Real Meals Modified

Level 5: Minced & Moist Fish Tacos

Taco Tuesday gets a modified update with these delicious Level 5: Minced & Moist Fish Tacos.

Flaked fish and guacamole on a tortilla next to mashed fish and guacamole, with two slices of lime on a blue plate.

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A Favorite Dinner

My boyfriend and I have these fish tacos at least once a month.

We buy the bulk frozen tilapia from Costco and always have it in the freezer. With a little planning ahead to thaw the fish, you can have dinner on the table within 20 minutes.

This is an amazing meal to modify for Level 5: Minced & Moist because the only big change from a Level 7 meal is removing the tortilla and pre-flaking the fish before plating.

It’s delicious and the whole family will enjoy sitting down to these fish tacos.

Level 5: Minced & Moist

Level 5: Minced & Moist is appropriate for individuals who have good tongue control and can manage small bits of food, but may have decreased chewing or tongue force. Foods contain visible lumps and are covered with a moist sauce. These foods can be scooped and shaped into a ball on the plate, but no liquid can separate from the solids if the plate is tipped.

Food pieces or lumps can be no larger than 4mm for adults or 2mm for children and must fit between the tines of a fork; this is called the Fork Test. Minced & Moist recipes must pass both the Fork Test and the Spoon Tilt Test, in which the food must hold its shape on a spoon but fall off easily if tilted or lightly flicked. We recommend watching IDDSI’s Youtube video of the Spoon Tilt Test before you cook as well as during the testing of your final modified portion.

Always test your food before serving to ensure that it meets all the IDDSI testing guidelines.

Level 5: Minced & Moist Fish Tacos

This recipe is also easily customizable to your family’s favorite tastes.

One of my friends has a very sensitive stomach, so I leave out the chili powder on her piece of fish.

For just my boyfriend and I, we make 2 pieces of fish and generally have a little left over for the next day (with no side dishes). However, when I’m cooking for a crowd, it’s easy to make the dish in a larger pan and increase the number of fish fillets you use. For a feast, I would serve this with refried beans (here’s Louisa’s delicious Puree Smooth Refried Beans), Spanish rice, or a fresh salsa.

The hardest part of this recipe is making sure you cook the fish for long enough.

Test the fish after 10 minutes in the oven by sticking a fork and lightly twisting. If the fish turns easily but does not break further than where you turned it, it’s not done yet. Cook the fish for another 2 minutes.

The fish is ready when turning the fork just a little breaks the fish across the seams.

Level 5: Minced & Moist Fish Tacos FAQs

What if I can’t find or don’t like tilapia?

I’m not a fish expert, but other white fishes would probably be substituted easily. You could try catfish or cod, but you may have to change the length of time you bake them.

I don’t like guacamole, can I leave it out?

The guacamole serves as the “moist” portion of this recipe, so no you cannot leave it out. You would have to moisten the fish in another way in order to serve this as a Level 5: Minced & Moist.

Can I use fried or battered fish instead?

While you could serve fried fish in the fish tacos to a non-modified eater, it would be hard to guarantee the breading/batter would soften enough in the guacamole to be considered Minced & Moist. You could experiment with placing the cooked fried fish in a food processor and blitzing it, but it may need time to soak in a sauce to moisten. Always remember to test your final portion before serving.

We want to hear from you!

If you have any questions or comments about this recipe, please comment below!

If you loved this recipe, check out our other Level 5: Minced & Moist recipes, or learn more about us!

Flaked fish and guacamole on a tortilla next to mashed fish and guacamole, with two slices of lime on a blue plate.
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Level 5: Minced & Moist Fish Tacos

Taco Tuesday gets a modified update with these delicious Level 5: Minced & Moist Fish Tacos.
Cook Time10 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Level 5: Minced & Moist
Servings: 2 servings (with no side dishes)
Author: Sara @ Real Meals Modified


  • Avocado masher
  • 8x8 pan


Ingredients for fish

  • 2 pieces raw tilapia I use frozen and thaw before cooking, 4-7 ounces each
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice about 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • Cumin
  • Paprika
  • Chili powder optional

Ingredients for Guacamole

  • 2 medium avocados 200 grams
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice 50 grams
  • ¼ teaspoon salt 1.5 grams


Prepare the Fish

  • Thaw fish if previously frozen.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Lay fish in an 8x8 inch pan, feel free to increase the number of fish pieces and use a 9x13 if you are cooking for a crowd.
  • Rub half of the olive oil and juice from half of a lime on the top of the fish.
  • Sprinkle on salt, cumin, paprika, and chili powder (if using). Use more seasonings for more flavorful fish, decrease if you have a sensitive stomach. I use about 10 shakes of each seasoning.
  • Rub in the seasoning and flip the fish over.
  • Repeat steps 4-6 on the second side (oil & lime, seasonings, rub).
  • Place the fish in the oven and set the timer for 10 minutes.

Make the Guacamole

  • Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the guacamole together in a large bowl and mash with an avocado masher, potato masher, or fork.
  • Taste the guacamole for flavor and add salt or lime as needed.

Check on the Fish

  • Depending on the thickness of the fish, you may need to cook for additional time.
  • Fish is done cooking when a fork inserted into the thickest park flakes without force. Place a fork in the fish and twist lightly. If the fish flakes apart only at the tines of the fork, it is not done yet. When the fish flakes past the tines and across the seams of the fish, it is done.
  • Take the fish out of the oven, and remove a piece for your minced & moist eater. Flake the fish with a fork, and mash together with some of the guacamole.
  • Serve warm. Non-modified portions can be served with tortillas or tortilla chips.

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