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San Diego Grilled Fish Tacos at Santee Lakes - Santee Lakes

Serves: 4-6 hungry fish taco lovers     Difficulty: Easy     Meal: Main Dish     Great for potlucks!

From my RV kitchen

A trip to the fabled San Diego area is cause for celebration...and in my roadabode that means an easy and delicious meal! Except this time we were celebrating in a beautiful Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve floating cabin, affectionately called "Cozy Nest". It was quite a treat and we loved being on the water, watching birds float by, paddling our very own private paddle boat (tied up to our own dock), and enjoying coffee on the deck. And I'd be remiss not to mention the huge Weber gas grill on our deck, complete with grilling tools and propane - nice!

It was a perfect coming together of ideas whipping up fish tacos, Santee-style. It was trout season at the park so what else was I to do but prepare grilled trout tacos complete with my version of Mexican crema and some pickled onions, carrots, and garlic (my take on escabeche, yum).

This meal is perfect party fare whether you're hosting the park crew, a family gathering, or just you! Give it a go and I bet you'll be pleasantly surprised at how expert your results will taste.


I'm sharing this recipe in three parts - the crema, the fish/spice rub, and the pickled onions. Make these recipes your own by adjusting, adding, or otherwise mixing up my take. Have fun!


1/2 cup Fage plain, 0% Greek yogurt
handful of fresh cilantro - chopped
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce - finely chopped
1/2 lime - juiced

Combine all ingredients. Mix well and taste. Adjust as you see fit and place in fridge to allow flavors to meld. Taste once again before serving and adjust to taste.

Fish/Spice Rub + Cabbage + Corn Tortillas

1 - 1 1/2 pounds of fresh trout - filleted, boneless, skin on
olive oil

2 t chili powder (ancho if you can find it)
1 - 1 1/2 t powdered garlic
1/4-1/2 t cayenne pepper

1/4 green and 1/4 red heads of fresh cabbage

2-3 corn tortillas per diner (18 should do the trick)

Combine chili powder, garlic, and cayenne pepper creating a dry rub. Sprinkle flesh side of fish with olive oil and rub to coat fish. Sprinkle spice rub over the fillets and rub into the fish. Set fish aside and start the grill (preheat on medium high).

Core cabbages and slice very thin. Set aside.

Pickled Onions

1/2 large red onion - thinly sliced
1 medium carrot - cut on a diagonal
6 cloves of garlic - quartered
1/4 c red wine vinegar
boiling water

In a non-reactive bowl combine onion, carrot, and garlic. Cover with boiling water for two minutes then drain. Add red wine vinegar and a grind of salt and pepper. Add cool water until the vegetables are covered. Stir and set aside, allowing to pickle.


With your crema, cabbage, and pickled onions ready and waiting, all that needs to be done now is grilling the fish, heating the corn tortillas, and working up an appetite.

Rub the fish skin with olive oil instead of greasing the grill grates. Place skin side down on your medium high preheated grill and close the lid. Cook half the time (rule of thumb: 1 inch = 7 minutes) and flip the fish. Continue to cook until the fish is cooked through, still tender and juicy.

Remove from grill and scrape the skin and any dark flesh under the skin. Using a fork, chunk the fish into large pieces and place on a serving plate with the cabbage.

Warm/grill tortillas until light grill marks appear and the tortilla is soft and flexible.

Have each diner assemble their own grilled trout taco by placing fish on the warm tortilla, adding cabbage and topping with crema, pickled onions, and a tasty store bought green tomatillo salsa.

Fold the tortilla and indulge. Repeat and relax. It's all good!

Additional Tips

These tasty grilled trout tacos pair perfectly with local East County San Diego microbrew from Manzanita Brewing Company. Owner, community benefactor, and beermeister extraordinaire Jeff Trevaskis recommends a fresh, light and complimentary Riverwalk Blonde ale for this dish. Perfect!

Manzanita Brewing Company offers a tasting room in Santee and their delish brews - from Riverwalk Blonde to Jeff's current fav, Chaotic Double IPA to the unique Where There's Smoke rotate on the taps. 22-ounce bottles of their delish brews can be found all across So Cal and spreading east. They are worth the search!

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Direct from my RV kitchen - part cooking class on wheels, part RV travel guide - these RV videos cook! Discover more RV destinations and camping recipes on the RV Cooking Show website.

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