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Baja Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos all rolled up and ready to eat

My parents are retired. They are in their early fifties. They live in Mexico for 6 months. Are you jealous yet? I know I am. Every year when they pack up the RV (not that they have much to pack, as they live in it year round), and head back down the Baja, I have little pangs of jealousy. Seriously, who wouldn’t want to live in such a beautiful place. Here’s a couple of pictures you can gaze upon to join me in my envy.

Sunrise in Baja California
Sunrise in Baja California

Just so you know, I didn’t edit these photos at all.

Now, back to what I was talking about. Yes, yes, we’re all jealous of the beautiful weather, the ocean views, the fresh sea air, the freedom and the lack of responsibility. But the biggest thing I’m jealous of? The authentic Mexican food. No, seriously. I heart Mexican. Big time. I could eat it every day. There is such a wide variety of food available in Mexico, it’s no wonder it’s so popular the world over. It’s not just tacos, enchiladas, nachos, burritos and chimichangas either. Open up your culinary eyes and there is a vast variety of food coming out of Mexico.

The Baja is known for it’s huge variety of seafood as it’s basically one long coastline. Think lobster, marlin, dorado, squid, shrimp, crab, swordfish, tuna, etc. But also, there is much ranching there, leading to roadside stands serving goat, pork and beef. Baja California is home to the humble origins of the Caesar Salad and the Margarita. Quite a dynasty of food really.

When my parents make their way back home along the coastlines of the the US, they bring with them my favorite souvenir, recipes. My Mother is a great cook, and has a way with traditional Mexican food. She has brought many a good dish home to me. Jicama and cucumbers, drenched in lime juice and salt as a very simple side dish, stuffed chiles rellenos, dripping in cheese, authentic Pico De Gallo, painstakingly diced to perfection. Another of my favourites is Conchinita pibil. Although it originated in the Yucatán, it is a wonderful, complex dish of pork marinated in citrus juices and achiote paste for hours until it literally falls to pieces. Delicious! But my all time favourite that I have learned from my Mother is this one, Baja fish tacos. Such a simple dish, full of fresh flavours and quite easy to put together.

I hope this recipe can become one of your family favourites too.

Baja Fish Tacos

For the Guacamole:
1 large, ripe avocado (skin gives a little when pressed on, should be dark green to almost black)
1/2 large, ripe tomato
1/4 sweet onion
1/3 bunch cilantro
Juice of 3 key limes (or 1 small lime)

1. In a small bowl, with a fork, mash the avocado. Leave slightly lumpy, it does not need to be perfect.
2. Dice the tomato and the onion very fine (about 1/8″ x 1/8″). Add to avocado.
3. Finely mince the cilantro and add that to the avocado.
4. Pressing down on the limes, roll back and forth across the counter a few times. This releases the juices from inside. Cut and squeeze into avocado mixture. Make sure to remove seeds or squeeze lime into loosely held together fingers. The juice will go through, but the seeds will be caught in your hand. Or use a lime juicer!
5. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Fresh guacamole, hand made from scratch

For the Pico De Gallo:
12oz tomatoes (roma or other highly flavourful varities)
1 small jalapeño
1/2 bunch cilantro
1/4 sweet onion
Juice of 3 key limes (or 1 small lime)

1. Dice the tomatoes and onion very fine. (Again, about 1/8″ by 1/8″). Toss into small bowl.
2. Deseed the jalapeño, and dice it the same as the onion and tomatoes. Add to bowl.
3. Finely mince the cilantro and toss with the rest of the ingredients.
4. Repeat the same technique as above and squeeze the lime juice into the other ingredients.
5. Stir to combine and set aside.

Pico De Gallo, freshly made

For the fish Tacos:

300g white fish (Dover sole, halibut, cod, etc.)
8-12 small tortillas
1/8 head iceburg lettuce, shredded
2/3-3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
oil & butter (about 1 Tbsp each)

1. Slice the fish into thin, long strips, about 1/2″ wide by 3-4″ long)

2. Mix salt, pepper and flour on a large plate.

Battering the fish

3. Heat butter and oil in a heavy bottomed frying pan on medium high heat.

4. Dip strips of fish into flour mix and then lay in pan. Allow to brown on each side before turning, about 1 minutes.

5. Remove fish to plate lined with paper towel (recycled of course!) and continue until all fish is battered and fried.

Battered fish

6. Heat tortillas in microwave or oven with paper towels between each one (sometimes they come with a liner between each one already). Keep warm in tortilla warmer, if you have one.

Tortillas waiting to be heated

Styrofoam tortilla warmer from Mexico

7. To serve, place everything on the dinner table individually and allow each person to personalize their taco.

Fish Taco condiments and accompaniments

Getting ready to roll the fish tacos

I like everything on mine, and my parents brought us this to use on ours as well: McCormick’s Jalapeño Mayonesa straight from the Baja.

Mayonesa with Jalapeno from Mexico

I could eat these every day of my life. They are just so good. Light, yet filling and full of wonderful, fresh flavours.

Fish Tacos all rolled up and ready to eat

Hey, maybe we can organize a foodie trip to Baja. Wouldn’t that just be the bee’s knees? Or the cat’s pajamas? You know what I mean…ooohhh the food we would eat! Goat roasted over a  mesquite pit buried in the sand, fresh crab claws pulled off an unsuspecting victim who is then tossed back in, carnival food, icy margaritas. Okay, I’m starting to drool now. Think it over though, I’ll be waiting by the phone.

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