Baja-Style Fish Tacos

  • July 26, 2016



Active Time

30 mins

Total Time

60 mins

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  • Baja-Style Fish Tacos
Baja-Style Fish Tacos

Baja-Style Fish Tacos can be found all over Los Angeles. From the rampant food trucks, to the hole-in-the-wall tacquerias, to the ballparks, Baja-Style Fish Tacos are a culinary staple in the city of angels. This recipe, which includes fried strips of white fish, a tangy slaw and a generous drizzle of avocado crema, will have you singing in the street and coming back for more!


    For the Slaw
  • 3 cups finely shredded red cabbage
  • 2 scallions
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapeños
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon pickling liquid
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • For the Avocado Crema
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • The juice of a lime
  • For the Baja Fish
  • 1 lb. white fish (tilapia, catfish, etc.)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon mexican oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 12 oz. bottle beer


1. To make Baja-Style Fish Tacos, begin by making the slaw. Mince the pickled jalapeños. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, cumin, minced jalapeños and a tablespoon of the pickling liquid from the jar of pickled jalapeños. Cut the red cabbage in half and reserve one half for another use (wrap in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for up to a week). Remove the core from the remaining half and then cut into thirds. Slice each third into thin strips until you reach three cups’ worth. Add the cabbage to the mixing bowl, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat in the dressing. Feel free to slice the scallions and pick the cilantro now, but don’t add them to the slaw until just before serving. Cover the slaw with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to let the flavors develop.

2. It’s now time to make the avocado crema. Peel and seed the avocado and cut into coarse chunks. Transfer the avocado pieces to a blender or food processor and combine with all other ingredients in the avocado crema section. Puree for 1 minute to combine, scraping down the sides as needed. Season with salt and pepper and use a rubber spatula to transfer the sauce to a sealable container. Let the sauce chill in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.

3. Cut the fish into medium strips, about an inch wide and two inches long. The shape isn’t particularly important per se, just try to make the pieces generally the same size and consider how your guests will eat them within a taco.

4. Begin warming the oil as you make the batter. Pour about 3 to 4 cups of frying oil into a dutch oven and warm to 375 degrees over medium heat. This will take around 5 to 7 minutes, which will be plenty of time to make the batter. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together a bottle of beer (I usually use an IPA or pale ale) and all remaining ingredients in the batter list aside from the fish. It will come together as a fairly thin batter. Setup a frying station near the stove: line a cookie sheet or large plate with paper towels, set out two forks, and bring over the batter and pieces of fish.

5. When the oil has come up to temperature, poke a piece of fish with one fork and fully submerge in the batter. Let the batter drain from the fish for a few seconds and then use the second fork to slide the fish off of the first fork into the batter. Try to do this as close to the oil as possible to minimize the splash. Repeat this process with all pieces and fry the fish in batches. The fish will cook in approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or small spider to transfer the cooked fish pieces to the paper towels to drain.

6. Assemble a “taco buffet” with the fried fish pieces, the slaw (garnished with the scallions and cilantro), and the avocado crema, accompanied with hot sauce, lime wedges, cotija cheese and corn tortillas for serving. Serve warm.

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