Baja Fish Tacos with Fresh Pico de Gallo

Sadly, I find most restaurants just don’t know how to make good fish tacos.  Such a shame.

Recipe and images for Baja Fish Tacos with Fresh Pico de Gallo Salsa by Lacey Stevens-Baier, a sweet pea chef

It was in Baja California where my love for fish tacos began. When I was young, my parents owned a home in Ensenada (which is located on the coast of Baja California about 30 minutes south of the San Diego-Mexico border). To say we visited often would be a complete understatement. Pretty much every long weekend, most summers or days that ended with “y” were all good enough reasons for my parents to pack up the car and go.

Recipe and images for Baja Fish Tacos with Fresh Pico de Gallo Salsa by Lacey Stevens-Baier, a sweet pea chef
Recipe and images for Baja Fish Tacos with Fresh Pico de Gallo Salsa by Lacey Stevens-Baier, a sweet pea chef
Recipe and images for Baja Fish Tacos with Fresh Pico de Gallo Salsa by Lacey Stevens-Baier, a sweet pea chef

One of my favorite memories during these trips to Baja was making fish tacos with fresh rock cod and sea bass.  There was no question what we would make when we brought home the fresh fish.   What great memories.

When Dustin and I moved to San Diego last year, I kept seeing restaurants boast about their fish tacos. This brought back my good memories and renewed my cravings.  I searched and searched, but I couldn’t find anyone who could make good fish tacos. Crazy, right? What really frustrated me was that people around town would say, “[enter restaurant's name] has the best fish tacos,” but, no sir, they did not. Was it possible I let my memories of blissful summers and beloved Baja fish tacos get the better of me? Were they actually that good, or had I made them better in my head over time? I hate when I do that!

Recipe and images for Baja Fish Tacos with Fresh Pico de Gallo Salsa by Lacey Stevens-Baier, a sweet pea chef
Recipe and images for Baja Fish Tacos with Fresh Pico de Gallo Salsa by Lacey Stevens-Baier, a sweet pea chef
Recipe and images for Baja Fish Tacos with Fresh Pico de Gallo Salsa by Lacey Stevens-Baier, a sweet pea chef

I realized I had to take matters into my own hands: I needed to make the fish tacos myself.  So, I added them to My Summer List.

Given that bringing a 15-month old on a fishing boat — no matter how cute she is — is never a good choice, store-bought “fresh” rock cod would have to suffice. I made fresh pico de gallo salsa with just enough heat to remember it on your lips. My favorite. I made a creamy white dill sauce that buckles the knees it’s so good. I thinly sliced the cabbage and cut the lime wedges. Such simple ingredients for such a truly delicious meal.

Recipe and images for Baja Fish Tacos with Fresh Pico de Gallo Salsa by Lacey Stevens-Baier, a sweet pea chef
Recipe and images for Baja Fish Tacos with Fresh Pico de Gallo Salsa by Lacey Stevens-Baier, a sweet pea chef
Recipe and images for Baja Fish Tacos with Fresh Pico De Gallo and Creamy White Dill Sauce by Lacey Stevens-Baier, a sweet pea chef

The verdict? They were fantastic. Just like I remembered. Well, except for the fresh, homemade corn tortillas like in Baja.  Some things are better left for the memories anyways.

Recipe and images for Baja Fish Tacos with Fresh Pico de Gallo Salsa by Lacey Stevens-Baier, a sweet pea chef

I really recommend you try these tacos with the fresh pico de gallo and creamy white dill sauce. The combination is so, so very yummy. I prefer a cornmeal and flour mixture spiced with some cayenne pepper, garlic powder and black pepper for coating the fish, as opposed to a beer batter, because I find the fish gets lost in a beer batter. But, that’s just me.

Here’s to good — and tasty — memories!

Baja Fish Tacos with Fresh Pico de Gallo
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These Baja Fish Tacos are so dang delicious, you're not even gonna know what hit you!
Recipe type: Easy
Serves: 4-6
  • 2 medium tomatoes on the vine, diced
  • ½ small red onion, chopped
  • ½ tsp. jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 4 sprigs cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • ⅛ tsp. kosher salt
  • ⅛ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅛ tsp. cumin
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • juice from ½ a lime (approx 2 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp. jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. dried dill weed
  • ⅛ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 lb. fresh rock cod or sea bass fillet, cut into strips of 2-3 oz. portions
  • ¼ cup al-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ⅛ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • Canola or vegetable oil
  • ½ head medium cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 8-10 good quality corn tortillas
  2. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Season with additional salt, lime, pepper and/or cumin to taste.
  3. Let sit for at least 30 minutes while you prepare the fish.
  5. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Season with additional salt, lime, pepper and/or cumin to taste.
  6. Refrigerate for 30 minutes while you prepare the fish.
  8. In a flat dish, combine flour, cornmeal, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and garlic powder. In a separate dish, combine egg with 2 tbsp. water.
  9. Pour enough oil into a large (12-inch) skillet to a depth of  ¼ inch. Heat oil on high heat until hot and then turn to medium high heat.
  10. Dip fish into egg and then dust lightly with flour-cornmeal mixture.
  11. Fry until golden brown on all sides, approximately 4-6 minutes. Remove promptly and drain on a plate covered with paper towels.
  12. Wrap tortillas in a damp cloth or paper towel and microwave on high for 10-15 seconds.
  13. To serve, place a few pieces of fried fish on corn tortilla (you can use single or doubled tortillas, depending on your preference). Drizzle fish with desired about of Creamy White Dill Sauce and Fresh Pico de Gallo.
  14. Top with sliced cabbage.

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About the author: My name is Lacey and I’m so glad you’re here. I am a foodie, a photographer, a chef, and a project manager at a local tech start-up in Austin. But, most importantly, I am the mother of three adorable little kiddos (Jordan, Savannah and Hunter) and am madly in love with and married to my high school sweetheart, Dustin.

55 comments… add one

  1. Juliana August 23, 2010, 11:32 am

    Yummie, I am ready to have these tacos for lunch…they look so yummie, specially with the fresh pico de gallo :-)

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef August 23, 2010, 12:00 pm

      Juliana, you totally should have them for lunch…and dinner! :) I agree — the fresh pico de gallo really makes a difference. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Joanne August 23, 2010, 6:11 pm

    I find that in general restaurant tacos rarely do it for me. It’s the homemade seasoning and perfectly cooked meats that only occur when you cook to order that make them truly delicious. I will certainly be trying this recipe!

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef August 23, 2010, 9:59 pm

      That’s a good point, Joanne. Restaurants do have a difficult time making good tacos in general, come to think of it. I hope you like this recipe! :)

  3. Betty @ scrambled hen fruit August 23, 2010, 8:22 pm

    This recipe is a keeper! I’m so glad you shared this- I’ve been looking for a great fish taco recipe and this one sounds delicious. That dill sauce sounds so good!

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef August 23, 2010, 9:58 pm

      That’s great, Betty! I hope you find this recipe fills your fish taco needs. It really is super delicious — especially when all the pieces are put together. Thanks for visiting!

        1. lacey - a sweet pea chef April 4, 2011, 10:10 am

          Hi Betty! Thanks so much for the link. I’m glad you finally got to try them — I hope they were worth the wait :)

  4. Miss Becky August 24, 2010, 7:47 am

    confession time ~ I have never eaten a fish taco. well, that is soon to be remedied because I’m heading out to the fish market and getting some fish so that I can make these for dinner. they look absolutely delicious and your photos, again, are beautiful.

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef August 24, 2010, 10:39 am

      Miss Becky, boy are you in for a treat! Hard to believe you’ve never had a fish taco before — I’m almost jealous of you trying your first one tonight :). I’m honored my recipe will be your first fish taco. Very cool. Good luck! Let me know what you think.

  5. Much to My Delight August 24, 2010, 5:41 pm

    Funny-I grew up on the gulf coast in Texas so both fresh fish and tacos were abundance…but no one ever made fish tacos! I love them, but I’ve never been able to master the sauce on top. I never would have thought of dill! That sounds really interesting and I’ll have to give it a shot. Thanks Lacey!

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef August 24, 2010, 9:13 pm

      That is funny! I hope this dill sauce works out for you. Please share how it goes if you try it!

  6. Kim August 28, 2010, 5:14 pm

    Making this tonight for dinner!

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef September 13, 2010, 8:29 pm

      Thanks! I checked out your tacos on your site. They look really good. Your guacamole looks amazing. You make me want to make homemade tortillas again — I haven’t made them in years. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Terri November 7, 2010, 4:34 pm

    I made your tacos last night and they were absolutely delicious! My husband said they were restaurant quality. Thank you so much for the recipe.

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef November 8, 2010, 1:37 pm

      Yay, Terri! So glad you two enjoyed the tacos. They are one of my absolute favorite recipes. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Katherine December 30, 2010, 10:00 pm

    It’s not that often that I make a recipe and follow it to a “T” that I don’t feel I could’ve improved/changed it if only……..? I followed this as written and have to say EVERYTHING WAS SPOT ON! My son doesn’t even care for fish tacos and said these were the BEST he’s ever had. I served 6 people these fish tacos last night and every single one of them said they were THE BEST FISH TACOS THEY”VE EVER HAD! Perfect pico de gallo, perfect creamy dill sauce, and perfect breading for the fish. Thanks you so much for the recipe!

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef December 31, 2010, 10:18 am

      Hi Katherine! Wow. What a review! You just made my morning. :) You also made me want to make these fish tacos again because I love them too. So glad you liked it all!

  9. Lisa January 10, 2011, 5:42 pm

    I totally agree with Katherine. The recepie was simple and straight forward. And the favor was AWESOME!!! It’s been awhile that I tried something new that blew my mind with the flavor. I made it two days ago, and have wondered ever since if it’s too soon to make fish tacos again?

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef January 11, 2011, 2:39 pm

      Wow, Lisa. Thank you so much for your great review! And, no, it’s never too soon for more fish tacos :)

  10. Kelley May 19, 2011, 1:38 pm

    You know who has a mean fish taco, The Cheese Cake Factory!! I know crazy but I really enjoy them from there!!

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef May 21, 2011, 3:51 pm

      Interesting! I will have to check them out, Kelley! I enjoy their chicken picatta — and, of course, their cheesecake :)

  11. Brooke June 26, 2011, 1:01 pm

    I just made this dish for my 30th birthday party. It was a HUGE hit. I had about 20 people, so I used 3.5 pounds of fish and doubled the salsa and dill sauce. Thank you for the recipe and the clear instructions. Great recipe all in all!

  12. the wicked noodle July 21, 2011, 8:22 am

    There’s nothing quite like a really good fish taco. Looks delicious!

  13. Jules July 21, 2011, 10:00 pm

    Delish!!! This is the third recipe of yours that I have tried and it was another flawless, delicious delight! My husband and I gobbled them down like crazy. I’m hooked on your recipes and it makes me feel great to cook with such confidence. Thank you, thank you!

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef July 21, 2011, 10:11 pm

      Wow, Jules, I’m blushing! I can’t tell you how much it means to me that my recipes help you cook with confidence. That is so awesome. I am so happy you have enjoyed them!!

  14. Fritz August 22, 2011, 8:33 pm

    I’ve made this recipe three or four times. The family begs for it. I’ve converted my sister-in-law, who claimed she didn’t like fish tacos. The dill sauce is indeed to die for, and the pico de gallo gets thumbs-up too.
    I have the good luck to have a true Hispanic supermarket just blocks from work, and they make their own fresh corn tortillas. The fresh tortillas take it over the top!

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef August 24, 2011, 10:40 pm

      Wow, Fritz, that is so great to hear. I LOVE that you have converted your sister-in-law, too! ;) Thanks so much for sharing!

  15. Jess October 14, 2011, 7:29 am

    We just want to thank you for sharing your recipe. These are by far the best fish tacos we have come across and we have searched far and wide as my husband grew up in San Diego and we now live in New Hampshire where it is nearly impossible to find “authentic” Mexican food. Our kids love them too! Thank you for taking the time to publish your recipes for others to enjoy. I look forward to trying more of your delicious meals!

  16. Patti January 28, 2012, 3:05 pm

    Anywhere I go, the first thing I look for is fish tacos. The best shrimp tacos I’ve ever had are at Guero’s in Austin, TX. They are worth a try. Thanks for the recipe. Can’t wait to try them.

  17. Julie June 20, 2012, 10:41 am

    Hi Lacey,
    My hubby & I love fish tacos, but you are so right, there are few restaurants here (in MN) that make them right! I enjoy trying new recipes, so I made these for dinner last night, they were delicious! This recipe is a keeper! Thanks for posting your recipes…I’m thinking about making the watermelon sorbet next, but our ice cream maker is broken; can I just put the mixture in the freezer for longer? Thanks again! Julie

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef June 20, 2012, 4:06 pm

      Hi Julie! Yay — I’m glad you loved the tacos. You can make the sorbet without the ice cream maker, but you should stir it or shake it every so often so it doesn’t freeze in a big chunk. Adding 1-2 tbsp. vodka should also help with that too ;) Enjoy!

  18. Maureen June 21, 2012, 11:48 am

    Thank you Lacey!
    I made your delicious fish tacos last night, I loved them and hubby them! An easy recipe for the best fish tacos ever. We know our fish tacos as I, like you, also lived in San Diego. These are the best!

    Now, on to the Pan-Roasted Salmon…….Yummy!

  19. Maureen June 21, 2012, 11:53 am

    Sorry, should have said, “hubby loved them.”


  20. Julie June 21, 2012, 1:53 pm

    Thanks for the tip Lacey!

  21. Kristine June 26, 2012, 10:44 am

    I have made these twice now, and they are great! I used Hake the first time, then Haddock the second time (Sea Bass is a little pricey :) ) Otherwise, I made everything as the recipe states. The homemade pico de gallo delicious, and the sauce is out of sight. Making these again on friday for my boyfriend. Thanks for sharing!

  22. Linh July 30, 2012, 7:37 pm

    Hey there! We’d been craving fish tacos for a while and your recipe popped up on pinterest…the pictures captivated me and the instructions were so easy! I made these tonight, followed everything with the exception that I added chopped avocado to the creamy dill sauce too since they were sitting around.

    Everything turned out delish!! The hubs and toddler loved it. I served thesewith a side of homemade cilantro lime rice. Thank you so much for sharing with all of us.

    P.s. my love for fish tacos also stemmed from my first trip to Baja…San Felipe to be exact. :)

  23. Heather October 17, 2012, 11:50 pm

    THE BEST FISH TACOS EVER!!!! Also a confession: I have used the pico and dill sauce with chicken tacos- delicious!I have also used the dill sauce with a finely chopped salad for a bridal shower. The guests said that is was the best “dressing” they had ever had :)

    1. Anne October 21, 2012, 7:05 pm

      I use the dill sauce on everything from a topping for sandwiches and burgers to a dip for fries and veggies. We have everything prepped for fish tacos this week…can’t wait!

  24. SJ November 15, 2012, 8:44 am

    What is a good side dish with this recipe?

  25. Kathy Buchanan March 17, 2013, 6:16 pm

    I studied a lot of different recipes before choosing this one because it sounded very good. Thanks for sharing. This has become a family favorite!

  26. Dean June 5, 2013, 8:22 pm

    Lacey, I made this tonight and it was awesome! Love that dill sauce with a bit of bite and the fresh Pico de Gallo! The things that make you say, Dang… Dang!! Thank you for sharing!! I will pass onto my sister Robin in SC.

  27. Bill August 4, 2013, 12:27 pm

    I had never had a fish taco until my son asked me to make some a couple of years ago.
    To satisfy his request I found your recipe and have made them dozens of times since including last night. Last night my Son’s friends who claim to be fish taco aficionados all said they were the best they had ever had.
    I use Tilopia otherwise I follow your recipe to the letter.

    Thanks to you and my son for turning me on to fish tacos. I am afraid I may never try anyone else’s. I cant imagine how they could be any better than yours.

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef August 11, 2013, 8:41 pm

      This review made my week! I’m so glad my recipe has played such an important role for you and your family. Thank you so much for sharing :)


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