In recent years, fish tacos have become a popular street food and restaurant dish in the US and other parts of the world, with many putting their own spin on the classic recipe. However, the original fish tacos estilo Ensenada remain a beloved and iconic dish that captures the spirit of Mexico, most importantly, Baja California's coastal cuisine.
In case you are not familiar with them them yet, we are going to make you crave some fresh tacos right now: this culinary marvel consists of a piece of fish coated a tempura-style coat and placed on a warm corn tortilla topped with cabbage, pico de gallo -tomato, onion, chopped chili-, lemon and more sauces. Are you ready to try them?
Let's Taco About the Ensenada Style Fish Taco:
Fish tacos estilo Ensenada are a type of taco that originated in the coastal city of Ensenada, in Baja California, Mexico. Although there are various versions about who invented this delicacy, the specific person or restaurant has never been officially established, but it is believed to have originated in the 1960s.
According to one story, Don Mario, a fisherman who was better known by his nickname, "Bachihualato," was selling carne asada tacos on the dock. He was frequently asked to make deep frying freshly caught fish. One day, he decided to indulge and start selling the angelito or Pacific angel shark. Bachihualato's tacos quickly became popular dish.
Bachihualato then looked for a way to keep the fish from sticking to the pan. So he started using flour and eventually a batter made of flour and beer similar to tempura batter, which was probably inspired by the Japanese population that migrated to Mexico, particularly Baja California, during the twentieth century. This turned out to be a hit with his customers, who loved the combination of crispy fish, fresh toppings, and warm tortillas.
Over time, fish tacos became increasingly popular in Ensenada and beyond, and they're now considered a quintessential part of Baja cuisine. Today, you can find fish tacos estilo Ensenada all over Mexico and in many parts of the United States, often served with shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, and a squeeze of lime.
Get ready to transport your taste buds to the sunny beaches of Ensenada with this mouthwatering Mexican Fish Taco recipe! Bursting with fresh flavors and a touch of spice, these tacos are the perfect way to satisfy your craving for something deliciously different. So, grab your apron and get ready to dive into this culinary adventure – your taste buds will thank you!
- 1 lb. firm white fish (such as cod, halibut, or tilapia)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1 cup cold beer (use sparkling water if you don’t want to use alcohol, but make sure it is carbonated)
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Corn Tortillas (you can make your own tortillas for a fresher taste, check out the recipe here)
- Shredded cabbage
- Pico de gallo (chopped tomatoes, onions, and cilantro)
- Lime, sliced in wedges
- Mexican crema or sour cream
- Cut the fish into strips that are about 1-inch wide and 4 inches long.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, paprika, cumin, and black pepper.
- Gradually whisk in the cold beer until the batter is smooth and free of lumps.
- In a large, deep skillet, heat about 1 inch of vegetable oil over medium-high heat until hot, but not smoking (about 375°F).
- Dip the fish strips into the batter, shaking off any excess, and carefully place them in the hot oil. Fry the fish, turning occasionally, until golden brown and crispy, about 2-3 minutes per side.
- Remove the fish from the oil and drain on paper towels.
- Heat the corn tortillas in a dry skillet or on a griddle until they're warm and pliable.
- To assemble the tacos, place a few pieces of fried fish in each tortilla, and top with shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, and a dollop of Mexican crema or sour cream. Squeeze some lime juice over the top.
- Serve the tacos hot, with extra lime wedges and hot sauce on the side.
Quick Pico de gallo recipe:
- Dice 2 tomatoes into small pieces and place them in a bowl.
- Finely chop ½ an onion and add it to the bowl.
- Dice 1 jalapeño peppers (or use serrano if you want it spicier). Start by cutting them in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and finely chop it. Add it to the bowl.
- Chop a handful of cilantro (about 1/8th of a cup). Add to the bowl.
- Cut a lime in half and squeeze the juice over the ingredients in the bowl.
- Season with a pinch of salt.
- Stir everything together until well combined.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.
Tips, advice, and suggestions
- Try using spices like paprika, cumin, parsley, or chicken bouillon to the mix together with the salt and pepper, it will surely highlight the flavors!
- You can use any type of salsa to top these tacos! Our favorite one is chipotle mayo, but you can add any other salsa to enhance the flavor, we suggest a salsa macha
- Try adding a layer of Guacamole on the bottom
If you are looking for more authentic taco recipes, be sure to check out our blog “Let's Taco 'Bout It!” where we share three more taco recipes! Also, don't forget to check out our Mexican Kitchen section where we bring you the best artisanal items to serve your delicious recipes, including molcajetes, trays, tortilleros, and so much more!
So, what do you think? Is this a recipe you will be trying soon? Is there any other recipe you would like for us to share with you all? Let us know in the comments below, we would love to hear from you!
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