Beer battered fish is fried to crispy perfection, then loaded into lightly charred corn tortillas with a smoky chipotle cream sauce and colorful toppings. This delicious recipe for Baja Fish Tacos come together in just 15 minutes, making them a perfectly easy meal to end your work week.
It’s the Lenten season, which means I am craving fish tacos. While I love to make salmon tacos or blackened fish tacos, I am currently obsessed with these Baja style fish tacos made with fried cod. They’re perfect — creamy, crunchy, spicy, and oh-so-satisfying.
Why are these fish tacos so good
Spicy and salty, crispy and creamy — they hit all your taco cravings.
When it comes to beer-battered fish I like when the batter is light, fluffy, and crunchy and does not overpower the delicate fish. I tested a of couple different batters and this is the clear winner. The batter includes egg, making it extra light and delicate. I also let it come to room temperature, which allows the dark Mexican beer to do its magic.
The Mexican beer-battered cod, once fried to perfection, is then topped with chipotle cream sauce and garnished with red cabbage, thinly sliced jalapeños, radishes, pico de gallo, and avocado. Wrapped in a warm lightly charred corn tortilla, this taco has the perfect level of heat and combination of textures.
The entire recipe takes just 15 minutes to whip up, making it an excellent choice for busy weeknights. Since we observe Lent, we also love having such a zesty (and fast!) fish option for our Friday suppers.
How to Make Baja Fish Tacos
Generously season white fish with salt. Sprinkle flour over the strips and toss to coat. This will help the batter adhere to the fish.
Gluten free? If you are gluten free, you can substitute a gluten free all purpose flour mix instead.
To make the batter, add flour, chili powder, salt, pepper, and oregano to a large mixing bowl. In a separate medium bowl whisk together the beer and egg. Pour wet ingredients to flour mixture and stir together until well mixed and set aside at room temperature. It should look similar to a pancake batter.
In a large skillet, preheat oil to 350 degrees F.
Dip fish into batter and allow excess batter to drip off before carefully adding to oil. Fry fish, flipping to ensure it’s evenly browned, 4 to 5 minutes, then place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain off excess oil.
TIP: Taste a piece from your first batch out of the fry pan – salt will only stick to the batter when it is hot, so toss with any extra seasoning as needed before they have a chance to cool.
Make Chipotle Crema
In a food processor or blender, combine crema (sour cream), chipotle in adobo and sauce, lemon zest and lemon juice, water, and salt until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl or squeeze bottle for plating.
How to Assemble Fish Tacos
Warm your tortillas. I recommend setting up a taco bar so everyone can serve themselves the perfect Baja fish taco. If you ask me, each tortilla should get two to three pieces of fish, a small handful of thinly sliced cabbage, a few slices of radish, jalapeño, and avocado. Serve tacos with a dollop of chipotle cream sauce, a fresh squeeze of lime juice, and a spoonful of pico de gallo.
While those happen to be my personal favorite toppings, feel free to get creative. Fresh cilantro, pickled red onions, homemade salsa verde, or escabeche could all be delicious as well! If you aren’t into spicy foods, you could also opt to use a creamy avocado salsa in place of the chipotle crema.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make these fish tacos ahead of time?
I don’t recommend frying the fish until you are ready to eat, but there are a few steps you can take to make dinnertime even that much faster. Feel free to make the Baja sauce up to a week ahead. You can also make the beer batter up to three days in advance. Just be sure to allow it to come to room temperature, then whisk it vigorously prior to dipping the fish.
What is the best fish for Baja style fish tacos?
I personally love the taste (and price point) of cod, but you can use any mild, firm white fish. Halibut, mahi-mahi, or tilapia would all be excellent choices. For a great primer on some of these fish varieties, check out this helpful article.
What is the best beer to use for making the fish fry batter?
I personally love using a dark Mexican beer for my batter — beer makes lighter and crispier tacos (why beer?). While you technically can use a lighter beer, I love the unmistakable color and flavor that darker beers give it. Negra Modelo is my fav, but feel free to pick your favorite Mexican beer.
My batter isn’t sticking to the fish… help!
Sounds like you might’ve missed a step. Be sure to coat your fish pieces in a light dusting of flour prior to dipping in your beer batter. This will help the batter adhere to the fish and stay put while frying.
What else should I serve with these fish tacos?
If it’s Friday, these delicious little handheld gifts are best enjoyed with a refreshing Chelada or a refreshing cocktail like my Skinny Margarita or Highland Margarita. In terms of sides, you can’t go wrong with Instant Pot Black Beans and Cilantro Lime Rice.
Need more seafood dinner inspiration?
Check out these other favorites.
- Tortitas de Camarón con Nopales
- Chiles Rellenos de Camarones y Queso (Cheese and Shrimp Stuffed Poblanos)
- Caldo de Pescado y Camaron (Fish and Shrimp Soup)
- Shrimp Ceviche Tostadas
- Lemon Butter Fish
Please watch this video to see how quickly these fish tacos come together. If you tried this recipe for Beer Battered Baja Fish Tacos, please let me know how they turned out for you by commenting below! You can also always tag me on Instagram to show me your creations.
Beer-Battered Fish Tacos
Chipotle Cream Sauce:
- Shredded cabbage
- Radish slices
- Avocado slices
- Pico de gallo
- Lime wedges
- Generously salt cod and sprinkle flour over the strips and toss to coat.
- In a large mixing bowl, add flour, chili powder, salt, pepper, and oregano.
- In a medium bowl whisk beer and egg.
- Pour wet ingredients to flour mixture and stir together until well mixed and set aside at room temperature.
- In a large skillet, preheat oil to 350 degrees F.
- Dip fish into batter and allow excess batter to drip off before adding to oil. Fry fish, flipping to ensure it's evenly browned, 4 to 5 minutes, then place on a paper towel-lined plate.
- In a food processor or blender, combine crema, chipotle in adobo and sauce, lemon zest and lemon juice, water, and salt until smooth; transfer to a small bowl.
- Serve tacos with chipotle cream sauce and garnish with toppings of your choice.
- 1 servings = 2 tacos including tortilla, excluding optional toppings.
Originally published: March 2018.
Photography: Jenna Sparks