The best Baja Fish Tacos you’ll ever eat! They’re filled with crispy beer-battered fish, smoky chipotle mayo and a creamy cabbage slaw!
I’m not exaggerating when I say that these Baja Fish Tacos are in my personal top 5 recipes that I’ve ever made! I know it’s a big statement, but I’m confident that once you make this recipe it’ll be in your top 5, too.
From the chipotle-lime mayo to the beer-battered fish and the creamy slaw, every single component of this recipe is packed with a ton of flavor. And best of all? Everything is easy to make! While it may seem like there’s a lot of steps, don’t let that intimidate you. If you can pour and mix ingredients in a bowl, you can make these tacos. Promise!
How to Make Baja Fish Tacos
The slaw: I kept it super easy by using 8 ounces of store-bought pre-shredded cabbage slaw. Just dump that in a bowl along with some chopped cilantro, mayo, lime juice and salt. Mix it all up, give it a taste and add a little more salt or mayo if you prefer. Then cover it and place it in the fridge until it’s time to eat.
The chipotle mayo: This is also an easy one. Simply place some mayo, lime zest and juice, a chipotle chile in adobo sauce and garlic powder in a blender. Then pulse until smooth. If you don’t want the sauce to be too spicy, I recommend starting with 1/2 a chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, then adding more if you prefer. Cover this and place it in the fridge until it’s time to eat.
The fish: I used Alaskan Cod, but you can use any firm, mild-flavored fish like halibut or even mahi-mahi. To get it ready for frying, cut the fish into strips that are about 1-inch wide and 4 inches long. That’s about the length of my index finger.
The frying oil: At this point, I recommend preparing your frying oil and heating it up. You want to oil to be around 350ºF to 360ºF which you can check with a kitchen thermometer. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend you get one! I use my in-oven thermometer all the time and it’s so worth it. Not only can you get the perfect frying oil temperature when you need it, but no more undercooking meats! It’s a life saver.
The batter: Make the batter by whisking together all the dry ingredients first, and then whisking in the beer. This helps ensure that all the dry ingredients are evenly distributed.
Now all that’s left to do is dip the fish into the batter, shake off any excess, and fry those babies up until nice and golden brown. Continue cooking your fish in batches of 4-6 strips depending on the size of your pan.
If your fish seems to be browning too quickly or if it’s not golden brown after 1 1/2 or 2 minutes, adjust the temperature until you find that sweet spot.
All that’s left to do is assemble the tacos and eat! I like layering the components like this: chipotle mayo on the bottom, fish in the middle, and slaw on top. But some people like the mayo and slaw on the bottom and the fish at the very top. Whichever way you decide to layer the ingredients, I promise it’s all going to be delicious!
Tips and tricks for making Baja Fish Tacos
- Prepare the beer batter right before you fry the fish. I find that the batter is much lighter and airy this way because the beer is still bubbly and carbonated. The longer the batter sits, the flatter and denser the batter will get.
- Use a firm, mild-flavored fish like cod, halibut, or even mahi-mahi. If using frozen fish, make sure to thaw it completely and pat it as dry as you can with some paper towels.
- Heat corn tortillas in a skillet or a griddle. I highly recommend heating them in a skillet or a flat griddle over medium-high heat until they develop some toasted brown spots on both sides. Not only does this warm them up, but it also firms them up and helps to prevent them from ripping or falling apart.
- You can reheat leftover beer-battered fish. To reheat, place the fish on a baking sheet and heat in a 400ºF oven until hot and crispy, about 5 to 10 minutes.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! Cheers to good homemade Mexican food!
For the slaw
- 8 ounces pre-shredded cabbage slaw
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime)
- fine salt, to taste
For the chipotle mayo
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
For the beer batter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup Mexican-style beer
For the tacos
- vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 ½ pounds skinless cod, mahi mahi or halibut, cut into 1×4-inch long strips
- corn or flour tortillas, warmed
- lime wedges, for serving
- Make the slaw: Add pre-shredded cabbage slaw, cilantro, mayonnaise, lime juice and salt in a medium bowl. Toss together until fully mixed. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Make the chipotle mayo: Add mayonnaise, lime zest and juice, chipotle chile in adobe sauce and garlic powder in a small blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Prepare the frying oil: In a large saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat, add enough oil to reach a depth of 3/4-inch. Heat the oil until a thermometer reaches 350ºF.
- Make the beer batter while the frying oil is heating up: Add flour, garlic powder, baking powder, chili powder, salt, cumin and black pepper in a large bowl. Whisk together to combine. Add beer and whisk together until the batter is smooth. Set aside.
- Batter and fry the fish: Working in batches using tongs, dip the strips of fish in the beer batter and coat on both sides. Lightly shake off any excess batter and carefully place in the hot oil. Fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a baking sheet with a rack to drain.
- Assemble the tacos: Place a dollop of chipotle mayo on each tortilla, followed by a piece or two of fish, then top with cabbage slaw. Serve with lime wedges.
- To store, place leftover fish in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- To reheat, place leftover fish on a baking sheet and heat in a 400ºF oven until hot and crispy, about 5 to 10 minutes.
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