Sea-inspired appetizer for your next get-together

Photography and text by Jenny Shea Rawn MS, MPH, RD

Tag me @jennyshearawn and @capeandislandsmag if you try any of these recipes.

These light fish taco bites are flavorful, fun, and crowd-pleasing (even kids love them!). Scoop-sized tortilla chips are topped with cumin- and garlic-spiced cod fish, red cabbage, avocado crema, and bright pickled onions. This appetizer is perfect for your seafood-loving guests. 

Recipe notes

  • Any mild, flaky, white-fleshed fish may be used in this recipe, just adjust cooking time according to the thickness of your filet. 
  • Serve these fish taco bites right away, as they will get soggy if left to sit. 
  • You can substitute whole grain scoop chips for regular, if preferred. 

Nutrition highlight

Cod is rich in lean protein and provides vitamin B12, vitamin B6, niacin, phosphorous, vitamin D, and selenium. The fish of the region also contains a modest amount of omega-3 fatty acids.

Recipe shortcuts

  • Instead of the avocado crema, use a prepared store-bought guacamole.
  • Use pre-shredded red cabbage or a shredded cabbage mix instead of slicing up red cabbage.

Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 10-12


For the pickled red onion

  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the avocado crema

  • 1 avocado
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ½ bunch cilantro (leaves and stems)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the cod

  • ½ lb cod or haddock filet (or any mild, white, flaky fish), patted very dry
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon canola or grapeseed oil or other high heat, neutral cooking oil 

For assembly

  • 50 tortilla “scoop” chips (about half of a 10-ounce bag)
  • ¼ head red cabbage, thinly sliced then roughly chopped

For garnish and serving

  • Cilantro leaves
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges


For the pickled red onion

In a small bowl, combine red onion, rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Refrigerate until ready to use. Place any leftover onion in a sealed container in the fridge for up to one week. 

For the avocado crema

Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add more salt and black pepper to taste, if needed. 

For the cod

Pat the fish very dry. Combine cumin, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl. Press spice mixture into the flesh on both sides of the fish. 

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and swirl. Once oil is hot and shimmering, add cod. Reduce heat to medium and cook 2-3 minutes. Flip and continue cooking until the fish is cooked through, opaque and flakes easily with a fork when inserted and twisted at the thickest point. Fish should reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees F, as measured by a meat thermometer in the center of the thickest portion of the filet. Flake fish.


Place tortilla scoops on a large platter or two medium platters. Add a small amount of red cabbage to each chip. Top with avocado crema, flaked fish and pickled red onion. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve with lime wedges. 

Tag me @jennyshearawn and @capeandislandsmag if you try any of these recipes.

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