Growing up in Texas, and living here now, we do a lot of Tex-Mex.
Well, here’s a Cal-Mex dish that is nothing short of amazing. You can get some of the best fish tacos in the world in San Diego, CA. But, if you can’t make it there…try these, you’ll be glad you did. This version uses nice and crispy cod, but you can easily substitute grilled mahi-mahi or any other fish. Make the delicious sauce, which is similar to the famous Rubio’s restaurant in San Diego.
As mentioned, we’ve modeled these Baja Fish Tacos after Rubio’s epic fish taco restaurant in San Diego.
These tacos are as fun to prepare as they are to devour!
Make the Sauce Ahead of Time
You’ve heard the saying, the sum is greater than the parts.
That concept is 100% accurate for these amazing tacos. Each component complements the others perfectly
The sauce is creamy, refreshing, and the perfect match to the crunchy fish and other condiments.
EXPERT TIP: The sauce can (and should be) prepared at least an hour in advance. You’ll want it to chill in the refrigerator so it thickens slightly, but mostly to allow all the flavors to meld. The sauce can be made up to 2 days in advance.
Creating the Perfect Beer Batter
A beer batter is ideal for Baja fish tacos.
It all starts with flour that’s seasoned with garlic powder, dry mustard, Adobo seasoning, and salt
EXPERT TIP: You really can’t go wrong in choosing the beer for the batter. We usually go with an amber beer, but a blonde or even a lager works well, too. We don’t recommend a dark stout or a flavored beer, as that will change the taste too much. Non-alcohol beer can be used, too.
What Fish to Select
We think cod is the perfect fish for these tacos.
Sturdy, yet still flaky, and not “fishy” tasting at all. This is the fish commonly used for traditional Fish and Chips.
EXPERT TIP: Suitable substitutes for cod include grouper, striped bass, mahi-mahi, or pollack. Be sure to cut the fish into 1-inch, bite-sized pieces before placing in the prepared batter.
Now, it’s time to quickly fry the fish.
You can use a deep fryer or a sturdy skillet (i.e., cast-iron skillet) or pot will with a couple of inches of oil.
EXPERT TIP: A candy thermometer helps you know you’ve reached the ideal frying temperature of 365°F, but you can also do a quick test by tossing in a small piece of bread. If it browns within about 60 to 90 seconds, you’re set. It browns too quickly, the oil is too hot. If it doesn’t brown after about 1 minute, the oil is not hot enough.
The fish is ready once the batter has turned a golden brown color. You’ll most likely need to fry the fish in two or three batches.
What to Serve with the Tacos
As mentioned before, the garnishes are really what put these Baja Fish Tacos over the top.
Of course, the Baja Sauce is key.
But when you add fresh avocado, shredded red and green cabbage, pico de gallo, and limes, you will have created a taco masterpiece.
EXPERT TIP: We love using white corn tortillas for the tacos. We like to char them just a little over the flame from a gas stove, or grill. Don’t char them too much, or they will dry out. Place the tortillas in foil and keep warm in a low-temp oven (250°F), this will keep them warm and pliable for serving. We also use two tortillas per taco. Flour tortillas can be substituted, as well.
Oh, and we think a couple of dashes of hot sauce are the perfect final touch.
These are wonderful to serve at a taco party.
Let folks build their own fish taco! Fun and delicious at the same time!
The Best Cal-Mex Taco
Although we do love our good ole Tex-Mex Beef Tacos, we have to say these tacos are truly something special.
The flavor combination is just spot-on, and the taste combination of the crunchy fish with the creamy Baja sauce and other garnishes is taco perfection.
If you’re looking for a non-fried fish taco, check out our Amazing Mahi-Mahi Tacos!
But, in the meantime, look at these babies!
The Loon says that this is his favorite taco of all time.
With just one bite, and you very well may have the exact same reaction.
They really are that delicious. Want a bite?
Ready to make the best fish tacos this side of Baja? Go for it!
And when you do, be sure to take a photo, post it on Instagram, and tag @howtofeedaloon and hashtag #howtofeedaloon!
Baja Fish Tacos
- Deep fryer, of sturdy skillet/pot with 1 to 2 inches of vegetable oil
FOR THE BAJA SAUCE
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ tsp cumin ground
- ½ tsp dill dried
- ½ tsp Cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp lime juice from 1 lime
- ¼ tsp salt or to taste
FOR THE TACOS
- vegetable oil for frying
- 12 corn tortillas
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp Adobo all-purpose seasoning
- ½ tsp dry mustard
- 1 cup beer not dark
- 1 lb cod fillet cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 cups cabbage shredded, red and green, or lettuce
- 1 avocado sliced
- Fresh pico de gallo
- Lime wedges
- hot sauce optional
- Mix together the ingredients for the Baja sauce and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Heat deep-fryer, or 1 to 2 inches of oil in a 10-inch heavy pot (2 to 3 inches deep). Bring temp to 365°F.
- Meanwhile, use a pair of tongs to slightly char the tortillas over a glass flame. Then wrap them in foil and keep warm in the oven at 250°F. If you don't have a gas flame, just place in foil and warm them in the oven.
- Stir together the flour with the salt, garlic powder, all-purpose seasoning, and dry mustard in a bowl. Stir in the beer until fully incorporated. The batter will be thick.
- Gently stir fish into the batter to coat.
- Fry fish in batches, turning once or twice, until nice and golden, about 5 minutes. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
- Assemble tacos with the warm tortillas, smeared with the Baja sauce, a slice of avocado, fried fish, pico de gallo, cabbage, and a squeeze of fresh lime. Add hot sauce to liking.
POST UPDATE: This recipe was originally posted in July 2014, but was updated with improved tweaks to the recipe, new tips and photography, and a fabulous new video in August 2020!
Yalls fish tacos are my #1 go to. Love the recipes
You just made our day, Brandy! So happy you are enjoying our fish taco recipe! They are the bomb, right? And thank you for the awesome review! That means the world to us!!! Stay in touch! xoxo Kris & Wesley
My husband Alex previously commented on this post and mentioned to me how y’all love the performing arts. My dance company (6 o’Clock Dance Theatre) has our next show — When Words Fail — on April 30 at 2 PM and 8 PM if you available and still interested! Details are at 6oclockdancetheatre.com/when-words-fail
If you come, let us know. We are fans of your culinary art and would love to say hi!
Hi Marielle! It is so wonderful to hear from you, and, yes, Alex did tell us about your company. We would be there for the performance without a doubt, but, unfortunately, my (Kris) cousin’s daughter is getting married on 4/30 in Nacogdoches and we are committed to attending. Please keep us posted on future performances and we will make the next one. Thank you for letting us know and we hope the show is wonderful and well attended. All the best, Kris & Wesley
I’m not positive but I think y’all are local to Dallas. We are as well. We’re right by SMU. When COVID hit, our favorite taco place, Digg’s tacos, closed almost immediately. It was across from SMU on Hillcrest Ave. My wife and I had been going there to get tacos and cheap margs since college (we both attended SMU, she studied dance and I’m an engineer).
Anyways, I found your mahi mahi recipe and I just made the slaw. Holy crap it’s incredibly close to what Diggs offered. If you swap jalapeños for Serrano it’s excellent. I’ll make the fish this week and keep trying to hone it to get as close as possible to what we always used to order. Their slaw mix was so good they served it with plantains. Delicious.
Thank y’all for the recipe! And come see my wife’s dance company sometime, I think Wesley used to be a performer.
Hi Alex!! So awesome to hear from you!! Yes, we live in the Dallas area, too!! We moved back to be near family a few years back after living in the NYC area for many years!! We are so so excited that you’re loving the mahi mahi components and that it’s bringing back great memories for both you and your wife! We think you’ll like the blackened fish…it really goes well with the slaw and aioli!! We actually are both performers, although now do the blog life full time (yet, our videos still let us ‘perform’! LOL!). We will definitely check out your wife’s company! We come from a musical theater background and dance is something we LOVE and appreciate.
Thank you so much for your wonderful message and please keep us posted on future culinary endeavors! And give our best to your wife!!
Kris & Wesley
By the way, definitely meant to leave this comment on your Mahi Mahi recipe and not this one. Probably makes more sense now. ♂️
They have a show coming up at the Water Tower Theatre. Definitely check it out! We’d love to have y’all.
I think she will have tickets up for sale later today or tomorrow on the site. I think the show is April 30th. Covid decimated their attendance for most of last year and the year prior so, come support the arts ♥️
Thanks again for the recipes!
Hi Alex! Thanks for sharing! We will absolutely check it out. We 100% support the arts!! BTW…these baja fish tacos are really good. They’re fried, so not as healthy as the mahi mahi, but, boy are they yummy!!!
I have always been afraid to cook fish, but this recipe looked so good I had to give it a try. It was wonderful! Thank you so much! The batter was perfect, light and crispy. The Baja sauce had a flavor to die for! Thank you for sharing!
Hi Gus!! You have no idea how happy this makes us!! These are some of our most favorite tacos in the world and we’re thrilled you had such great success with them!! And thank you for letting us know!! All the very best, Kris & Wesley
This recipe is simply divine . Everything works so well together. My new favorite fish tacos ❤️. Thank you for continuing to share such delicious recipes. You make us feel like professional chefs.
Hi Ursula! Yay!!!! We are thrilled you love our Baha fish tacos! They are truly one of our favorite things to make and devour!! And as always, thanks for letting us know and for the fabulous review! xoxoxo Kris & Wesley
Loved the fish tacos! The sauce makes it- but I had to add more cayenne to give it some kick. Otherwise, it was spot on. Thanks for the recipie!
Awesome!! We love a little extra heat, too!! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!!! All the best, Kris & Wesley
Dinner tonight! Thank you. I really enjoy your recipes and watching you two in the kitchen is so fun!
I now make the blueberry buttermilk pie about once a month. Doesn’t last too long though around here.
Hi Lili!! You have no idea how happy that makes us to hear!! We really hope you love the Baja tacos as much as we do. And YES to the blueberry buttermilk pie!!! Thanks so much for letting us know and for the wonderful review! That means so much to us! xoxo Kris & Wesley