by Chris CollardPhotography by Chris Collard

The Baja peninsula extends south from the U.S. border like an 800-mile-long treble hook, its business ends jutting west into the Pacific and east along the Sea of Cortez. With 3,000-plus miles of coastline, punctuated with marine-rich bays and estuaries, it is only natural for the region to boast some of the best seafood on the planet. Topping that list of south-of-the-border delicacies is Baja’s world-famous fish taco. You don’t need a two-week vacation and your passport to indulge in the peninsula’s signature dish. Make a quick run to the pescadaria (fish market), grab a cerveza and fry up a plate of tacos de pescado.

 

Menu

  • Starter ~ Tortilla chips, salsa and guacamole
  • Dinner ~ Tacos de pescado (serve with rice and refried beans)
  • Beverage ~ Cold cerveza, mojito, margarita
  • Dessert ~ One sandy beach, a brilliant Baja sunset and another choice from the “beverage” list

 

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds fresh fish (yellowtail tuna from local pescadores (fishermen) if possible)
  • Fresh corn tortillas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • 1 lb flour
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tomato
  • ¼ head fresh cabbage
  • ½ yellow onion
  • 2 limes
  • Tapatío hot sauce
  • Garlic powder, salt and pepper
  • Corn or Olive oil

 

Tacos de Pescado

Serves: 4-5 | Time: 20 minutes | Equipment: 8-inch skillet, single-burner stove, mixing and serving bowls

 

To acclimate yourself and guests for Baja’s trademark dish, pull a few cervezas from the cooler, fill two bowls with guacamole and salsa, and open a bag of tortilla chips. Begin your south of the border culinary adventure with preparing the white mystery sauce. Mix mayonnaise, yogurt, a dash of garlic, and two tablespoons of milk in a bowl. Set aside. Dice onions and tomato, thinly slice cabbage, and cut limes into wedges; place fresh ingredients to the side in separate bowls. Combine remaining milk with two eggs; mix thoroughly and set aside. Fill a shallow plate with ¼ inch of flour, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

 

Pull your catch-of-the-day from the cooler, rinse and slice into strips (about the size of a roll of quarters).

 

Fill skillet with .375 inches oil, add one drop of water. Preheat oil until water boils off the top (signaling the oil is ready). One at a time, dip fish fillets in the egg mixture. Give them a good roll in the flour and place in the skillet using tongs. Repeat process until there is no more real estate in the bottom of your pan. Cook each fillet for 90 seconds, or until golden brown on the bottom. Turn over and cook for an additional 60 seconds—again, until golden brown.

 

Remove from skillet and place briefly on a paper towel to absorb dripping oil; then on slightly warmed tortilla. Add small amounts freshly chopped vegies; douse with white sauce, and add a squeeze of lime and Tapatío to taste. Serve three at a time. Rice, refried beans, tortilla chips and salsa are appropriate accouterments.

 

Grab a cerveza de Dos Equis (Amber) and feast on a true south-of-the-border delicacy. Don’t forget the sandy beach and Baja sunset.

 

The Baja Fish Taco

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About the Author: Chris Collard