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.

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.

Baja Fish Tacos

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!

Baja Fish Tacos

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.

Baja Fish Tacos

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!
Author:
Recipe type: Easy
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • FOR THE PICO DE GALLO (SALSA):
  • 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
  • FOR THE CREAMY WHITE DILL SAUCE:
  • 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
  • FOR THE FISH:
  • 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
Instructions
  1. FOR THE PICO DE GALLO (SALSA):
  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.
  4. FOR THE CREAMY WHITE DILL SAUCE:
  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.
  7. FOR 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.

Comments

  1. Bill says

    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.

  2. Dean says

    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.

  3. Kathy Buchanan says

    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!

  4. Heather says

    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 :)

  5. Linh says

    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. :)

  6. says

    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!

  7. says

    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!

  8. says

    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

    • says

      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!

  9. Patti says

    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.

  10. Jess says

    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!

  11. Fritz says

    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!

  12. Jules says

    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!

  13. Brooke says

    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!

  14. Kelley says

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

  15. Lisa says

    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?

  16. Katherine says

    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!

  17. Terri says

    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.

  18. says

    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!

  19. says

    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.

    • says

      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.

  20. says

    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!

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