baja fish tacos

by Stacy

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.

baja fish tacos

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 fish tacos

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!

baja fish tacos

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenn April 14, 2010 at 12:40 am

yum! what a bright and fresh dish! Beautiful job on the tortillas!!!


Kate April 14, 2010 at 5:20 am

Looks delicious! I tried making some a few weekends ago but went the fried route –> not so good. We make our tortillas the same way, though last time I mixed in regular flour with the masa harina, and it made the tortillas a bit more pliable for us.


stacy April 14, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Frying scares me a bit. I’m not a big fan of greasy foods so I’m nervous to mess it up. Good idea to mix in a little flour! Once I really got the water/masa ratio right it worked really well. I am thinking about doing a corn tortilla post now that I’ve made them a few times.


Amie April 14, 2010 at 11:56 am

Looks great! I’ve been hankering (lol, when’s the last time I used that word? probably never) to take a stab at fish tacos, and this might make me just go for it.



stacy April 14, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Appropriate, since I totally had a hankering for fish tacos when I made these. =)

I’ve been meaning to make them for a while and it took me about five months to actually take the plunge.


Mimi April 14, 2010 at 2:08 pm

OMG, yum! Great looking tacos! I love how thin you got your tortillas. They look delicious.


Kimberly April 14, 2010 at 7:06 pm

The corn tortillas look awesome. Can’t wait to see your post.

I have to say though that I’ve long thought that “fish” and “taco” are two words that don’t belong anywhere near each other :)


stacy April 16, 2010 at 1:33 am

I was pleased with them and look forward to epic huevos rancheros in my future.

Oh, Kimberly. Even Angela tried them and she doesn’t like fish! The obvious answer is that you need to come and visit. =D


WhiteStone April 15, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Oh, My! You’re making me miss the fish tacos we used to eat in Oceanside.


Herpie April 15, 2010 at 9:50 pm

For a second I thought avocados were literally growing on you. A trip to California would have been necessary to save you from your delicious growths


Memoria April 17, 2010 at 5:20 pm

These tacos look amazing. I’ve yet to try fish tacos, but I’ve always wanted to eat them. I am glad you made your own tortillas. They are so easy to do and taste so good!


Cari April 17, 2010 at 9:25 pm

These look fresh and abolutely delicious! I’d love to feature it on my site with full links and credits to you if you are keen. Please let me know!


Gina Schmidt April 18, 2010 at 10:02 am

I’m from San Diego too and I love the fish tacos – my favorite are probably from Rubio’s even though that can be considered fast food. I have made them at home before (always grilled) but I have never made my own tortillas, kudos! Thanks for the great recipe, can’t wait to try it!


stacy April 18, 2010 at 3:56 pm

For the sake of research I have been eating fish tacos at various and sundry locations around town (it’s been rough, but some sacrifices must be made), and Rubio’s tacos are pretty dang good. My friend insists that the best ones are at Yogi’s in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, but we haven’t made it up there yet. Also tasty are those from Marisco’s German Taco Truck — $1 each!

Now that I have several pounds of masa I am more motivated to make tortillas again. =)


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