Crazy-Good Baja Fish Tacos (with Fish Taco Sauce and Slaw)
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Baja Fish Tacos Recipe – You’ve got to try our corn tortillas loaded with delightfully crispy pieces of cod and fresh slaw, then topped with a creamy, spicy-sweet sauce. These are hands-down the BEST fried fish tacos you’ve ever had.
Fish Tacos are the Best Tacos
WE. LOVE. TACOS. And that might be a bit of an understatement.
From shredded chicken to chopped beef, shrimp tacos, veggie tacos, and everything in between – even Buffalo Ahi Tuna Tacos – we just cannot have too many tacos!
We especially adore light, tender, and flavorful fish tacos. Our Corn Crusted Fish Tacos with Jalapeno Lime Sauce has long been a family (and fan!) favorite on the site. But for something new we wanted to make “restaurant-style” deep-fried fish tacos for summer. We think we nailed it! How about you?
The Best Baja Fish Taco Recipe
After several tries and tweaks, we developed this fantastic Baja Fish Tacos recipe, complete with a refreshing slaw and vibrant fish taco sauce.
These little beauties are utterly irresistible. The beer batter fried fish pieces are the perfect combination of moist on the inside and ultra-light and crispy on the outside. The cabbage slaw is bright and crunchy, and the mayo-based chipotle sauce is just spicy enough to let the other components shine.
I have made these several times for friends, and always get “These are the BEST fish tacos I’ve ever tasted!” Try these at your next at-home taco party for something a bit different and wholly delicious.
Ingredients You Need
While this recipe includes several components to make the fish tacos with slaw and taco sauce, the ingredients are all wholesome and readily available at most grocery stores.
To make the Fish Taco Slaw you need:
- Red cabbage – finely shredded
- Carrots – shredded
- Cilantro – chopped
- Red onion – thinly sliced
- Apple cider vinegar – or white vinegar for a stronger taste
- Honey – or agave
- Salt and pepper
For the Fish Taco Sauce you need:
- Mayonnaise – regular or low fat
- Lime juice – fresh squeezed
- Chipotle chiles – smalled canned peppers in adobo sauce
To make the crispy Fried Fish you need:
- Cod fillets – or grouper, or another firm white fish
- All-purpose flour – or preferred gluten-free flour
- Cornstarch – naturally GF-friendly
- Seasonings – salt and garlic powder
- Beer – pick a light crispy beer
- Oil – for frying
Plus, you’ll need corn tortillas for assembling the tacos, and slices of lime to garnish.
How to Make Baja Fish Tacos
Step #1 – Make the Fish Taco Slaw
First, make the fresh slaw. You can make this a day or so ahead and have it ready to go at taco time.
Set out a large mixing bowl. Chop all the fresh produce and add to the bowl. Drizzle with apple cider vinegar and honey. Then sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Toss well to combine. Give it a taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed.
Cover the bowl and chill until ready to serve.
Step #2 – Prepare the Fish Taco Sauce
Likewise, the creamy sauce for the fried Fish Tacos can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for a day or two.
Set out a small bowl. Add the mayonnaise, lime juice, and chopped chipotle pepper. Mix well and taste. Add salt and pepper if needed. Chill.
Step #3 – Fry the Fish
Make the fried fish for the tacos just before you are ready to serve and enjoy.
First, set a large saucepot on the stovetop. Attach a cooking thermometer to the side of the pot, then add in the frying oil. There should be plenty of space between the top of the oil and the top of the pot.
Set out a large baking sheet covered with paper towels. Cut the fish fillet’s into 1 x 2-inch strips. Lay the fish strips on the paper towels to dry. You want to get as much moisture as possible off of the fish so that they coat and fry properly.
Turn the stove on medium heat and bring the frying oil to 360 to 370°. Set out another baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain the fried fish strips.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the flour, cornstarch, salt, and garlic powder. Whisk to combine. Then whisk in the beer to form a light frothy batter.
Pro Tip: The batter will thicken as it rests, so you may want to add another splash of beer in it right before frying.
Once the oil is at the right temperature, dunk a fish strip into the batter. You should have a thin, but solid, coating of batter on each strip. If the batter seems too thick, add another 2 to 4 tablespoons of beer.
Get the Complete (Printable) Baja Fish Tacos Recipe + VIDEO Below. Enjoy!
Gently lower each fish strip into the hot fry oil. Batter and fry 10 – 15 fish strips at a time, but do not overcrowd the pot. Stir with a skimmer to flip the fish strips over and cook for 2 to 4 minutes until golden brown.
Carefully move the fried fish to the prepared pan. Repeat in two or three more batches.
How to Assemble the Baja Fish Tacos with Slaw and Sauce
When ready to serve, place two fish strips on each tortilla. You might want to wrap the stack of tortillas in paper towels and microwave for 10 seconds or so to get them soft and more pliable to fill.
Top the fried Baja Fish Tacos with fresh slaw and a drizzle of the chipotle mayonnaise fish taco sauce.
Suggestions for What to Serve with Baja Fish Tacos
Enjoy crispy fried Fish Tacos with cool, crunchy slaw and creamy sauce with all of your fave taco sides!
Tips for Storage and Reheating
Baja Fish Tacos are best served fresh out of the hot oil. However, you can reheat the fish strips in the oven for leftovers. Cool the cooked fish strips completely, then transfer them to an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for 2-3 days.
The homemade fish taco slaw and chipotle mayo sauce will keep well in the fridge for 3 or 4 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Baja fish tacos, also known as baja cali tacos, originated in Baja California, Mexico and usually consists of battered and fried white fish, shredded cabbage and a white sauce.
Not at all! The chipotle cream taco sauce has a bit of a kick thanks to the chipotle peppers, but these tacos are relatively mild. For more spice, add some diced fresh jalapeños!
Store the leftover fried fish on its own in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the oven, toaster oven or air fryer for crispy fish and assemble in a taco when ready to serve!
Looking for More Delicious Fish Recipes?
- Lemon Pepper Grilled Cod
- Potato Chip Crusted Sea Bass
- Grilled Grouper with Orange and Olives
- Pan Fried Tilapia with Southwest Skillet
- Grilled Tuna and Avocado Salad
Check out the printable recipe card for nutrition information including calories, carbohydrates, sodium, and vitamin percentages.
Crazy-Good Baja Fish Tacos (with Fish Taco Sauce and Slaw) Recipe + VIDEO
For the Fish Taco Slaw –
For the Fish Taco Sauce –
For the Crispy Fried Fish –
For the Baja Fish Tacos –
- 24 small flour or corn tortillas
- Lime wedges for garnish
- For the Fish Taco Slaw: Set out a large mixing bowl. Chop all the produce and add to the bowl. Drizzle with apple cider vinegar and honey. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Then toss well to combine. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed. Chill until ready to serve.
- For the Fish Taco Sauce: Set out a small bowl. Add the mayonnaise, lime juice, and chopped chipotle pepper. Mix well. Taste, then salt and pepper as needed. Chill.
- For the Baja Fried Fish: Set a large saucepot on the stovetop. Attach a cooking thermometer to the side of the pot, then add in the fry oil.
- Set out a large baking sheet covered with paper towels. Cut the fish fillet’s into 1 x 2 inch strips. Lay the fish strips on the paper towels to dry.
- Turn the stove on medium heat and bring the fry oil to 360 to 370° Set out another baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain the fried fish strips.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, add the flour, corn starch, salt, and garlic powder. Whisk to combine. Then whisk in the beer to form a light frothy batter. (The batter will thicken as it rests, so you may want to add another splash of beer in it right before frying.)
- Once the oil is that the right temperature, dunk a fish strip in the batter. You should have a thin, but solid, coating of batter on each strip. If the batter seems too thick, add another 2 to 4 tablespoons of beer.
- Gently lower each fish strip into the hot fry oil. Batter and fry 10 – 15 fish strips at a time. Stir with a skimmer to flip the fish strips over and cook for 2 to 4 minutes until golden brown.
- Carefully move the fried fish to the prepared pan. Repeat in two or three more batches.
- When ready to serve, place to fish strips on each tortilla. Top with fresh slaw and a dollop (or a drizzle) of chipotle mayonnaise.
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