Treat yourself to a delicious taco night with these Baja-style battered fish tacos. If you’ve never made them at home, this simple recipe is perfect for beginners and experienced cooks alike.
In each bite, you’ll find crispy battered fish with incredible textures and flavors from cabbage slaw and fresh pico de gallo- it’s like a vacation for the taste buds.
And there’s no need to travel to the west coast for Baja-fish tacos because I’m sharing step-by-step directions and a video so you can recreate them in your own kitchen.
Baja Style Battered Fish Tacos
Baja-style fish tacos are an unforgettable combination of crispy, lightly breaded battered fish, crunchy slaw, and tangy sour cream tucked into a soft tortilla. The breading in this recipe isn’t your typical fried fish texture; it’s super flaky, thanks to Ritz crackers.
Each mouthful tastes out of this world and brings you to a happy place.
I still remember the first time I ate one of these delicious tacos at a small taco joint near Santa Monica Beach. It was one of the most memorable moments from that road trip and one I wanted to recreate for my family.
I had to include the recipe in my Taco Tuesday Cookbook; they’re so good. Sure enough, it’s one of the most popular fish tacos, and if you’re a taco addict, be sure to check out the cookbook for more incredible ideas. There’s one for every day of the week!
Homemade Fish Batter Ingredients
Here’s a list of everything you’ll need to make the best Baja fish tacos!
- round butter crackers: I like to use one sleeve of Ritz crackers, about 24 crackers.
- panko breadcrumbs: for extra crunch.
- all-purpose flour: helps to evenly distribute the crackers, Panko, and seasonings over the fish pieces.
- taco seasoning: coats every piece of fish with taco flavor.
- egg: binds the ingredients.
- water: the liquid component of the batter.
- lime juice: brightens up the batter.
- mahi-mahi or cod fillets: both cod and mahi-mahi are tender, thick, and hold up well during the cooking process.
- vegetable oil: enough to cover your skillet 1-inch deep.
- shredded cabbage: adds a fresh crunch to the taco. You could swap it out for coleslaw mix.
- corn tortillas: yellow corn, blue corn, and flour tortillas all work great.
- avocado: tastes perfect with the sour cream and battered fish flavors.
- pico de gallo: for more delicious and fresh flavor!
- sour cream: mix it with a little water to thin it out to drizzle over the tacos.
How to Batter Fish for Tacos
Battering the fish for Baja-style tacos is easier than most breaded fish recipes. Instead of using separate bowls for wet and dry ingredients, the wet batter is made in one bowl.
It’s much easier because all you have to do is dip the fish pieces in the batter and into the frying pan they go!
To get the fish ready for frying, cut the fillets into 1-inch thick strips. This will make them the perfect size to fit into the tortilla and help them cook evenly.
Making Battered Fish Tacos
Follow the steps below, and you’ll have perfectly buttery and crisp Baja fish tacos!
- Crush the crackers
Place the buttered crackers in a large zip bag and use a rolling pin to crush them into fine pieces. Alternatively, give them a few pulses in the food processor or blender.
- Make the batter
In a large bowl, combine the crushed crackers, Panko, flour, seasonings, egg, water, and lime.
- Batter the fish
Cut the fish fillets into strips and dip them into the batter.
Heat 1 inch of oil in a large cast-iron skillet until it reaches 375F. Working in batches, fry the battered fish pieces until golden and crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
Warm the tortillas before topping with cabbage slaw, fish, avocado, pico de gallo, and sour cream. All that’s left is to bite in!
You can also check out this video to see how perfect Baja fish tacos are done.
Best Fish for Baja Battered Tacos
You’ll need to slice your fish fillets into 1-inch pieces, so a thicker fish like mahi-mahi or cod works best. You can also use tilapia sliced into bigger pieces.
What to Serve with Battered Fish Tacos
Some of the ideas above can be used as toppings, while the rest are great in between bites of crispy fish and tortillas.
Battered Fish Tacos with Baja Slaw
- 24 round crackers, such as Ritz, finely crushed
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup lime juice, about 2 limes
- 1 ½ pounds mahi-mahi or cod fillets
- ½ to 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 ½ cups shredded green and purple cabbage
- 12 corn tortillas, warmed
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
- Pico de gallo
- Sour cream
- In a large bowl, combine cracker crumbs, Panko, flour, taco seasoning, egg, water, and lime juice into a very thick batter.
- Cut the fish into strips about 1-inch thick and 4-inches long. Pat the fish pieces dry between two paper towels so the batter can adhere.
- Use a spatula to stir the fish into the batter and coat all the pieces.
- Heat 1-inch of oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, until it reaches 375F. Remove a few fish pieces from the bowl, allow the excess batter to drip back into the bowl, and add them to the skillet. Working in batches, fry the fish until golden, flipping the pieces once to cook the other side. Transfer the fish to a plate lined with paper towels.
- Assemble the taco by placing a thin layer of cabbage on each tortilla, adding some fish pieces, and topping with avocado slices, pico de gallo, and a generous drizzle of sour cream.