Fish tacos are a popular treat in Baja California, Mexico from where the dish made its way into San Diego and points further north. I love fish tacos. More often than not, it’s what I order when we eat at a Mexican restaurant.
Traditional fish tacos are made with a beer-battered fish that is deep fried, then served with plain shredded cabbage and a white sauce. My version breaks with tradition in that the fish is baked instead of fried which I realize may offend some of the true fish taco aficionados out there, but it’s much healthier for you and is just as delicious. I also lightly dress my cabbage to make a slaw. Fish tacos are usually served with lime wedges on the side but since my slaw is already pretty “lime-y”, I think the additional lime is unnecessary. You could serve them with a sweet mango or pineapple salsa on the side instead. And don’t forget the Baja cream sauce which is so yummy and gives the tacos that zing! Grab an ice cold bottle of Dos Equis and you’ll feel like you’re on vacation in the Mexican peninsula!
CRISPY FISH TACOS
- 1½ lbs. cod, snapper, tilapia, or any firm-fleshed white fish
- 8 small corn tortillas
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ½ tsp. cumin
- ½ tsp. ground coriander
- ½ tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. salt
- panko bread crumbs
- additional salt and pepper to taste
- Cut fish fillets into 3-ounce pieces.
- Combine buttermilk, cumin, coriander, oregano and 1 teaspoon salt in a baking pan.
- Toss fish in buttermilk mixture, cover and place in refrigerator to marinate for 1 to 3 hours, turning occasionally.
- Place about a cup of panko in a shallow bowl or pie plate and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove fish from marinade and roll in panko bread crumbs.
- Arrange in single layer on a baking sheet.
- Spray lightly with Pam.
- Bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
- ½ small head of cabbage, finely shredded
- 2 tbsp. light mayonnaise
- juice of half a lime
- 2 tbsp. minced cilantro leaves
- ¼ tsp. salt
- Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Place in refrigerator until ready to use.
BAJA CREAM SAUCE
- ½ cup light mayonnaise
- ½ cup fat free sour cream
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- ¼ cup lightly packed cilantro leaves, minced
- 2 tsp. sriracha sauce (add more if you want it spicier)
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl until well blended.
TO ASSEMBLE FISH TACOS
- Steam tortillas or wrap them in a damp cloth or paper towel and microwave for 10 to 15 seconds.
- Place a bed of slaw down the center of a tortilla.
- Top with a piece of fish.
- Drizzle with cream sauce.
- Fold tortilla over and serve with rice, beans or salsa on the side.