Overlooking the surf in Cayucos, Ruddell's Smokehouse has been a landmark on California's Central Coast for two decades. When it's time to order, guests choose smoked meat, seafood or black bean patties in taco or sandwich form. We adapted their recipe using an easy technique for smoking on the grill.

EatingWell Magazine, June 2021


Credit: Eric Wolfinger

Recipe Summary

50 mins
1 hr 10 mins


Teriyaki Sauce


Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare teriyaki sauce: Combine tamari (or shoyu) and 1/4 cup brown sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add ginger and crushed garlic; reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Discard solids. Set aside.

  • To prepare aioli: Mash chopped garlic with 1/8 teaspoon salt into a paste in a mortar and pestle or with a fork on a cutting board. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add mayonnaise, mustard and cumin; mix well. Set aside.

  • To prepare tacos: If using a gas grill, add the wood chip packet (see Tip) and preheat to high. Then turn off 1 burner and reduce the heat on the remaining 1 to 2 burners to medium. If using a charcoal grill, build a two-zone fire (coals on one side of the grill) and let it burn down to medium heat (about 350°F). Then drain wood chips and add to the coals.

  • Oil the grill rack. Sprinkle fish with brown sugar and salt. Place it on the unlit portion of the grill. Cover and smoke until firm, brushing with half of the teriyaki sauce halfway through, about 20 minutes. (Reserve the rest of the sauce for serving.) Transfer the fish to a clean cutting board. When cool enough to handle, flake the fish.

  • Meanwhile, combine carrot, celery, apple and scallion in a medium bowl.

  • Oil the grill rack again and cook tortillas until slightly charred, flipping halfway, about 1 minute.

  • Serve the fish with the tortillas, chopped salad, lettuce, tomato, the aioli and the remaining teriyaki sauce.


Less-sodium tamari, sometimes called tamari "lite," cuts the amount of salt per serving by 50% compared to the regular version—and without sacrificing flavor (we tried them side by side in a blind taste test). It even has 100 mg less sodium than low-sodium soy sauce. People with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should use soy sauces that are labeled "gluten-free," as soy sauce may contain wheat or other gluten-containing ingredients.

To make a wood chip packet, fold a 12-by-20-inch piece of heavy-duty foil in half to create a 12-by-10-inch double-thick piece. Drain the wood chips and transfer to the center of the foil. Create a packet by folding the short ends of the foil over the chips and folding the open ends to seal them.

Nutrition Facts

2 tacos
423 calories; fat 19g; cholesterol 44mg; sodium 754mg; carbohydrates 45g; dietary fiber 5g; protein 19g; sugars 14g; niacin equivalents 3mg; saturated fat 4g; vitamin a iu 2631IU; potassium 431mg.