Fish Taco Recipe

Favorite Fish Taco with Baja Sauce

Favorite Restaurant Taco Recipe

Looking for a simple, but really yummy Fish Taco Recipe with a white sauce, sometimes called a Baja Sauce? Congratulations - you found it!

In Mexico, the word taco generally means sandwich. A taco is simply a tortilla wrapped around a filling.

Fill a tortilla with almost anything and you have a sandwich - oops, I mean a taco. Anything that can be rolled inside a tortilla becomes a taco.

What usually goes in a taco varies from region to region in Mexico. A taco is frequently made with a soft corn tortilla or a fried corn tortilla, although flour tortillas are now gaining in popularity. That is what this fish taco recipe calls for. And a taco can be an entree or just a snack.

The people in the coastal areas of Mexico have been eating fish tacos for seemingly thousands of years. The people of Ensenada say their port town is the birth place of the fish taco recipe of today. The best place to sample them is at the small food stands around the Mercado Negro, Ensenada’s fish market.

Fish tacos were popularized in the United States by Ralph Rubio, who first tasted them in Baja, Mexico. As it is told Ralph Rubio acquired a recipe from a local fish taco vendor and then he opened up a restaurant in San Diego in 1983 called Rubio's - Home of the Fish Taco. Today, fish tacos are on numerous menus throughout San Diego and the Southwest. Fish tacos are a signature dish of San Diego.

Once you try a really good fish taco recipe like this one, you'll understand their popularity.

What kind of fish do you use to create a delicious fish taco? Most people will tell you to use a firm white fish like shark or mahi mahi. I prefer using cod or halibut or snapper because of availability and because the restaurant customers and I seem to like these fish better than some others.

The fact is, you can use a variety of seafood with this recipe, including catfish, haddock, flounder, shrimp, crab or even salmon.

How do you prepare the fish? There are two basic ways I am familiar with. Often the fish is dipped in a batter similar to a tempura and then fried. It is very good prepared this way. The other way, as in this fish taco recipe, is to coat the fish in an egg wash and then Japanese bread crumbs (Panko). This way is also delicious and is easy to prepare.

One of the keys to pleasing the people you cook fish tacos for is to provide a variety of excellent tasting toppings or condiments for the fish tacos and then allowing those you are cooking for to choose their own. One very important complement to a fish taco is a fish sauce often referred to as Baja sauce. Again, the sauce can be prepared in a variety of ways and I have included a fantastic version of the sauce below.

Other condiments you'll want to consider serving are cabbage or lettuce, salsas, taco sauce, guacamole, peppers, and wedges of limes or lemons. In Mexico, you'll find cabbage is normally an ingredient in the taco rather than lettuce. Cabbage tastes good, for sure, but the other reason it is used so much is that it holds up longer than lettuce in the Mexican heat.

This fish taco recipe is a quick and easy recipe everyone will enjoy. Remember, making a taco like making a sandwich. It's all in the assembly.

What else to serve with this fish taco recipe? You have a number of options but I like warmed black beans, and / or spicy coleslaw.

Fish Taco Recipe

Favorite Restaurant Fish Recipe

Preparation time: 15-20 minutes. Makes 12 tacos.


  • Twelve 6 inch flour or corn tortillas (the restaurant guests seem to prefer flour tortillas)
  • Canola oil, as needed to fry the fish
  • Twenty-four 1 ounce pieces of fish (cod, halibut - your choice), lightly breaded (1 1/2 pounds total) (Leave fish in 3 ounce pieces if desired)
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage, romaine, iceberg or baby wild greens
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups of Japanese bread crumbs (Panko)
  • Baja sauce (recipe below)





  • Wrap tortillas in foil and warm in low oven
  • Cut fish into 1 ounce pieces
  • Using 3 separate pie pans (foil pans are fine), place two cups of flour in one pan, 2 beaten eggs in another and 2 cups of Panko in the third
  • Roll each piece of fish in the flour and place on a piece of wax paper
  • Dip each piece of fish in the egg and place on a rack to allow excess egg to drip off
  • Roll each piece of fish in the bread crumbs and place on a new piece of wax paper
  • Heat oil to hot (350 degrees F) in a large skillet or wok and then fry fish in batches until golden brown (do not crowd fish in pan while frying)
  • Place fried fish in a pan and hold in 200 degree F oven to keep warm as you finish frying all the fish
  • Remove warm tortillas from oven
  • Spread 1/2 ounce (or to taste) Baja sauce on one side of tortillas
  • Place 2-3 pieces of fish (if cut into small pieces) in center of each tortilla and top with shredded cabbage or lettuce
  • Plate the fish tortillas and allow those who you are serving to add the condiments they prefer

A bowl of warm black beans and / or spicy cole slaw should be on the table as well.

Baja Sauce


  • 12 ounces mayonnaise
  • 12 ounces sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups cilantro leaves
  • 6 jalapenos, seeded and chopped (remember to wear disposable latex gloves)
  • 3 avocados, pitted and pulp extracted
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice


  • In a food processor, blend cilantro and jalapenos
  • Add remaining ingredients and blend
  • Keep refrigerated until serving

Enjoy your fish taco recipe and your Baja sauce and the company of those you share then with! - Donna

Did you know? The original sense of the word "taco" is of a "plug" or "wad" used to fill a hole (your stomach?).

Tacos de pescado ("fish tacos") originated in Baja California in Mexico, where they consist of grilled or fried fish, lettuce or cabbage, pico de gallo, and a sour cream or citrus/mayonnaise sauce.