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Baja fish tacos loaded with pickled purple cabbage, freshly made pico de gallo, and homemade salsa taquera. Beer battered cod cooked until golden with a crisp crunchy exterior and a soft flaky interior, piled overtop crunchy pickled red cabbage and sauced with a spicy taco crema. These tacos are dreamy and taste even better than any takeout outside of Mexico!

I mean they really are finger licking good and probably better then most restaurants. WHY? because they were made with love by you, using fresh ingredients that you purchased and you didn’t have to resort to ordering out to satisfy that fish taco craving. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t crave fish tacos??

WHAT IS BAJA?

Baja tacos consist of tacos made of fried white fish, cabbage, and crema. These tacos originated in Baja California, Mexico which boarders the U.S. and the state of California. Situated in the North West, along the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California. Enough about that! Our tacos combine all 3 things that make up a Baja taco of course with our own spin hence the name.

Making things from scratch does eat up some time, but to us its always worth it. If you plan for it by making some of the things ahead of time its not so bad. Check out our notes in the recipe card for what you can do ahead of time!

FRYING FISH

Fish is extremely delicate, especially when it comes to cod or halibut. They are slow-moving, bottom-dwelling fish that slowly graze along the ocean floor, as such their muscle don’t get used as much. Just like steak and chicken, fish will toughen and dry out if cooked at too high of a temperature.

The batter help protect the delicateness of the fish and acts as a preventative layer between the hot oil and the fish so that it gently steams on the inside and crisps on the outside. When making the batter, it’s important to stick to the ratios. Too much flour and over mixing can create too much gluten which leads to retaining more liquid, weighing down your batter and making it greasy. The use of baking powder, baking soda, and cornstarch give the batter a lighter structure and puffs up around the fish. Using beer adds carbonation which introduces little tiny bubbles which helps leaven the batter and expand when heated. If you don’t want to use beer soda works just as great.

We hope you enjoy this recipe! If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it on Instagram! We love to see what you come up with. #thecommunalfeast Follow along our social media account on instagram for quick videos on how our recipes come together!

Baja fish tacos
Yield: 6-8

Baja fish tacos

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

These fried fish tacos are made up of crispy beer battered cod, pickled purple cabbage, fresh pico de gallo, and topped with a creamy salsa taquera

Ingredients

  • 2-3lb cod, or white fish alternative
  • 6-8 corn tortillas
  • 3 roma tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup white onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped, more if needed
  • 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup mayo or sour cream
  • oil for frying, peanut or vegetable
  • Pickled cabbage:
  • 2 cups shredded purple cabbage, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 TBS white sugar
  • pink peppercorn (optional)
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced into rounds (optional)
  • Dredging:
  • 1 Mexican lager, cold or light beer alternative
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • salt
  • 1 TBS smoked paprika
  • Salsa taquera:
  • 2 roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 white onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 arbol chilies, seeds removed
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. To make the salsa: In a medium size pan, heat half the oil. Once hot, add the tomatoes and onions. Cook stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Once cooked down a bit, add the garlic, and season with salt. Allow to cook 1 minute and add the chilies and cook an additional minute. Transfer all the contents of the pan to a blender and process until smooth. Add the remaining oil. Mix in the mayo and juice from half a lime. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
  2. To make the pico: Combine chopped tomatoes, onion, cilantro and juice from half a lime in a bowl. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. Pickled cabbage: Bring to a boil water and apple cider vinegar. Add pink peppercorns if using. When boiling turn off heat. Place shredded cabbage in a large heat proof container (glass preferably). Pour brine overtop and add garlic clove and jalapeno rounds. Let stand for 15 minutes until cooled. Ensure all the cabbage is fully submerged. If you dont have enough liquid simply top up with more water. Shake well and keep refrigerated.
  4. Heat oil to 350 degrees F in a cast iron skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
  5. Combine all the dredging ingredients in a bowl minus the beer. Pat dry the cod and cut into 1 inch thick fillets. Fillets should be cut so that 1 piece fits perfectly into 1 taco shell. Toss each piece of fish into the flour mixture coating both sides. Transfer to a wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet. Once all the fish is coated, separate the flour mixture into 2. Slowly add the beer into 1 bowl with the flour whisking until the texture resembles thick pancake batter. Dip each fillet into the beer batter coating both sides and once again into the 2nd bowl with the flour mixture. Carefully place 1 piece at a time into the hot oil. Cook fish until golden brown, flipping the fish halfway through. About 4 minutes per side. Repeat until each fillet is cooked.
  6. To assemble: warm tortillas in a pan with a bit of oil for 20-30 seconds flipping halfway. Layer with pickled cabbage, crispy cod, top with freshly made pico and crema. Served with lime on the side.

Notes

To make ahead: To cut back on some of the prep work and time, The pickled cabbage, pico de gallo, and sauce can all be made ahead. Simply make as per directed and keep refrigerated in an air tight container or glass jar with a lid. Both cabbage and sauce will keep up to 1 week. Pico is best kept same day or will keep fresh for 1 day.

Baja fish tacos

Burgers & Sandwiches

February 18, 2021

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