Considering that we live 30 miles from Mexico, one would imagine the Mexican food in San Diego is great! Sadly, it’s not. There’s good Mexican food, but we have yet to find or hear of anything stellar. What San Diego does have, however, is the fish taco, which is served a mile from our apartment at a 24-hour drive-through taco stand. This is important when your husband works until midnight.
Variations on the fish taco include shrimp, calamari, and lobster, which are also lovely. The key points of the Baja-style fish taco: corn tortillas (usually two to prevent leakage), fish (either battered and fried, or grilled), shredded cabbage, then for salsa it’s usually pico de gallo and a creamy dressing.
The fried-versus-grilled difference is the biggest, then the types of salsa used. I’m not one for frying, so my grill pan was my weapon of choice in that battle. As for the salsas, I had some red salsa in the fridge that was tasty, and for my creamy option, I went straight to the source:
For many years I did not like avocados. I thought they were mushy and weird. Then I met a bowl of guacamole and they have been growing on me ever since. Not literally. I just like them now. Some recipes I found called for mashing the avocado and thinning it with some lime juice, but diced was just fine.
For this grand adventure I made my own corn tortillas. I do not have a tortilla press which would have made it easier, but I followed a tip I found online somewhere which was using plastic freezer bags and roll the tortillas out in between layers. That worked really well for me once I got the hang of it after a few tries. The benefit to corn tortillas is that they don’t need any fat in them, it’s just masa harina and water. Next time I’ll mix up a large batch and freeze them for later.
The fish can vary. We’ve had mahi mahi, wahoo, cod, and more. For these I used haddock. Next time I will season the fish a bit better. I was pretty hungry when I made these and didn’t keep very good track of how I cooked the fish, but it wasn’t spectacular.
The fish was cooked in my grill pan then went on the tortilla. I added cabbage (green was handy, red is fine, or both!), a little onion, and the red salsa and avocado. A little squeeze of lime finished it off. Sadly I did not make a margarita to go with the tacos, but it would have been a nice pairing.
That’s all there is to it! A little taste of San Diego wherever you are.
Baja-Style Fish Tacos
Makes 1 taco
2 corn tortillas
grilled or fried fish filet
1/4 cup shredded cabbage
2 tablespoons pico de gallo or other red salsa
1 tablespoon minced onion
2 tablespoons diced avocado
squeeze of lime juice
1.) Warm up corn tortillas in a skillet. Stack on a plate. Fill tortillas with fish, cabbage, onion, avocado, and salsa. Squeeze a wedge of lime over the top. Enjoy!