Baja Fish Tacos 6.000

Scott Suchman for The Washington Post

Sep 20, 2015

Crisp, beer-battered pieces of fish, a tangy white sauce and shredded cabbage give these tacos their "Baja" vibe.

You’ll need an instant-read thermometer for monitoring the oil.

Make Ahead: You might have sauce left over; it can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6 servings

  • For the sauce
  • 1/2 cup regular or low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup regular or low-fat sour cream
  • Juice of 1/2 to 1 lime
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • For the fish and tacos
  • Canola or vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2 cups flour, or more as needed
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic powder (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered mustard (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano (optional)
  • Pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) Mexican beer
  • 1 pound skinless fish fillets (any fresh, firm white fish such as cod, pollock or dogfish), cut into 12 or 18 equal-size pieces
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh juice of 1 or 2 limes, plus 3 or 4 limes cut into wedges, for serving
  • Twelve to fourteen 6-inch corn tortillas, preferably homemade (see related recipe)
  • Shredded (green) cabbage, for serving
  • Sliced avocados, for serving


For the sauce: Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice (to taste) and a small pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the fish and tacos: Pour 3 to 4 inches of oil into a heavy pot; heat to 350 degrees over medium/medium-high heat. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a few layers of paper towels and place it on the middle rack of the oven; preheat to 200 degrees.

Meanwhile, whisk together 1 cup of the flour, a pinch of salt and any of the optional seasonings you wish in a mixing bowl. Gradually pour in the beer, whisking as you pour to form a smooth batter. Let any foam subside.

Season the fish well with salt and black pepper, then sprinkle with the lime juice (to taste).

Place the remaining cup of flour in a zip-top bag. Working with a few pieces of fish at a time, drop them into the bag and toss gently to coat. Shake off any excess flour, then use tongs to dip the fish pieces into the batter, so they are evenly coated. (Add flour to the bag as needed; discard it after you’ve coated all the fish.) Carefully drop the fish pieces into the hot oil; fry for about 3 minutes per side, until golden, then use tongs to transfer them to the baking sheet in the oven. (Break open one of the fried fish pieces to make sure they are getting cooked through, and adjust the cooking time as needed. The fish should be opaque and barely flaky.) As you fry, remove any stray bits of coating in the oil so they won't burn.

You will not use all the batter; discard what’s left.

Heat a (dry) skillet over high heat. Cook each tortilla for about 30 seconds per side, transferring them to a tortilla warmer or wrapping in aluminum foil to keep them warm.

When ready to serve, smear a generous dollop of the sauce on each tortilla, then add a small handful of cabbage and a few slices of avocado. Place a piece or two of fish on top. Squeeze a lime wedge over the fish, then drizzle with a little more sauce, if desired. Serve warm.

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Recipe Source

Based on a recipe from “Eat Mexico: Recipes From Mexico City’s Streets, Markets & Fondas, ” by Lesley Téllez (Kyle, 2015), with suggestions by Ralph Rubio, founder of Rubio’s Mexican Grill.

Tested by Lauren Loftus and Bonnie S. Benwick.

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