Baja Fish Tacos
These authentic crispy baja fish tacos are so delicious! They remind us of the ones served at Rubios restaurant, but better! These tacos are leveled up with all of the garnishes and fixings; serve them with pico de gallo, white sauce (recipe included in the recipe card), cabbage, and avocado for the perfect fish taco!
We also have cauliflower tacos that are a must-try recipe!
Baja Cali Fish Tacos
This fish taco recipe reminds me of Rubio’s and it’s so much easier to make than you’d guess. With fresh cooked, battered fish, a baja slaw of sliced cabbage, and the most amazing baja fish taco white sauce you’ve ever tasted you’ll be glad you stayed in with this homemade fish tacos recipe.
If you’ve never had fish tacos or been to Rubios Restaraunt, let me just paint you a picture. These are small corn tortillas, filled with battered and fried fish and then they’re leveled up with sliced red cabbage, Pico de Gallo, cilantro, lime juice, and white sauce. Of course, we can’t forget the avocado or pico de gallo either.
Every bite is crisp, juicy, flavorful, light, and tangy. Everything you could ever want and didn’t know you needed. With this delicious recipe, you’re sure to have a hit on your hands, especially for taco Tuesday or lighter summer meals.
- Mahi Mahi: You could also use halibut, cod, or another firm white fish. Tilapia may or may not work depending on how thick the pieces are, so be warned.
- Tortillas: We want small corn tortillas because the texture is great. Tip- heat them on a griddle or microwave so that they’re warmed. This makes them easier to fold and a little firmer for holding the fillings inside.
- Vegetable oil: Canola oil could work too, but you need enough to fill a pan about 1 inch deep for frying the battered fish.
Fish Taco Batter
- Ritz Crackers: Using about 20 crushed Ritz crackers will give us a nice consistency and adds a buttery salty flavor that works perfectly with the fish.
- Flour: The base of the batter is a cup of all purpose flour.
- Breadcrumbs: We need plain flavored panko breadcrumbs to help give our batter a great texture.
- Baking powder: A little baking powder will help the batter on the fish to puff up as it fries and gives a lighter texture which is incredible.
- Seasonings: We want a combination of chili powder, ground cumin, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne so that our fish is flavorful and spicy.
- Egg: This will help to bind the ingredients together with the fish so that it sticks while frying.
- 7 Up: You can use 7 up, ginger ale, sprite, or even beer for this batter depending on which one you’d prefer. Beer is a more authentic flavor but the non-alcoholic options are still pretty tasty.
Baja Fish Taco Sauce
- Sour Cream: You can use sour cream or plain flavored Greek yogurt for a lighter option.
- Mayonnaise: Adding mayo to the sauce keeps the white sauce creamy and thick enough to drizzle.
- Lime Juice: With some fresh lime juice we can add a nice tangy flavor and a fresh burst of flavor.
- Seasonings: We need a combination of ground cumin, garlic powder, and salt to make sure that our sauce is flavorful.
- Pico de gallo: You can use storebought or homemade pico de gallo but it will add a lot of flavor and colors to your tacos.
- Shredded cabbage: I like to use shredded red cabbage but even green works too!
- Avocado: This would add a creamy fatty ingredient into the tacos while keeping it pretty healthy.
- Cilantro: If you love cilantro like me, adding more onto your plates can’t hurt, and tastes great.
How to Make Baja Fish Tacos
- First, start by making the white sauce so that it’s ready to go by the time the tacos are done.
- Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until ready to use.
- Prep the garnishes so that they’re also ready for use as soon as the tacos are ready. You can prep the pico de gallo, shred the cabbage, and even chop the cilantro now, but I’d personally wait until closer to serving time before slicing the avocado to avoid browning.
Fish Taco Batter
- Slice your fish into strips about 3/4inch wide by 4 inches long. It’s okay if the pieces are slightly thinner.
- Pat the fish very dry with a paper towel. The more dry the fish the better that batter will stick!
- Crush the Ritz crackers in a bowl and whisk together with the flour, bread crumbs, baking powder, and seasonings.
- Stir in the egg and 7-up until the batter is combined.
- Gently stir the sliced fish into the fish taco batter and mix it around to coat all of the sides of the fish.
- Heat a large skillet with 1 inch of oil over medium heat on the stove. The oil should reach 375 degrees F.
- When the oil is heated, drop strips of battered fish into the oil, working in small batches so that it’s easy to handle.
- Fry until golden, flip, and repeat on the other sides. This should take about 2 minutes per side. After frying, transfer the fish to a paper-towel-lined plate.
- Warm your tortillas in a microwave, a few at a time. Place them between damp paper towels and microwave for 30-45 seconds. Keep warm by covering with a towel. Alternatively, you can fry them in a pan with a little oil until warm and golden.
- Open the warmed tortilla and place a few pieces of fried fish into the center. Top with shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, chopped cilantro, a squirt of lime juice, some fresh sliced avocado, and a drizzle of the white fish taco sauce you made earlier. Enjoy.
While the fish in this recipe is fried, the dish itself is pretty healthy and can be made more so by choosing better for you options. Drain the grease from the fish well, load up on the veggies, and go light on the sauce and you have a great light meal that’s pretty good for you too.
Fish tacos were actually created in California, not Mexico. That said it was definitely Mexican-inspired with the flavorful combinations and such. Either way, it is a great dish and we’re happy someone was creative enough to invent it!
Spanish rice, refried beans, fries, chips, or even coleslaw are great options that can pair perfectly with your baja Cali fish tacos.
Baja Fish Tacos
- 1 1/2 lbs mahi mahi - halibut, cod, or other firm white fish
- 12 small corn tortillas
- vegetable oil - for frying
Fish Taco Batter
- 20 Ritz crackers - crushed
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup plain panko breadcrumbs
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cups 7 UP - ginger ale, sprite (or even beer- which is more authentic)
- 1/2 cup sour cream - or Greek yogurt, I use light sour cream
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Pico de gallo
- shredded cabbage
- avocado - chopped
- cilantro - chopped
- In a medium bowl whisk the ingredients for the fish taco white sauce. Cover and refrigerate.
- Prep the garnishes, make pico de gallo, shred the cabbage, chop the cilantro. (Cut the avocado right before serving).
Fish Taco Batter
- Slice the fish into ¾” wide by 4” inches long pieces. It’s ok if your pieces are slightly thinner. Pat the fish dry with a paper towel (you want the fish quite dry so that the batter will stick!)
- In a large bowl whisk the crushed ritz crackers, flour, breadcrumbs, baking powder, chili powder, cumin, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne. Stir in the egg and 7 UP until the batter is combined.
- Gently stir the sliced fish into the fish taco batter. Gently mix the fish so that all sides are coated in the batter.
- Place a large skillet (I used my 12 inch pan) over medium heat. Add enough vegetable oil to fill the pan 1 inch deep. Heat the oil to 375°F.
- When the oil is hot place the strips of battered fish in the oil, working in batches. Fry until golden, flipping halfway through until cooked on both sides (about 2 minutes per side). Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
- Warm the tortillas by microwaving a few at a time. Place them between damp paper towels and microwave for 30-45 seconds. Keep them warm by covering with a towel. You can also heat a few teaspoons of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry each tortilla until warm and golden. You don’t want to cook too long because you don’t want the tortilla to be crispy, just warmed through.
- Add the cooked fish to a tortilla, top with shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, chopped cilantro, squirt of lime juice, fresh avocdo, and drizzle of the fish taco white sauce.
Recipe adapted from Carlsbad Cravings.