Mely's Baja Fish Tacos

"Some people add egg to their batter, but I like to keep it simple: just flour, beer, and some spices. And I always top the whitefish with something crunchy and a creamy sauce," says cookbook author and blogger Mely Martinez.

Mely's Baja Fish Tacos
Photo: Carson Downing
Hands On Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
45 mins


  • 1 pound cod, halibut, or other white fish

  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour

  • ½ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano or marjoram, crushed

  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to season

  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to season

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 cup light beer

  • 1 ½ cup vegetable oil

  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced

  • ½ cup chopped white onion

  • 2 fresh serrano peppers, (seeded and deveined if desired), diced

  • cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • 2 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lime juice

  • ½ cup Mexican crema or sour cream

  • cup mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoon water or milk (optional)

  • 12 corn tortillas, warmed

  • 1 ½ cup finely shredded cabbage

  • Lime wedges, salsa verde, and/or red salsa


  1. Cut the fish across the grain into 1-inch strips. Season with kosher salt and black pepper. In a dish place 1/2 cup of the flour. Dredge fish in flour to coat.

  2. In a medium bowl combine the remaining 1 cup flour, the oregano, garlic powder, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Pour a small amount of the beer into the flour mixture, whisking as you pour and adding enough (up to 1 cup) to make a batter similar to pancake batter.

  3. In a large frying pan or Dutch oven heat the vegetable oil over medium-high. Once oil is hot, and working in batches, dip a few pieces of fish in batter, gently shake over the bowl to let excess drip off, then carefully drop into oil. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Flip; cook an additional 2 minutes. Transfer fish to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with remaining fish.

  4. For pico de gallo: In a medium bowl combine tomatoes, onion, serranos, and cilantro. Add 2 Tbsp. lime juice and kosher salt to taste.

  5. In a small bowl stir together crema, mayonnaise, and the remaining 1 tsp. lime juice. Season with 1/8 tsp. each salt and pepper. If desired, add 1 to 2 Tbsp. water to make a drizzling consistency.

  6. Top tortillas with fish, cabbage, pico de gallo, and a drizzle of the crema mixture. Serve with lime wedges and/or salsa. Serves 4.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

695 Calories
30g Fat
71g Carbs
30g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 695
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 30g 38%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 76mg 25%
Sodium 652mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 71g 26%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 30g
Vitamin C 26.7mg 134%
Calcium 77mg 6%
Iron 3.9mg 22%
Potassium 757mg 16%
Folate, total 114.8mcg
Vitamin B-12 1mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.4mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Related Articles