Season 8 Recipes: Astonishing Baja/

Classic Ensenada Fish Tacos

Tacos de Pescado "Clasicos de Ensenada"
From Season 8,  Mexico—One Plate at a Time
Servings: 12tacos, enough to serve 4


  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2teaspoonMexican oregano
  • 1/2teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • 1teaspoon yellow mustard (like French's)
  • 1teaspoon concentrated chicken base or chicken-flavor powdered bouillon
  • 1cup beer, sparkling water or water
  • 1teaspoon baking powder
  • 1cup all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil to a depth of 1 1/2 inches for frying
  • 1pound boneless, skinless fish filets (practically anything will work, but I like larger-flake, lighter-flavor fish best for this preparation—think halibut, sea bass, grouper and the like)
  • 1/3cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3cup sour cream or heavy (whipping) cream
  • 1/4cup milk
  • 12 warm corn tortillas
  • 1cup (or more) thinly sliced cabbage (I like Napa cabbage best)
  • About 1cup salsa (toasted arbol chile salsa, roasted green chile salsa, roasted tomatillo salsa or even one of the Mexican hot sauces like Tamazula or Valentina)
  • 2 or 3 limes, cut into wedges


Finely chop the garlic, sprinkle generously with salt, then mash back and forth with the side of your knife across your cutting board until crushed to a puree. Scrape into a medium bowl and add the oregano, black pepper, mustard, base or bouillon, beer or water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the flour and baking powder to the wet ingredients and whisk just until combined.

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet to 370 degrees. While the oil is heating, cut the fish into pieces about 3 inches long by 1/2 inch square. Use a pair of tongs to pick up a piece of fish, dip it completely into the batter, and lay it into the oil. Continue with a few more pieces of fish, filling the hot oil with an uncrowded layer. Fry, turning the pieces regularly, until deep golden and crisp, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels and keep warm in a low oven on a wire rack set over a sheet pan while you fry the rest of the fish.

Mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream and milk. Set out with the cabbage, salsa, warm corn tortillas, limes and the crispy fish for everyone to make tacos.



  1. OMG! I loved these tacos!!! I substituted the sour cream/whipping cream with greek yogurt. You have to eat it with the chile arbol salsa and cream & mayo dressing.

  2. I have made this successfully twice and I have had troubles twice. My trouble is the batter comes off in little tiny pieces while I am frying. The first time I decided my fish was slightly frozen. The second time my fish was not too cold and was patted dry. Now I have no idea why my batter came off…and the way the batter comes off while frying is the same both times….little tiny pieces (almost drop like) of batter. Any thoughts? Very frustrating.

    1. My only thought is that your oil may not be hot enough. Are you using a thermometer to make sure that your oil is the correct temperature?

  3. This fish taco recipe is amazing. I think the voting button is faulty. I clicked to read reviews and it counted it as vote. I wonder how many others are voting 2.5 stars just by clicking on the stars thinking it is a link. I want to take back my click and give it 5 stars!

  4. These fish tacos are absolutely Amazing!!! Better than any fish taco from any restaurant in Texas to California! I don’t think I will ever order another fish taco now that I have had the best! The batter is very light and crispy leaving the fish flaky. I do add a little lemon , pepper, Valentina, and a pinch of salt to flavor the white sauce and it is wonderful! Rave reviews from our entire family and friends!

  5. These are really good! I’ve made fish tacos before, but these came out so crunchy and flavorful. The hubby and kids loved them.

  6. The recipe is perfect! The tacos exceeded my expectations. My only wish is that i’d taken the time to make my own tortillas from masa. I used Alaskan halibut and rice bran oil to fry.

  7. Excellant Excellant…. fish tacos!!!! just like the ones in Ensenada , just a little red cabbage & raddishes sliced match stick type for color California Bomberos

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