Baja Fish Tacos: this lighter version of classic Baja fish tacos skips the battering and deep frying for a delicious spice rub and baking, making them just as delicious with a fraction of the calories. And that avocado cream sauce…yum!
Growing up in San Diego meant eating a lot of fish tacos, particularly the Baja variety! And I am a huge fan. However, these days I have to be a little more careful about how much battered and deep fried foods I eat. In order to still get my Baja fish taco fix without all the calories, I have created this lightened version where the fish is rubbed with a variety of tasty spices, then baked for a lighter version of this classic favorite.
Lightened up Baja Fish Tacos
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If you love Taco Tuesday, or taco any day of the week, like me, these Baja Fish Tacos are for you!
Choosing Your Fish
A great Baja Fish Tacos starts with great fish. And for these, where there is no batter or breading to hide the flavor, choosing the right fish for you is really important. You can use pretty much any white fish you want. In fact, the best thing you can do is find out what you can get freshest, or at least inexpensively. Snapper, mahi mahi, grouper, flounder, halibut or cod, wild, local fish are the tastiest choice for Baja-style tacos.
Which is your favorite? Use that!
The fish can be a little expensive, but remember with tacos a little goes a long way.
Most white fish is fairly mild in flavor, so you want to use this spice rub to give it a boost without hiding those naturally delicious notes in the fish. These tacos are not going to be “fishy” tasting, but rather the fish will carry the flavors and enhance them.
Since these fillets should be the star of the show with these tacos, you want to keep the toppings simple with some pico, some cabbage, guacamole, etc. so the mild flavor of these fish can really shine through.
But these tacos would not be complete without this decadent avocado cream sauce. It is super easy to make in your food processor, or blender. And is good on just about everything. But a little bit of this takes these tacos from ordinary to extraordinary in no time.
Once you have cooked your fish and made your avocado cream sauce, the next step to taking these up a notch is to add some crunch. With traditional Baja fish tacos, you have a battered and fried fish, so you get some crunch from the fried coating. But because these are not fried, and the fish is not battered, crisping up your tortilla shells is critical to getting the complete package with these tacos.
Take a second to pan fry your tortillas. A little oil, a little salt, and then fill those babies up, top with the sauce, and maybe a squeeze of lime. And woah! Baja Fish Taco heaven.
Tips for Baja Fish Tacos:
- Cut your fish before seasoning. Cut your fish into 1-2 inch pieces and then season it. This will help you get seasoning on all sides, and lead to a better tasting taco.
- Top with your favorites. A little cabbage, a little pico, a little guac, and you get a delicious combo. But skip what you do not like.
- Crisp up your tortillas. Charring them over some flame, or pan frying them to add a little crunch and a deeper flavor goes a long way. They aren’t just the vehicle for the food, but part of the meal experience.
- Eat fresh. You can make your components ahead of time, but remember for the best flavor, assemble just before serving so nothing gets soggy!
Other Delicious Fish Recipes:
Baja Fish Tacos
- 1 1/2 lbs halibut mahi mahi or firm white fish of choice
- ½ tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Chili powder
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Garlic powder
- ¼ tsp Cayenne
- ½ tsp Coriander
- 12 corn tortillas
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
Avocado Cream Sauce
- 1/2 cup low fat sour cream
- 1/2 cup avocado mayonnaise or mayo of choice
- ½ cup avocado approx 1 large or 2 small avocados
- 1 Tbs lime juice
- 2 Tbs cilantro
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 cup Pico de Gallo
- 1- 1 ½ cups shredded green and purple cabbage mixed
- lime juice
- hot sauce
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Cut fish into 1-2 inch pieces, and place in a single layer on a sheet pan, then set aside
- In a small bowl, mix together seasonings with a fork until well combined, then sprinkle over the fish.
- Bake fish for 10-12 minutes until fully cooked.
- Meanwhile, mix together your Avocado Cream sauce by putting everything in a food processor or blender, and blending until smooth.
- Place sauce in refrigerator until ready to use.
- When fish is finished cooking, remove from oven.
- When ready to serve tacos, pan fry your tortillas by heating 1 tsp of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat, lightly salt the oil, then place your tortillas in the oil, and cook for 15-20 seconds per side, so they are starting to brown, but are still pliable, not crispy. Then set on a paper towel lined plate.
- To assemble tacos:
- Add fish to tortillas, 1-2 pieces per taco, and top with shredded cabbage, Pico de Gallo, freshly squeezed lime juice and a generous amount of avocado cream sauce.
- Garnish with hot sauce if you like a kick, and extra cilantro!
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