Baja Fish Tacos

These Baja Fish Tacos, also known as Ensenada Tacos, are crispy, delicious and very easy to make. Top with a homemade crema, salsa and other toppings. They’re so good, everyone will be asking for more!

I’ll teach you how to make the most amazing crispy beer battered fish tacos and give you a step-by-step tutorial.

Three Baja fish tacos topped with onions, cabbage and chipotle crema. A slice of lime on the side.

Delicious Ensenada Style Tacos

If you landed on this recipe, you’re in for a treat because this baja fish taco recipe is absolutely amazing. Not only is the fish flakey on the inside and perfectly crusted on the outside, but the batter is super flavorful!

These tacos go together perfectly with red pickled onions, chipotle crema, a tasty chile morita salsa, avocado, hot sauce and a drizzle of fresh lime juice. These are must layers for the perfect crispy fish taco.

A baja fish taco topped with onions, cabbage and chipotle crema. A slice of lime on the side.
Baja Fish Taco built with layers of flavor!

Best Beer Batter For Fish

This is a perfect batter. It’s thick, coats the fish nicely, and doesn’t come out overly oily. 

  • For the dry ingredients all you need is: all purpose flour, baking powder, garlic powder, salt & pepper.
  • Wet ingredients: 1 egg and beer. For the best flavor, avoid using a light or dark beer. Somewhere in the middle is best.

** Be sure to see the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions!

The dry ingredients for the batter in a bowl with a beer next to it.
Ingredients for Beer Batter For Fish Tacos
What’s the best kind of fish for Fish Tacos?

Any type of white firm fish is the best kind for frying with batter. I recommend cod, tilapia or snapper. Make sure the fillets are not thicker than 1 inch.

A stack of fish strips on a plate seasoned with salt and pepper.
Use a white firm fish for Ensenada style tacos.

How to Make Baja Fish Tacos

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, garlic powder and pepper. Add the beer and egg and whisk until smooth. Add more beer if needed, until batter has the consistency of thick pancake batter. 
  2.  Pat the fish fillets dry with paper towels. Cut pieces lengthwise into 1-inch thick strips. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Heat oil in a large deep skillet to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). To test if it’s hot enough, add a drop of the batter into the oil; if it sizzles when you drop it in, it’s ready.

A fish strip dipped in the batter.

4. Using a pair of tongs, dip the fish pieces into the batter to coat; lift out and let excess drip off.

5. Fry fish in batches (do not crowd the pan) until golden brown, turning occasionally if needed, 3 to 4 minutes. It’s ready when the flesh is easily flaked with a fork.

6. Drain on paper towels.

7. Make the tacos: On a hot corn tortilla, add about 2 tablespoons of crema, layer with shredded cabbage, add a piece of fish, pickled onions, avocado, hot sauce and lime juice. Sprinkle cilantro for extra flavor. Enjoy hot!

🍽 Serving Suggestions

The beer batter on this fish tacos recipe is so flavorful. It’s great to just savor the flavor. They go better with simple side dishes (if any) like Mexican white rice, elote asado or some kind of vegetable for balance.

Also try with Calabacitas, Ensalada De Coditos, or Spicy Potatoes. For the full list check out my Best Sides For Fish Tacos post!

Two plates with fish tacos and pickled onions on the side.

Make Ahead!

Before you start making the tacos, there are a few things to prepare that are essential for an amazing taco. As you know, tacos are built on layers of flavors and here I’m going to show the MUST components.

To simplify your taco making experience, I suggest you prepare a few things ahead to save time before the meal:

  1. Make these Red Pickled Onions. Do this at least 8 to 24 hours ahead.
  2. Make the crema the day before: these Baja Fish Tacos go great with this Chipotle Crema or this Cilantro Lime Ranch Crema.
  3. The morning of, shred cabbage finely. TIP! If shredding it ahead of time, place it in a container with cold water in the fridge. This will keep it crispy until it’s ready to use. Drain the water prior to using.
Chef's Hat Icon.

Chef’s Tips & Important Notes

  • Prepare ahead. As mentioned above, prepare ahead all of your components for the tacos.
  • Change things up. Use the same batter to make shrimp tacos! You can serve fish and shrimp tacos at the same time.
  • The beer. Use a beer with a big taste like Dos Equis or Modelo. It truly affects the taste of the batter.
  • Avoid the batter sticking to the pan! – To avoid a mess in your pan, make sure the oil is very hot. To test it, add a drop of the batter into the oil; if it sizzles when you drop it in, it’s ready. Also, you may want to use a nonstick pan and jostle the fish around a little before flipping it to ensure that it’s not sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Three Baja fish tacos topped with onions, cabbage and chipotle crema. A slice of lime on the side.


How to Store Leftover Fish

  • Refrigerate – Place in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze – I really doubt you’ll have leftovers, but if you do, you can store them in the freezer for up to three months. Freeze in an airtight plastic container or freezer plastic bag. When ready to use, take out and let thaw in the refrigerator.
  • Reheat – The best method to reheat battered fish is the oven:
    • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
    • Place the fish on a baking sheet in a single layer. Cover with foil to keep them crispy.
    • Bake for 5 to 6 minutes and uncover. Bake for 5 more minutes or until heated through. 
    • Serve and enjoy! 

FAQs

I cannot have beer, can I substitute with something else?

Yes you can! Try another bubbly drink like ginger ale or a non alcoholic beer.

Can I use flour tortillas instead of corn?

You can use flour tortillas for the fish tacos if you don’t have corn tortillas. Try to find the smaller ones to make the perfect taco.

Can I use frozen fish?

If you don’t have access to fresh fish, you can definitely use store bought frozen fish. It’s just as nutritious as the fresh kind according to the Natural Fisheries Institute. As soon as the fish is harvested, they are packed to preserve the nutritional value, moisture, and taste.

Three tacos on a white plate topped with onions, cabbage and chipotle crema. A slice of lime on the side.

💫 If you make this recipe be sure to leave a rating in the comments below. You can also tag me on Instagram at @anafriasb.🙏

Three Baja fish tacos topped with onions, cabbage and chipotle crema. A slice of lime on the side.

Baja Fish Tacos Recipe

Servings 16 tacos
Ana Frias
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins
These Baja Fish Tacos, also known as Ensenada Tacos, are crispy, delicious and very easy to make. Top with a homemade crema, salsa and other toppings. They’re so good, everyone will be asking for more!

Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Large & deep nonstick frying pan
16 tacos

Ingredients
  

For the beer batter
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 8 to 10 ounces beer (don't use a light or dark beer)
  • 1 pound fish (like tilapia or cod)
  • vegetable oil for frying (sunflower, avocado or peanut oil will also work)

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, garlic powder and pepper.
    2 cups all purpose flour, 1½ tablespoon baking powder, 1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, ½ tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
  • Add the beer and egg and whisk until smooth. Add more beer if needed, until batter has the consistency of thick pancake batter. 
  • Pat the fish fillets dry with paper towels. Cut pieces lengthwise into 1-inch thick strips. Season with salt and pepper.
    1 large egg, 8 to 10 ounces beer (don't use a light or dark beer)
  • Heat oil in a large deep skillet to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). To test if it’s hot enough, add a drop of the batter into the oil; if it sizzles when you drop it in, it’s ready.
  • Using a pair of tongs, dip the fish pieces into the batter to coat; lift out and let excess drip off.
  • Fry fish in batches (do not crowd the pan) until golden brown, turning occasionally if needed, 3 to 4 minutes. It’s ready when the flesh is easily flaked with a fork.
  • Drain on paper towels.
  • Make the tacos: On a hot corn tortilla, add about 2 tablespoons of crema, layer with shredded cabbage, add a piece of fish, pickled onions, avocado, hot sauce and lime juice. Sprinkle cilantro for extra flavor. Enjoy hot!

*Ana’s Notes:

  • Prepare ahead. As mentioned above, prepare ahead all of your components for the tacos.
  • Change things up. Use the same batter to make shrimp tacos! You can serve fish and shrimp tacos at the same time.
  • The beer. Use a beer with a big taste like Dos Equis or Modelo. It truly affects the taste of the batter.
  • Avoid the batter sticking to the pan! – To avoid a mess in your pan, make sure the oil is very hot. To test it, add a drop of the batter into the oil; if it sizzles when you drop it in, it’s ready. Also, you may want to use a nonstick pan and jostle the fish around a little before flipping it to ensure that it’s not sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Note on calories: Calorie count does not include tortillas or toppings. 

ADD YOUR OWN PRIVATE NOTES

Whenever you come back to this recipe, you’ll be able to see your notes.

NUTRITION

Serving: 1taco | Calories: 183kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 233mg | Potassium: 4mg

The nutritional information and US conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data. If this is important to you, please verify with your favourite nutrition calculator and/or unit conversion tool.

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Recipe Rating




8 Comments

  1. The first time I made this it was perfect! I made it again today and the batter came out more fluffy, like a corndog, than crispy. Can you tell me what you think went wrong? Thanks!

    1. Hi Liat! So sorry for the late reply! Did you use the same type and brand of beer? I can’t think of anything else that would make it super fluffy. So sorry to hear that! I hope they were still good!

  2. 5 stars
    We were gifted a small filet of cod by our fisherman neighbor and this seemed like the perfect way to stretch the portion. The tacos came out absolutely delicious and even our 3-year-old son ate almost 2 (mostly plain) tacos. We combined mayo and ketchup for an in-a-pinch dressing.

  3. 5 stars
    Wow! Another winner that I’ll surely make!

    Love all the tips and insights! Great photos and tutorials!

    You rock!