Entree, Seafood

Baja Tacos

These classic baja tacos have all the familiar fixings! Beer-battered fish that’s crispy and light, crunchy radishes and cabbage, topped with a spicy crema and avocado sauce. A squeeze of lime for the final fresh finish with an ice-cold beer or margarita!

What’s better than making baja fish tacos at home? Grabbing your passport and heading south for the real deal. Not necessary, though; I got you, and if you’ve never had them, they are a must-try! So simple yet so irresistible, and the tortilla (in my opinion, lol)…is pretty much just a vessel for the crispy and succulent fish.

Growing up in Southern California, a trip across the border was about 1 1/2 hours. So needless to say, it wasn’t far to go when the cravings struck. And back then, the quaint beach towns of Ensenada and Rosarito were the go-to for fresh lobster and the Best Baja fish tacos for pennies.

And today we have a little place in south Baja in a town called Los Barriles on the beach. Yep! We love Mexico! So there’s a lot of taco time to be had when we are there. You won’t find cheese, lettuce, or sour cream in these little beauties, but instead, a little cabbage, some radishes, and pickled onions that let the fried fish be the center of attention. Then a little crema and avocado sauce gets drizzled over it all!

Ingredients Notes, And Substitutions

Ingredients for baja tacos

Fish ~ You’ll want to use a firm variety, such as cod, halibut, or even bass.

Condiments ~ Lime, cabbage, radishes, and cilantro is what I used. Pickled onions and pico de Gallo are also commonly used and delicious.

Avocado ~ For the avocado sauce

Tortillas ~ Choose (if you can) an authentic variety; they are a little thinner and have better taste.

Flour and cornstarch ~ The breading!

Beer ~ Also for the breading. Mexican beer is great, but whatever you have on hand will work too.

Platter of baja tacos

How To Make Baja Tacos

  • Add oil to a dutch oven or large deep pot. Do not heat until ready to fry. Arrange paper towels on a cookie sheet to remove excess water from the fish before frying. Line a separate baking sheet with a cooling rack to set the fish on after frying.
  • Prep your fish. Cut the fish into strips about 3 -4 inches in length x 1 inch in thickness. You don’t need to be exact; know the thicker they are, the longer it takes to fry them, and vice versa. Lay them in a single layer on the sheet pan and press out any excess liquid with a paper towel. Store them in the refrigerator until ready to fry.
  • Prep your condiments. Assemble the radishes, cilantro, and cabbage (or any others you choose) in separate bowls or on a platter, and set aside.
  • Make the crema. Add the sour cream, heavy cream, salt, lime, and siracha to a small bowl and stir until combined. Add the crema to a squirt bottle or a small baggie, and snip the tip for a fun way to drizzle over the tacos.
  • Make the avocado sauce. Add the avocado, salt, pepper, lime, cumin, and sour cream to a blender or a mini Cuisinart. Blend until smooth. Adjust seasonings to your liking. The sauce should be thin. You can add a little water to thin out if you desire. Or leave it thicker.
  • Make the batter. Add the flour, salt, and cornstarch to a mixing bowl and mix. Slowly add the beer and stir until everything is well mixed. The batter will be thick; however, you can add more beer if you prefer a thinner breading.
  • Fry the fish. Heat the oil to 375 degrees F. Line a plate with paper towels to set the fish on once it’s fried. Dip each piece of fish in the batter, letting any excess drip off. Carefully place in the hot oil. Fry for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown.
Close up of a baja fish taco
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Baja Tacos


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  • Author: Teri Wallingford
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

These classic baja tacos have all the familiar fixings! Beer-battered fish that’s crispy and light, crunchy radishes and cabbage, topped with a spicy crema and avocado sauce. A squeeze of lime for the final fresh finish with an ice-cold beer or margarita! 


Ingredients

Units Scale

See notes below for helpful tips

For the tacos

  • Vegetable, canola, or peanut oil for frying. Enough to fill a pot 2 inches deep
  • 1 pound white firm fish, such as halibut or cod
  • 8 corn or flour tortillas. Taco size

For the condiments

  • 1 bag shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 to 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • 4 to 6 radishes sliced or chopped
  • 4 limes quartered

For the crema

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the avocado sauce

  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • water, if necessary, for thinning the sauce

For the batter

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 8 to 10 ounces of Mexican beer, such as Pacifico or Modelo
  • 1 teaspoon salt. Optional


Instructions

  1. Add oil to a dutch oven or large deep pot. Do not heat until ready to fry. Arrange paper towels on a cookie sheet to remove excess water from the fish before frying. Line a separate baking sheet with a cooling rack to set the fish on after frying
  2. Prep your fish. Cut the fish into strips about 3 -4 inches in length x 1 inch in thickness. You don’t need to be exact; know the thicker they are, the longer it takes to fry them, and vice versa. Lay them in a single layer on the sheet pan and press out any excess liquid with a paper towel. Store them in the refrigerator until ready to fry.
  3. Prep your condiments. Assemble the radishes, cilantro, and cabbage (or any others you choose) in separate bowls or on a platter, and set aside.
  4. Make the spicy crema. Add the sour cream, heavy cream, salt, lime, and siracha to a small bowl and stir until combined. Add the crema to a squirt bottle or a small baggie, and snip the tip for a fun way to drizzle over the tacos.
  5. Make the avocado sauce. Add the avocado, salt, pepper, lime, cumin, and sour cream to a blender or a mini Cuisinart. Blend until smooth. Adjust seasonings to your liking. The sauce should be thin. You can add a little water to thin out if you desire. Or leave it thicker.
  6. Make the batter. Add the flour, salt, and cornstarch to a mixing bowl and mix. Slowly add the beer and stir until everything is well mixed. The batter will be thick; however, you can add more beer if you prefer a thinner breading.
  7. Fry the fish. Heat the oil to 375 degrees F. Dip each piece of fish in the batter, letting any excess drip off. Carefully place in the hot oil. Fry for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown, and place on the baking sheet with the cooling rack to allow excess oil to drip off

Notes

  • When frying the fish, you’ll want to work in batches not to overcrowd the pan. If you do, it will drop the oil temp, resulting in a longer fry time, soaking up more oil. No bueno!
  • If you don’t have a candy thermometer, you can test the oil by dropping a little batter in the oil. If it bubbles up and gets brown quickly, you should be good to go.
  • Don’t place the fried fish on paper towels. It will cause the breading to get mushy by sitting on the oily towels. Placing them on the cooling reach, as instructed, will allow the oil to drip off and stay crispy longer.
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Deep Fry
  • Cuisine: Mexican

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