Baja fish tacos are a must-try if you enjoy Mexican food and seafood.
These tacos are a delectable blend of flavors that hail from the scenic coastal regions of Baja California, Mexico, and have captured the hearts of culinary lovers all over the world.
Baja fish tacos provide a rush of freshness and a delicious crunch with each bite because to its crispy fried fish, zesty slaw, and creamy salsa.
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To bring the coastal charm to your kitchen, we’ve put together an easy-to-follow Baja fish tacos recipe. Get ready to embark on a culinary adventure that will transport you to the sun-drenched shores of Mexico’s Baja region.
For the Crispy Fish:
- 1 pound firm white fish fillets (cod or tilapia work great)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (modify the amount to your desired heat level)
- 1 cup buttermilk (or substitute with 1 cup milk mixed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice)
- Vegetable oil, for frying
For the Tangy Slaw:
- 2 cups shredded cabbage (green or purple, or a mix of both)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sour cream or Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
For the Creamy Sauce:
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon sour cream or Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon chipotle hot sauce (adjust to your preferred level of spiciness)
- 8 small flour tortillas, warmed
- Fresh lime wedges for garnish
- Additional cilantro for garnish
- Sliced jalapeños (optional, for extra heat)
Step 1: Prepare the Crispy Fish
Start by rinsing the fish fillets under cold water and patting them dry with paper towels. Cut the fillets into taco-sized pieces, approximately 2 inches wide and 4 inches long. Properly sized fish pieces ensure they fit perfectly inside the tortillas.
Fish should be salted and peppered on both sides.This simple step enhances the natural flavor of the fish and prepares it for the crispy coating.
Cayenne, garlic powder, smoked paprika, all-purpose flour, salt, and pepper should all be combined in a small basin. Mix well to create the seasoned flour. The combination of spices adds depth and a subtle kick to the crispy coating.
In another shallow bowl, pour the buttermilk. The buttermilk not only tenderizes the fish but also helps the seasoned flour adhere to it, ensuring a crispy and flavorful crust.
Dip each fish fillet into the buttermilk, allowing any excess to drip off, and then coat it evenly with the seasoned flour mixture. Set the coated fish aside on a plate. Ensuring each piece is thoroughly coated ensures a perfect golden crunch when fried.
Step 2: Fry the Fish to Golden Perfection
Pour enough vegetable oil into a sizable skillet or frying pan to cover the bottom by about 1 inch.
A medium-high burner should be used to heat the oil until it reaches 350°F (180°C).
You can drop a little piece of bread or a pinch of flour into the oil to see when it’s ready.
The oil is hot enough if it sizzles and turns golden brown quickly.
Carefully place the coated fish fillets into the hot oil, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Frying the fish in batches allows them to cook evenly and achieve that beautiful golden color.
About 3 to 4 minutes should be spent cooking the fish on each side until it is brown and crispy.
The thickness of the fish fillets may affect the cooking time slightly. You want the fish to be cooked through and crispy on the outside.
Transfer the cooked fish to a plate covered in paper towels to absorb any extra oil. The paper towels absorb any residual oil, ensuring your Baja fish tacos are deliciously crispy without being greasy.
Step 3: Prepare the Tangy Slaw
Shredded cabbage, chopped cilantro, and thinly sliced red onion should all be combined in a big bowl. The combination of colors and textures in the slaw adds vibrancy and a refreshing crunch to the tacos.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream or Greek yogurt, fresh lime juice, honey, salt, and pepper to create the tangy slaw dressing. The dressing brings a burst of flavor to the slaw, perfectly complementing the crispy fish.
Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss everything together until the slaw is evenly coated. Refrigerate the slaw for at least 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Chilling the slaw enhances its taste and texture, making it the ideal accompaniment to the fish.
Step 4: Make the Creamy Sauce
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream or Greek yogurt, fresh lime juice, chipotle hot sauce, salt, and pepper to create the creamy sauce. The chipotle hot sauce adds a smoky and spicy kick, balancing the flavors in the tacos.
If necessary, taste the sauce and seasonings. Making your own sauce is wonderful since you can adjust it to your preferences. Add more lime juice for a tangier flavor or more hot sauce for extra heat—the choice is yours!
Cover the bowl and refrigerate the sauce until you’re ready to assemble the tacos. Chilling the sauce allows the flavors to meld and ensures it’s cool and refreshing when served.
Step 5: Assemble the Baja Fish Tacos
Take a warmed flour tortilla and place a piece of crispy fish in the center. The warmth of the tortilla enhances the overall taste and texture of the taco.
Then spread the creamy sauce over the fish after heaping a dollop of the acidic slaw on top of it.
Your taste senses will be dancing with delight when the flavors of the fish, slaw, and sauce meld together.