not come from a shrink wrap. good luck to ya.

  38. Can’t wait to try this!!
    Looks yum-my!!

  39. Does this reheat well? Would love to make this but it’s just me.

  40. I made this tonight and it was unbelievably delicious! My boys loved it (ages 10-4) and my husband reeeeeeeally loved it! Thanks for the recipe. I found it on Pinterest. Gonna go check out your other recipes now. Smiles.

  41. Just made these – wow – and oh my gosh, what a kick. I had it with cheese, cilantro and lots of avocado. I think I might squeeze lime juice over it next time or better still just have it with a margarita :-)

  42. Found this on Pinterest and made it tonight – it was amazing! So easy, and my kids (8 and 9) and hubby loved it. I thought chopped avocado complimented it so nicely – and no cheese was necessary, making it even healthier. Thanks so much!

  43. I made the rice with cilantro and lime and this dish was absolutely amazing! Very Chipotle-ish.

  44. Danielle Varner says:

    Love the fish tacos and so good for you. I buy frozen because I can’t stand going to wet Markets where we are (Singapore).

  45. Susan Conrad says:

    Another treat. Fun to run into you on Pintrest.

  46. I would suggest maybe adding the garlic right before the corn mixture because it was all burned by the time the fish was cooked.

  47. Made this recipe for dinner tonight and Loved it! Making it for one person required some calculations, but overall it was a great recipe. Also, I substituted shrimp for the fish because that is what I had already and it was delicious- can’t wait to try it with the fish too!

  48. What an amazing person you must be! The children in the orphanage are so very lucky. The picture with the 4yr old melted my heart :) My hubby and I love, love, love fish tacos. Can’t wait to try yours…..and I love the amounts of avocado! I would have gone to the grocery store too :) Bless you both!

  49. This was very good. Use 1 cup uncooked brown rice and 3 pieces of tilapia

  50. We made this recently and enjoyed it (found your recipe through Pinterest). I’m guessing you rinse the black beans? I didn’t and it wasn’t as pretty as yours. Thanks for the lovely recipe!

  51. Made this tonight and it is awesome! I baked my fish in the oven and prepared the corn mixture on the stove top. Did not have cilantro so chopped some green onion tops and also topped with sour cream and salsa. It tasted great! Thanks for a great recipe!

  52. Made this recently for my family… This recipe is so colorful & healthy and yummy. You are a genius. I will be making this lots with the fresh summer produce. Was super easy to follow. Super flavorful!!! Probably the best thing I have made at home in the last 6 months. I am planning on making this alot more – great way to sneak extra veggies and more fish into the family’s diet. I adapted it to a bit less carb (no beans)/less spicy for my kiddo. The rub/seasonings are awesome… can’t wait to try it on other meats. AND try the spicy version sometime when the guys are out doing a “daddy son thing” LOL. I love spicy stuff. Of course your pictures are better than mine. Heres a link to what i did: http://noreservations4lunchdinner.blogspot.com/2013/07/grilled-fish-taco-bowls.html

  53. I just made this tonight and it was delicious! Thank you! The only alteration I made was I added lime juice to the corn mixture after it was finished cooking. It added quite the pazazz.

  54. AMAZING!!!! I have made them 3 weeks in a row! Thanks for the recipe!

  55. Made these last night with some friends – we all agreed they were DELICIOUS! And so quick and simple too! I’ll definitely be making these again!

  56. As per the norm, you knocked it out of the park. Simple, nutritious, delicious. Thanks for such great recipes!

    PS – I am trying to give this a 5-star rating, but for some reason, I can’t select the fifth?! So weird.

  57. I am so obsessed with this recipe! It’s filling, healthy and so delicious. Seriously, I make this once a month at least. Thank you!!!

  58. Just became addicted to Pinterest and food blogs when I found your recipe. It’s awesome — even better than Chipotle! My husband loved it, too. Only complaint is the messy pan after the blackening step….that’s what soaking is for.

  59. Meredith says:

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! I had some shrimp in the fridge so I substituted it for the white fish and it totally worked.


  60. Tiffany says:

    I see that this recipe has been her AWHILE, lol, but I just had to tell you how much we love it! My husband HATES fish (but he’s nice enough to eat anything I cook ;)) however he LOVES this! It’s one of my favorite meals! Thank you so much! :)

  61. Recently discovered your blog…totally obsessed with your recipes, thank you so much for so many scrummy deeeelicious ideas. Had this for dinner tonight, used salmon and soaked the avocado in lime juice. Was it supposed to serve 4?!!! Oops 2 of us scoffed the lot!

  62. Hmm..it will only let me put 4 stars….BUT ITS A FIVE

  63. Denise D says:

    Have made this recipe twice now & love love it!!
    Thanks so much for sharing in with the world!!!
    I’ve also added shrimp in with Tilapia!! Yum!!
    Delish it’s a Keeper in our recipe file!!! Cheers & good food!!

  64. Holy moly this is the best taco bowl I have ever had! Its incredibly easy, especially with an infant strapped to me (yay kangaroo care haha). This has become a staple recipe in my house, we eat it at least every week! I even make an extra portion and bring it to my mother (the rest of my family is super picky!)

  65. Could not give less than 5 star. It is so easy to make and delicious that anyone will love to have it. Keep going with your good works. :)

  66. I just discovered your blog – love everything! Now after looking to see what’s on sale at the grocery store, I then search your recipes to see what yummy meal I can make! This fish taco bowl was AMAZING and so easy – it’s going to be in the weekly rotation. I’ve started picking up whatever fish is on sale and substituting it in this. We love it because we can eat a ton of this and not get that heavy, full feeling. My fiance isn’t a brown rice fan, so I used a basmati brown and red quinoa rice blend and he loved it. Yay for a healthy, easy, DELICIOUS meal!

  67. Karen Akilan says:

    Found this on pinterest and made it for dinner and is now on our regular rotation for dinners. My daughter in law is gluten free and does not like fish but loved this! Thanks for giving us another alternative to chicken bowls. Thanks!

  68. I might have to try this recipe. I’m sure you could substitute whatever meat you want, will just have to play with some of the ingredients a little.

  69. This was so easy to put together. It was full of flavor – everything included packs a big punch. And the cilantro? Let me sing the praises of cilantro! Gloria!

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