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Published June 12, 2020. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Bring taco Tuesday to a whole new level with this beer-battered fish taco recipe that is served up with cabbage, salsa, and chipotle mayonnaise.
Baja Fish Tacos
These classic tacos originated in the Baja region of Mexico and are commonly grilled up or fried and served with a spicy sauce and cabbage. There are obviously some variations with toppings and type of fish depending on the region of the Baja you are in. Regardless, they are delicious and incredibly easy to make.
If you get the opportunity to travel to the Baja of Mexico or even very Southern California, I recommend you pick up some of these tasty traditions!
What is the Best Fish to Use?
There are several different fishes you can choose from, but I suggest you keep it as close to its classical nature as possible, and that includes the first white fish. I absolutely encourage you to buy fresh fish as it will taste much better. Here are some great options:
- Sea Bass
- Mahi Mahi
Baja Fish Taco Sauce
The traditional sauce for the tacos is spicy mayonnaise or crema. It complements the fish and all of the toppings perfectly. I’ve also seen a variation that uses crema and avocado for a cooler finish to the taco. I only recommend using this if you have jalapeños or other spicy peppers in your salsa. Here’s how to make it:
- In a food processor, process chipotle pepper in adobo sauce with mayonnaise and lime juice until smooth.
- Keep it in the refrigerator until ready to use.
How to Make Them
Follow these simple instructions to make these Baja fish tacos:
Make a simple salsa consisting of diced tomatoes, diced onions, cilantro, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and keep cool until ready to use.
Thinly slice some green cabbage and set it to the side.
Make a batter by whisking together flour, cornstarch, beer, salt, and pepper, and dip the small fillets of fish into the batter, completely coating it.
Fry the battered fish in hot cooking oil at 350° for 5-6 minutes or until browned and cooked throughout. Drain on paper towels to get rid of any excess oil.
Serve the beer-battered fried fish on corn tortillas with cabbage, salsa, and chipotle mayonnaise.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: These fish tacos are meant to be eaten right away, but you can keep the fish warm on a sheet tray lined with a rack in the oven at 250°. You can also prep all of the toppings, salsa, and sauce up to 1 day ahead of time.
How to Reheat: Place the desired amount of fish onto a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven at 350° for 6-8 minutes or until hit.
How to Store: Place the cooked fish in a container with a lid and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. The fish will not freeze well if they are battered and fried. All of the toppings will last up to 3 days covered in the refrigerator.
chef notes + tips
- Mayonnaise is similar to crema accept crema has a higher acidity since it has more buttermilk fat in it. It’s delicious and much thinner than mayonnaise, but both will work well.
- I like to use sunflower oil when frying the fish, but you can use whatever you’d like.
- The battered fish will unfortunately not cook in an air-fryer or oven.
- Plenty of leftover salsa for you to eat with chips or serve with another recipe.
- Please feel free to use either green or red cabbage or a combination.
- The batter will look very similar to a tempura batter.
- You can fry 5-7 battered fillets of fish at a time.
More Amazing Latin Recipes
Baja Fish Tacos Recipe
For the Mayonnaise:
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
- juice of 1 lime
For the Tacos:
- 8 seeded and medium diced Roma tomatoes
- 1 peeled and small diced sweet onion
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ head of green or red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
- 2 pounds fresh halibut cut into smaller fillets
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 12 ounces Mexican beer
- 16 corn tortillas, heated
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- oil for cooking
- Mayonnaise: Add the mayo, garlic, chipotle pepper, and lime juice to a food processor and process on high speed until smooth. Set aside in the refrigerator and keep it cool.
- Preheat oil into a medium-size saucepot and heat until it reaches 350° and holds that temperature. There should be enough oil to fill up about 4” into the pot.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, flour, beer and salt, and pepper until combined.
- Dip the fish one at a time into the batter, completely coating it and add it to the hot oil and cook for 5-6 minutes or until browned and cooked throughout.
- Fry the fish into batches so as to not overcrowd, and drain on a paper towel to get rid of any excess oil.
- To Plate: place some of the fried fish on a double layer of heated corn tortillas and top off with sliced cabbage, salsa, and chipotle mayonnaise and serve.