Fish Tacos

Dear Ron,

You would get thrown out of Baja with that yuppie taco you posted! Yucchhhh, Gag!!!

Mahi Mahi (aka dorado) would be our third or so choice for fish. Most fish tacos here in Mulegé are made with Triggerfish but my favorite is either Cabrilla (a bass), grouper, or halibut. Triggerfish is more readily available and is a little “tougher” so it isn’t “flaky” and won’t break up. We deep fry the fish in oil after coating with a batter similar to tempura. My wife uses beer and flour as the base and then adds “stuff”… but it’s basically tempura. There is also a very good commercially available mix called Capeador that I like. If you use that, use beer as the liquid.

We use mainly corn tortillas- not the yuppie whole wheat types. You can’t even get them here… well maybe a store or two has some old ones out in the back that didn’t sell. Flour tortillas are also used. They have the advantage of being able to wrap or fold better without breaking. Both are warmed on a comal before using.

Anyway, after putting a piece of two of fish (or shrimp or scallops cut in “finger-size” pieces) in the taco, we put like a modified Pico de Gallo salsa on, some finely shredded cabbage if desired, followed by marinated red onion rings and an avocado-based sauce (mashed avocado mixed with a little water, milk or sour cream) and/or a sauce made from a mix of mayonnaise and sour cream. All that is topped with the hot sauce of your choice and a squeeze of limón (key lime) and a dash of salt if desired. Now THAT’S a REAL taco!!! Please note the absence of beans!!!

The “modified” Pico de Gallo is made as follows:

Rick’s Baja Salsa

5 Serrano chilies, more or less to taste
8-10 Roma tomatoes
1/2 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced small
Salt to taste
Fresh cilantro, chopped

On a charcoal grill, blacken the chilies and tomatoes well until skins are charred and the tomatoes are splitting; remove to a bowl as they are ready. Also char the peeled garlic and onions. Remove the stem-end button and hard cores from the tomatoes and the stems from the chilies. Reserve all juices.

With a potato masher, mash the tomatoes but stop while there is still some texture remaining. Chop the chilies and add to the tomatoes. Add the diced onion, garlic, cilantro and salt to taste. Chill and allow flavors to marry.

Serve on or with tacos, tostadas, huevos rancheros, etc.

This salsa is also good just to dip with chips. Please try it and feel free to pass it along if you want.

I make fish tacos with breaded fish sticks and sometimes with tartar sauce, sometimes with ketchup. A little melted cheese (maybe Velveeta) makes them even better. Fry the flour tortillas to soften them. MMMMMMmmm good.

Another good sauce with the fish taco is Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce mixed with sour cream.