Fish Tacos by Ann Hazard
Recipe from Ann Hazard Author of Agave Sunsets, Cartwheels in the Sand and
Cooking with Baja Magic
(Ann writes:This Baja creation has been around longer than I have. According to local legend, fish tacos originated in San Felipe where they have always been the street taco of choice. In the early 80’s, they were discovered by a young Baja aficionado who pirated the recipe from a now defunct taco vendor and bought it northwest to San Diego.
He opened a tiny taco shop named Rubio’s down by Mission Bay that specialized in authentic Baja-style fish tacos. By the year 2000 it’s expected that there will be over 100 Rubio’s restaurants in Southern California — so I guess I don’t really need to tell you that the popularity of those fish tacos has skyrocketed. For the best fish tacos south of the border these days, (in Nina’s opinion) you have to travel to San Felipe (on the Sea of Cortez) or Ensenada (directly west on the Pacific).
Her favorite tacos can be found at the fish market in Ensenada. When you first drive into town, you’ll make a right turn just past the ship repair yards and immediately you’ll see the outdoor fish market. There’s a huge palapa on the right, at dockside, where vendors sell an incredible array of just-caught seafood, fresh shrimp cocktails and the most awesome fish tacos around.
In case you’re wondering, Juan Carlos, the grinning gato, agrees with Nina 100%. He does so love those fish tacos, He comes all the way up from his new home in Todos Santos to Ensenada at least twice a year just to eat some!
This recipe does its best to bring Baja Fish Tacos to you. Depending on their appetites, this will serve three to four people. But then again — if your friends are anything like ours, they may be so enamored with your fish tacos that you’ll have to double the recipe next time around. You could have worse problems!
Oh, and if you don’t want to use fried fish, you can lightly season and broil or grill the fish filets instead. You won’t sacrifice either the taste or the inherent air of festivity generated by these colorful, incredible tacos. )
8 filets of white fish, cut into strips of about 1 1/2″ x 4″ each
1/2 cup corn flake crumbs
1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup corn or canola oil
1 cup thin sour cream sauce
Pico Pica sauce or any red pepper sauce to taste
6 radishes, minced
1 cup shredded cabbage for garnish (use a mixture of purple and green)
1/2 bunch cilantro, in sprigs
1 large tomato, chopped
1 cup Cheddar, Chihuahua or Jack cheese, shredded
salsa fresca to taste
Dredge each fish filet in beaten egg. Coat thoroughly with mixture of corn flake crumbs and Italian bread crumbs. In a frying pan heat oil until a drop of water sizzles when put in the pan.
Cook each fish filet for three to four minutes on each side.
Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Place filets in oven on warm until you are ready to serve.
In a small bowl, mix the sour cream sauce and Pico Pica with the radishes.
Put a fish filet on one half of a hot corn tortilla.
Place one to two tablespoons of sauce on top of filet as you are serving it. Garnish with shredded cabbage and serve immediately with salsa fresca on the side.