• All you need to complete tacos de pescado is a pitcher of margarita. (Sharyn Cairns)Source: Sharyn Cairns

The key here is not to put too much filling in your fish taco so you can roll it. Then all you'll need is a pitcher of Margarita






Skill level

Average: 3.5 (317 votes)

Fish tacos are now the quintessential taste of California but originally, they came from "Bajar California" (the northern-most state of Mexico). During the last 10 years, the recipe for fish tacos has evolved, now using California's freshest ingredients while still capitalising on influences from south of the border.


  • 10 flour or corn tortillas

For the fish marinade

  • 5 firm white fish filets, boneless (snapper is good)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) fresh lime juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1 tsp of cayenne pepper or mild chilli powder

For the cabbage salad

  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped coriander
  • 2 cups freshly shredded white cabbage

For the Baha sauce

  • 240 g (1 cup) light sour cream
  • 100 g (⅓ cup) plain yoghurt
  • ½ tsp mild chilli powder, or to taste 
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • pinch of salt

For the chipotle salsa fresca

  • 1 cup chopped red tomato
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 3 chipotle chillies, minced (or use 1 minced jalapeno)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup chopped coriander 
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • pinch of cumin
  • sea salt

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time 30 minutes

Resting time 10 minutes

Place the fish fillets in a large, shallow dish and brush with olive oil. Pour over lime juice, a sprinkle of salt, chopped coriander and half of the cayenne pepper. Allow the marinade to infuse the fish for 30 minutes – 2 hours in the fridge.

In the meantime, toss together the cabbage salad ingredients.

To make the salsa, mix the chopped tomato, onion, chilli, garlic and coriander in a bowl. Drizzle with lime juice and olive oil. Add a pinch of cumin and some sea salt and stir through. Set aside.

To make the bajar sauce, mix sour cream, yoghurt, chilli powder, lime juice and salt in a bowl.

Preheat a grill or barbeque to medium-low.

On a very clean, grate brush the grill with oil and place the fish, seasoning side down, to cook. Sprinkle the rest of the chilli on the top side of the fish and cook for about 2–3 minutes each side, or until the fish is cooked through.

Transfer the fish to a clean platter, rest for 10 minutes and then slice into thick strips.

Heat the tortillas by placing them on the barbeque grill for about 1 minute each side.

To serve, place a warm tortilla on a plate, add a few chunks of fish, drizzle with the bajar sauce,and add a handful of salsa and cabbage salad. Make a small fold along the bottom edge of the tortilla and close from both sides, creating a little parcel that won’t drip out the base.


Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Emma Warren. Creative concept by Belinda So.


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