Atlantic Baja-Style Fish Tacos

We recently received a request from a landlocked friend somewhere in the mysterious Midwest, desperate for a good fish taco recipe. While we have certainly eaten fish tacos and made fish tacos (next time we’re on the subject, we’ll tell you more about the super-pink tuna and wasabi mayo version we crafted once), where we lived in Mexico (despite the close-enough-to-feel-the-salt-spray Gulf of Mexico and myriad cement fishing boats bobbing in the waves) didn’t specialize in the Baja-style fish tacos that we, and I think everyone, like best. They eat a lot of octopus in Yucatan. Our “Atlantic” Baja-style fish tacos use haddock, but you can substitute any flaky, semi-firm white fish (like cod or tilapia) that you have near you.

This is not a light lunch. There is a reason you typically eat these delicious calorie bombs after a day of swimming and getting pounded by surf. And as lovely as it is here right now, a part of me longs for an ice-cold Pacifico, the siren call of “COCO!”, and all the loud, pungent, colorful mess of Mexico. These fish tacos transport me there, if only for a moment; it is a welcome vacation of the mind.

Atlantic Baja-Style Fish Tacos

Makes 6 to 8 tacos


  • 1 cup dark beer
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 lbs. haddock fillet, cut into 1-in. wide strips
  • Peanut oil (for frying)
  • 1 small red cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Juice from two limes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons canned chipotle chiles, rinsed and seeded
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup pickle relish
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • Lime wedges


  1. Whisk beer, flour, and salt in a medium bowl until well blended. In a deep fryer or deep frying pan, heat oil to 360 degrees. Dip each piece of fish in batter and drain excess. Slide fish slowly into oil, a few pieces at a time, and cook until golden brown, turning if needed, about 4 minutes per batch. Transfer cooked fish to drain on paper towels.
  2. In a separate bowl, toss cabbage, cilantro, lime juice, vegetable oil, and jalapeno until evenly coated and set aside.
  3. In a blender or food processor, combine chipotle chilies, mayonnaise, pickle relish, and onion and blend until smooth.
  4. To assemble each taco, stack two warm tortillas, and top with a piece or two of fish. Top with a spoonful of slaw, and serve with chipotle tartar sauce on the side, with plenty of lime wedges to squeeze over the top.
Jillian Bedell

Jillian Bedell is a writer and mother living in a farmhouse in Cushing, Maine. She is very good at talking about herself in the third person. She is co-author of Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road.


  1. that looks effing awesome, guys. whenever i want fish tacos, this is what i want, but haven’t found any in portland that come close to how this looks.

  2. Once we’ve found a good source for Pacific cod, I want to make these (although we won’t fry them because that’s a PITA for us). But I want to try your cabbage slaw.

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