Home » Main Dishes » Grilled Rockfish Tacos

Grilled Rockfish Tacos

4.6 stars (72 ratings)

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Loaded with big bold flavors, these Grilled Rockfish Tacos are perfect for summer time grilling! Whether planning a backyard get-together with friends or Taco Tuesday with family, these fish tacos are loaded with gourmet flavors wrapped up in flour or corn tortillas. Why not try a little something different this summer?

Close up shot of three assembled grilled fish tacos with grilled rockfish.

The Best Fish Tacos

These grilled fish tacos are not just any ordinary tacos. These are grilled rockfish tacos. They start with a cedar plank grilled rockfish, a mild, flaky white fish that is ideal for those who aren’t sure they like fish. It’s the fish featured in my Panko Crusted Rockfish Fillets and is a reader favorite for good reason.

Then they are topped with all of my favorite grilled fish taco toppings. Use all the toppings or just some of them, the choice is up to you!

  • Red Pepper Mango Salsa – Sweet onion, mango, and red jalapenos jazz up this tasty salsa that’s a refreshing burst of flavor on any tacos.
  • Quick-Pickled Slaw – Super simple, light, and crunchy; start this slaw ahead of time, so it has time to pickle. 
  • Spicy Avocado Dressing – This is the perfect sauce for Rockfish Tacos. It’s creamy, spicy, and has a bright lime flavor that’s perfect with the fish.

Easy to make and oh-so-good, this grilled rockfish taco recipe is one of my favorites and a great way to get your taco fix. If you love fish tacos, you’re in for a treat because these are my signature tacos of summer.

Assembled grilled rockfish tacos.

What You’ll Need

Don’t be intimidated by the number of items in this ingredient list. This is (obviously) not a 5 ingredient meal, but if you approach each component as its own recipe it makes it a lot easier to handle. Think of these fish tacos as a fully from scratch meal with four recipes built in.

For the grilled rockfish and assembling the tacos:

  • Rockfish fillets – Look for boneless, skinless fillets.
  • Taco seasoning – We combine together chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, ground coriander, ground cumin, and kosher salt to make our own homemade taco seasoning blend. It’s also delicious with beef and chicken tacos too.
  • Cooking oil – To help the seasoning stick and prevent the fish from sticking to the plank. I prefer avocado oil, but olive oil or whatever you keep on hand will work.
  • Shredded Monterey Jack cheese – Optional for some, mandatory for cheese lovers.
  • Flour tortillas or corn tortillas – This makes about 8 small, fajita size tortillas.

For the Quick-Pickled Slaw:

  • Red cabbage – Finely shredded.
  • Vinegar – I prefer apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar.
  • Sugar – White granulated sugar.
  • Kosher Salt – Just a pinch!

For the Red Pepper Mango Salsa:

  • Mango – Fresh or canned mango works well.
  • Red pepper – Use a red jalapeno if you like it spicy or red bell pepper if you like it sweeter.
  • Sweet onion – Depending on where you live these will be called vidalia onion, spanish onion, or walla walla onion.
  • Lime juice – Freshly squeezed is best and you can serve any leftover lime wedges on the side.
  • Cilantro – unless of course it tastes like soap to you, then sub in parsley.
  • Kosher Salt – Just a pinch!

For the Spicy Avocado Dressing:

  • Avocado – 1 medium avocado should do it.
  • Lime juice – Again freshly squeezed.
  • Hot sauce – Use your favorite hot sauce, I like sriracha in this recipe.
  • Water – Add enough water to get the sauce a nice smooth consistency.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Check out my Amazon shop to see all of my recommended kitchen tools.

  • Cedar plank – For grilling the rockfish
  • Outdoor grill – I like the ease of a gas grill, but if a charcoal grill is your preference that’s fine too.
  • Cutting boards – Separate boards for the fish or vegetables and fruits
  • Sharp chef’s knife – The workhorse of my kitchen
  • Squeeze bottle – Optional. For the avocado dressing.

How To Make Grilled Rockfish Tacos

In the time it takes to soak the cedar plank and preheat the grill you can make the all the toppings for your grilled rockfish tacos. Use mise en place to set up before you start cooking, then follow the steps. You’ll be digging into this grilled fish tacos recipe in no time!

  • Soak your cedar plank in water for at least 30 minutes before heating the grill.
  • Make the slaw by tossing the cabbage with vinegar, sugar, and salt. Set aside.
  • Make the Red Pepper Mango Salsa by dicing the mango, red peppers, and onion and mixing them with the cilantro, lime, and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
  • Make the Spicy Avocado Dressing by pureeing the avocado, lime juice, hot sauce, and water in a blender. Add a bit more water until it is pourable, like a salad dressing.
  • Preheat your grill to medium high heat.
The toppings for grilled fish tacos: Quick pickled red cabbage slaw, shredded monterey jack cheese, red pepper mango slaw, spicy avocado dressing.
  • Combine the chili powder and other spices for the taco seasoning in a small bowl.
  • Rub the oil over the top of the cedar plank and the top of the fish fillets. Sprinkle with half of the taco seasoning.
  • Flip the fish over and oil the top of the fish, and season that side with the remaining spice rub.
  • Cook fish. Place the fish and cedar plan in the center of the hot grill. Close the lid and cook for 10-15 minutes. Check for an internal temperature of 140ºF, then remove the fish and let it rest.
  • Assemble your tacos by warming the tortillas on the grill and then topping them with the fish, salsa, slaw, avocado dressing, optional shredded cheese, and leftover lime wedges.
Cedar plank rockfish on the grill.

What is Rockfish

Pacific rockfish, also called rock cod and Pacific snapper, is a West Coast white fish. It’s a flaky fish with a mild flavor, making it very versatile. It’s one of my favorite fish types to work with and tastes amazing in these grilled rockfish tacos. It’s also terrific crusted in Panko and oven-fried

Rockfish is usually sold without the skin. When placed directly on the grill, it’s very likely to fall apart, drop down in the grate, and cause flare-ups, all things that we want to avoid. But you can avoid all that mess by cooking your rockfish on a cedar plank.

If you cannot find rockfish locally, ask you local butcher or fishmonger for substitutions. When I can’t find rockfish, I often substitute other types of white fish like cod or tilapia, and if I”m feeling fancy I’ll go for catfish or halibut.

Grilling With Cedar Planks

Grilling fish on a cedar plank creates the perfect indirect heat location. There is no need to worry about turning the fish while cooking which greatly reduces the risk of the fish falling apart while on the grill or falling down through the grill grates. In other words, it’s makes your job super easy.

You can usually find cedar planks in your supermarket’s seasonal/summer aisle, so stock up on them when you find them. You can also find them year round at online retailers.

It’s essential to soak the plank in water at least 30 minutes before use, and this will keep the plank from catching on fire while it’s on the grill. Make sure to oil both the fish and the plank with avocado or olive oil to prevent sticking.

Set up of grilled fish tacos bar. Flour tortillas in a taco holder with toppings in bowls in the background.

Tips For Success

Trying a new recipe can always be a little bit intimidating, especially when it’s got as many ingredients as this one does. Here are a few of my favorite tips to help you get it right the first time AND get everything on the table with the grilled rockfish is still hot.

  • Start soaking your cedar plank first! That 30 minutes is going to go fast once you start tackling the toppings recipes.
  • The first topping recipe to tackle needs to be the slaw. While it’s a quick pickled slaw, the flavor does improve as it sits in the brine. Doing it first gives it plenty of time to go from just okay to a tangy treat.
  • The avocado dressing can also be made ahead of time – there’s enough lime to keep it from discoloring for about a day, but make sure it’s packed in an airtight container. If it does get a little bit brown on the top, just mix it in before serving.
  • Put the avocado dressing into a squeeze bottle or a container with a pour spout for easy use, especially if setting up a taco bar.
  • Make enough fish! This recipe makes enough for four people, but you can easily double or triple the recipe.

How To Set Up A Taco Bar

What’s better than grilled rockfish tacos? A grilled fish taco bar! Having company and want to dazzle them with a delicious fish taco bar? It’s easy! Here’s how:

  1. Make the salsa, slaw, and dressing ahead of time.
  2. When your guests arrive, start cooking the fish.
  3. Have a large, flat area where you can lay out both flour tortillas and corn tortillas as well as the fish and all of the toppings for your guests to assemble their tacos however they like.
  4. Add optional toppings like chopped cilantro, Pepper Jack cheese, pickled jalapenos, different hot sauces, shredded lettuce, sour cream, pico de gallo, and your favorite salsa and taco toppings.
  5. As with all taco bars, make more than you think you will need because people will come back for seconds.
  6. Serve with my favorite Cadillac Margarita.
Grilled fish tacos assembled on a blue board.

How To Store and Reheat

The salsa and slaw will keep in the fridge for 3-5 days if tightly wrapped or in an airtight container. The avocado dressing and fish should be eaten within a day or two. For best results store all components separately.

My favorite way to reuse the leftovers is to add the fish and toppings to a bowl of rice for a delicious fish burrito bowl!

If you like this recipe, please give it a FIVE-STAR rating and share it on your favorite social channel!

Close up shot of three assembled grilled fish tacos with grilled rockfish.

Grilled Rockfish Tacos

Grilled rockfish tacos are perfect for summer grilling. Grilled rockfish, quick pickled slaw, red pepper mango salsa, and spicy avocado dressing.
4.6 stars (72 ratings)
prep: 15 minutes
cook: 15 minutes
total: 30 minutes
servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

Quick Pickled Slaw

  • 2 cups red cabbage (shredded)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider or white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 pinch salt

Red Pepper Mango Salsa

  • 1 large mango
  • 1/4 cup red pepper* (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons sweet onion (diced)
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
  • 1 pinch salt

Spicy Avocado Dressing

  • 1 medium avocado
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons hot sauce**
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup water***

Grilled Rockfish

  • 1 lb rockfish filet
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon avocado or olive oil
  • 1 cedar plank

To Assemble the Tacos

  • 4 ounces shredded Monterey jack cheese (optional)
  • 8 small flour or corn tortillas

Instructions

  • Soak your cedar plank in water for a minimum of 30 minutes prior to use.

Quick Pickled Slaw

  • Thinly slice the cabbage into shreds. Place in a medium size bowl along with vinegar, sugar, and salt, and toss to combine.
  • Do this first so that the brine has time to pickle the cabbage. Make sure to stir it once or twice as it rests.

Red Pepper Mango Salsa

  • Cut the mango, red pepper, onion, and cilantro into a small dice and place in a medium mixing bowl. Add the juice of 1/2 a lime and a pinch of salt. Mix to combine and let rest.

Spicy Avocado Dressing

  • In a blender or food processor add the avocado, juice of 1/2 a lime, 1 tsp of hot sauce, and 1/4 cup of water. 
  • Puree, adding more water one tablespoon at a time until thin and drizzly like a dressing. Adjust hot sauce to taste.

Grilled Rockfish

  • Preheat grill to a medium-high heat.
  • In a small bowl make spice rub by combining together chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, ground coriander, ground cumin, and salt.
  • Rub the olive oil on the top side of the cedar plank and the top side of the rockfish fillet. Sprinkle on 1/2 of the spice rub and rub in. 
  • Flip rockfish upside down onto the cedar plank so that the seasoned side is down. Oil the top of the rockfish, sprinkle on the remaining spice rub and rub in.
  • Place cedar plank in the center of your preheated grill. Close the top and grill for 10 – 15 minutes or until the fish reaches an internal temperature of 135 – 145 degrees. 
  • Remove rockfish and cedar plank from the grill and allow the fish to rest for about 5 minutes. You can serve the fish directly from the cedar plank, but watch out for dribbles as the planks have a tendency to warp. 

To Assemble the Tacos

  • If desired, heat your tortillas directly on the still hot grill. Turn them after a few seconds to prevent burning. 
  • Assemble the tacos in any way you choose!! I like mine with a little bit of everything and an extra sprinkle of cilantro.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Check out my Amazon shop to see all of my recommended kitchen tools.

Notes

*You can use any kind of red pepper that you choose, based on how hot you like your food. For a mild salsa try a red bell pepper. For something hotter try a red jalapeno. 
**Start with 1/4 cup of water and add one tablespoon at a time until you get the right consistency. The weather can change how much water you need. I usually use about 3/8 a cup or 1/4 cup plus two tablespoons.
***Use any kind of hot sauce you like and adjust for how spicy you want it. 

Nutrition

Serving: 2tacosCalories: 818kcalCarbohydrates: 82gProtein: 51gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 106mgSodium: 990mgFiber: 10gSugar: 18g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated and is for general information purposes only. For the most accurate information, calculate using your select brands and exact measurements.

Did you make this recipe?Mention @reneenicoleskitchen or tag #reneenicoleskitchen!

More Great Grilling Recipes

About Renee N Gardner

I'm the recipe developer, food photographer, and mastermind behind Renee Nicole's Kitchen, where I help create kitchen confidence to inspire home cooks to become home chefs. No fancy fads here, just high-quality, homemade recipes featuring seasonal ingredients.

More about Renee

49 Comments on “Grilled Rockfish Tacos”

  1. This is the best. We threw all the ingredients on a corn/flour tortilla in a heap and ate it. Added cilantro and lots of slaw on the top.. my daughter said it was good restaurant worthy!

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    I love how colorful this looks. We love tacos and this sounds so refreshing. I usually make tuna but can’t wait to try rockfish. Grilled fish is always my favorite.

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    I love rockfish and I especially love them in tacos! Your recipe looks fresh and delicious!! Incidentally, I love using Viva paper towels as well. They are much better than the other brands.

    Reply
  4. 5 stars
    I love rockfish because it is such a mild whitefish, but Ive never tried to cook it at home. I also love fish tacos…I normally use cod, but whitefish will be a great alternative!

    Reply
  5. 5 stars
    This certainly is a great party idea!! We do love fish and fish tacos are one of our favorites. I had to ask Hubby about rockfish — I’ve never heard of it before. What is amazing that the same fish in one area will have another name in another part of the country. Love your slaw.

    Reply
  6. 5 stars
    I love fish tacos and rarely see rockfish being used as the meat. These look so good. I wish I had the ingredients to make these today.

    Reply
  7. 5 stars
    I never had this pickled slaw but I have on a fish taco had cole slaw so I know this must be over the top fabulous! what a great idea!

    Reply
  8. 5 stars
    This certainly is a great party idea!! We do love fish and fish tacos are one of our favorites. I had to ask Hubby about rockfish — I’ve never heard of it before. What is amazing that the same fish in one area will have another name in another part of the country. Love your slaw.

    Reply
    • Marisa – Yes! Rockfish is one of those regional names that applies to different types. I think in the northeast it’s considered striped sea bass. What is it called near you?

      Reply
  9. 5 stars
    I love rockfish because it is such a mild whitefish, but Ive never tried to cook it at home. I also love fish tacos…I normally use cod, but whitefish will be a great alternative!

    Reply
  10. 5 stars
    From the color combination to the flavors- these tacos scream summer! The avocado dressing sounds absolutely divine as well!

    Reply

Leave a Comment & Rate this Recipe

If you love this recipe, please give it a FIVE-STAR rating along with your comment. Star ratings make it easier for people to find my recipes online. Thank you for all the love and support!

Sincerely,

Recipe Rating