These tacos de pescado or Baja fish tacos are crispy on the outside and so tender on the inside! The crunchy coleslaw adds texture and visual appeal to the taco and the creamy sauce is the perfect complement!

Tacos de Pescado is a popular dish that originated in the Baja California region of Mexico. They are also known as Baja fish tacos and are very popular in southern California and along the West Coast of the United States.

The delicious tacos de pescado are made with crispy battered fish, served over charred corn tortillas, topped with coleslaw, and drizzled with a delicious chipotle crema sauce!

My homemade recipe for Baja-style tacos is super easy to make, highly customizable, and perfect to feed a crowd. They are a favorite in my family along with shrimp tacos de camaron!

Baja-style Fish Tacos de Pescado with slaw and chipotle sauce.

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Tortillas de maíz: I used corn tortillas, but flour tortillas are also a good option.
  • Fish (pescado):
  • Batter: You will need all-purpose flour, egg, spices, and a bit of baking soda to make the batter.
  • Beer: Baja fish tacos ask for beer to make the batter, I like to use Corona but any pale beer will work well too. If you prefer to skip the beer, you can use sparkling water instead.
  • Oil: I used sunflower oil, but any vegetable oil such as canola, corn oil, or light olive oil are good substitutions too.
  • Coleslaw: To make the chunky slaw you will need red cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, cucumber, and jalapeño peppers. Then oregano, lime juice, and salt for the light dressing.
  • Lime wedges: Squeeze over the fish tacos for a refreshing finishing touch!
  • Creamy sauce: I like serving those tacos with a creamy chipotle sauce, but also this tangy cilantro lime cream sauce is perfect!

How To Make Tacos de Pescado

Make the coleslaw topping

Wash and cut the red cabbage and place it in a mixing bowl along with tomatoes, onion, cucumber, and chilies.

Squeeze the juice of a lime, add vinegar, oregano, and season with salt. Mix well and adjust with salt if needed. Set aside.

Read cabbage coleslaw in a bowl.

Prepare the batter

Place flour in a large mixing bowl along with garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, baking powder, salt, and black pepper. Mix to combine.

Add to the bowl the beer (or sparkling water) and egg. Whisk until a smooth batter has formed. Place the bowl in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.

The batter in a bowl.

Make the battered fish

Cut the fish fillets into manageable-sized pieces that will fit in the tortillas. I recommend strips about 3/4 inch wide and 4-5 inches long.

Season the fillets with salt and pepper to taste (remember that the batter has salt already, so go easy with the seasoning).

Add fish strips to the beer batter and mix to coat on all sides.

Coating the fish with the batter in a bowl.

In a large frying pan, heat about 1-2 inches of oil over medium heat. Working on batches, deep fry the battered fish on all sides until nicely golden brown and crisp.

Remove from the hot oil and place fried fish on a strainer.

Assemble the baja fish tacos

Heat tortillas directly on the stove flame until slightly charred. Or heat them in a comal or skillet until soft and pliable.

Place a warm corn tortilla on a plate. Add some pieces of battered fried fish in the center and top with crispy coleslaw. Repeat with all tortillas and serve.

Enjoy your tacos de pescado with a creamy salsa drizzled on top and a squeeze of lime or lemon juice.

Tips & Notes

  • Choose a white fish with firm flesh, such as cod, halibut, or tilapia. It should be fresh and preferably sustainably sourced.
  • The batter should coat the fish but not be too thick or too runny. Check out the video below to know the exact consistency it should have, and adjust the amount of flour and beer if necessary.
  • When frying the fish, work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan, which can lower the temperature and make the fish greasy.
  • Taste the oil temperature with a bit of batter first so you won’t waste the fish if it burns fast or if it gets too oily.
  • If you don’t want to end with mushy battered fish, place the fried strips in a strainer or a wire rack, as paper towels tend to create some moisture and ruin the crispy texture.

What Goes With Fish Tacos

Baja-style fish tacos can go well with various delicious side dishes and condiments to create a well-rounded and satisfying meal. Here are my recommendations:

  • Slaw: A tangy and crunchy slaw is a classic choice to serve with so don’t skip that. If you can’t find red cabbage, you can make my super easy Mexican cabbage salad instead.
  • Salsa: the creamy adds a burst of smoky flavor to fish tacos. Besides creamy sauces, you can try fruit salsas like mango pico de gallo or pineapple pico de gallo for a tropical twist.
  • Guacamole: Try classic guacamole in molcajete or just add a few slices of fresh avocado.
  • Rice: To round up your meal, serve with a side of this fragrant cilantro lime rice.
  • Citrus Beverages: Accompany your tacos de pescado with refreshing citrus-based beverages like limonada or lemon chia water to quench your thirst and complement the flavors.
Baja tacos de pescado in a plate with lime wedges and salsa. Another plate with more tacos and a beer on the background.

Storage Suggestions

If you have tacos de pescado leftovers, store the fried fish, tortillas, and toppings separately. This helps maintain the texture and freshness of each component.

Fried fish leftovers can last for 2-3 days in the refrigerator, use an airtight container to prevent smells from coming out. I don’t recommend freezing.

Reheat the fish in a skillet or oven to crisp it up. But please keep in mind that the texture of fried fish may not be as crispy after refrigeration and reheating.

FAQ

What are fish tacos called in Mexico?

In Mexico, fish tacos are called “tacos de pescado” or “Baja tacos”. They are popular all over the country but especially appreciated in Ensenada, Baja California.

What are the different types of fish for tacos de pescado?

There are different types of fish for tacos, the most popular are cod, halibut, tilapia, huachinango (red snapper), and Mahi Mahi.
The choice of fish can vary depending on regional preferences, availability, and personal taste.

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Video

Fish Tacos de Pescado Recipe.

Tacos de Pescado (fish tacos)

16 tacos
These tacos de pescado are made with crispy battered fish, served over charred corn tortillas, with coleslaw, and drizzled with a delicious creamy chipotle sauce. They're perfect for your Taco Tuesday!
prep 25 minutes
cook 15 minutes
total 40 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 16 corn or flour tortillas
  • 1 pound white fish (such as cod, tilapia, or halibut)
  • oil for frying (as needed)

For the batter

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 12 oz blond beer (or sparkling water)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the coleslaw

  • ½ small red cabbage (shredded)
  • 2 medium tomatoes (diced)
  • 1 medium cucumber (diced)
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 2 jalapeño or serrano peppers (chopped)
  • 1 bunch cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 lime (juice)
  • 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • salt (to taste)

For serving

Instructions
 

  • Place the red cabbage in a mixing bowl along with tomatoes, onion, cucumber, cilantro, and chili peppers.
  • Squeeze the juice of a lime, add vinegar, oregano, and season with salt. Mix well and adjust with salt if needed. Set aside.

Prepare the batter

  • Place flour in a large mixing bowl along with garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, baking powder, salt, and black pepper. Mix to combine.
  • Add the beer (or sparkling water) and egg. Whisk until a smooth batter has formed, then place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.

Make the battered fish

  • Cut the fish fillets into manageable-sized pieces that will fit in the tortillas. I recommend strips about 3/4 inch wide and 4-5 inches long.
  • Season the fillets with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add fish strips to the beer batter and mix to coat on all sides.
  • In a large frying pan, heat about 1-2 inches of oil over medium heat.
  • Working on batches, deep fry the battered fish on all sides until nicely golden brown and crisp.
  • Remove from the hot oil and place fried fish on a strainer.

Assemble the fish tacos

  • Heat tortillas directly on the stove flame until slightly charred. Or heat them in a comal or skillet until soft and pliable.
  • Place a warm corn tortilla on a plate. Add some pieces of battered fried fish in the center and top with crispy coleslaw.
  • Repeat with all tortillas and serve with chipotle crema sauce and a squeeze of lime.

Notes

  • The batter should coat the fish but not be too thick or too runny.
  • When frying the fish, work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan, which can lower the temperature and make the fish greasy.
Nutrition Information
Serving: 1 fish taco | Calories: 151kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.001g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 268mg | Potassium: 289mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 478IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1mg
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Maricruz Avalos Flores is a Mexican cook and photographer living in Italy where she shares authentic Mexican & Italian recipes that can be easily made at home using easy-to-find ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These fish tacos? Deliciously crispy outside, tender inside. The coleslaw adds a nice crunch, and the creamy sauce is a perfect match. A simple, satisfying treat for taco lovers!

  2. 5 stars
    Yum! Love, love, love fish tacos- especially when the fish is battered and fried. Looks amazing! :)

  3. 5 stars
    This website has the best taco recipes – and this recipe for Baja fish tacos is not exception. The crispy fish and cabbage slaw were delicious! Will make again – for sure!