Beer Battered Fish Tacos

By Jeri Mobley-Arias
April 11, 2022 | Updated on August 2, 2023

This easy beer battered fish tacos recipe is a staple in our home. Made of light and crisp beer-battered cod, pico de gallo, cilantro lime crema, tomatillo avocado salsa, thinly sliced cabbage and a squeeze of lime juice for that extra zing, these tacos are perfect for a spring or summer meal.

If you are looking for more taco recipes? Then try my Big Mac Tacos, next!

beer-battered-fish-tacos

Beer Battered Fish Tacos

As the weather gets warmer, these beer battered fish tacos (aka baja fish tacos) make an appearance on our dinner table pretty often. They are flavorful, easy-to-make and absolutely delicious!

What really makes these beer battered cod fish tacos so delicious is the layer of flavors; from the pico de gallo, down to the corn tortilla and squeeze of lime, each component of this fish taco contributes to the flavor and texture, making it a must-have taco.

beer-battered-fish-taco-angle

What is Baja Style Fish Tacos?

“Baja-style” beer battered fish tacos refers to the style in which theses tacos are made and originated from, in Baja California, Mexico.

It is speculated that the fish taco came about when seafarers from the east introduced Baja natives to deep-frying fish. Baja natives coupled the fried fish with flavors, spices and toppings of their own, along with tortillas–a staple in the mesoamerican diet–thus the fish taco was born.

The modern fish taco emerged in the 1950s from the Baja city of San Felipe or Ensenada (though there has been a long debate on the exact city, as both claim to be the birth city of Baja fish tacos).

The anatomy of this highly textured and incredibly delicious fish taco typically consists of a warmed (and sometimes lightly charred) corn tortilla, topped with cod or other white fish fillet that is coated in a beer batter and fried.

Next, it is topped with a symphony of toppings and sauces: pico de gallo, crema, thinly sliced cabbage, tomatillo avocado salsa, and finished with a squeeze of lime. It’s crispy, salty, creamy, and absolutely delicious.

What is Crema?

Crema is a Mexican condiment that is similar to American sour cream or the French version of crème fraîche.

Its texture is slightly thick and typically added as the creamy finishing touch on Mexican dished like soups, enchiladas, and tacos.

You can add ingredients to crema to give it a nuance in flavor; think chipotle peppers, lime or avocado.

This recipe calls for a cilantro lime crema that is not only easy to make, but super delicious.

preparing-beer-battered-cod

How to Make Beer Battered Fish Tacos

First things first–these tacos have a few components to them, but don’t worry, I promise it is worth the effort.

Start by making the pico de gallo, then the crema as the flavors will deepen while you make the fried battered cod. Let’s get into the details:

Pico de Gallo

  1. Pico de Gallo – Add tomato, cilantro, lime juice, diced onion, salt, serrano pepper, and garlic to a bowl, mix well and set aside.

Cilantro-Lime Crema

  1. Cilantro Lime Crema – Add sour cream, mayonnaise, cilantro, lime juice and zest, and salt to a food processor. Blend until cilantro is fine in texture. Set aside.

Tomatillo Avocado Salsa

If you are in need of a salsa verde to really bring all of these great flavors together, then check out my Tomatillo Avocado Salsa recipe that I make whenever I make these fish tacos.

Beer-Battered Cod

  1. To a mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and beer. Mix until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare a baking rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet. Add oil to a large pot until it measures 1½ inches deep. Heat until oil reaches 375°F or when oil appears shimmery.
  3. Pat cod dry then season both sides with salt and pepper. Dip cod fillets into batter, one at a time, then use a fork to remove from batter, allowing excess batter to drip back into the bowl.
  4. Add cod to oil, careful to not overcrowd the pot. Maintain a temperature of 350°-375°F.
  5. After 4-5 minutes or when batter is golden brown, use a spider strainer to remove pieces from oil and place on wire rack.
  6. Warm up both sides of tortillas on a comal or skillet. Place warm tortillas on a plate, then add beer battered cod, crema, pico de gallo, cabbage and finish with a squeeze of lime juice.
pico-de-gallo

Ingredients to Make Beer Battered Fish Tacos

It’s hard to pinpoint which specific part of these tacos makes them taste so great as each component is crucial to lending a mouthful of flavor with each bite.

The range of textures combined with the light and crunchy cod will swoon your tastebuds.

Oh, and here’s a little secret on how to get that perfect light and crunchy beer-battered fish: baking powder.

You see, after adding and mixing the batter ingredients, tiny gas cells form which later expands and rise once added to the hot oil, creating a lighter and airy texture.

The result: lighter and crispier cod fillets and utter deliciousness.

Let’s breakdown the details of what you will need for each part of these glorious tacos:

Pico de Gallo

  • Roma tomato
  • Cilantro
  • Lime juice
  • Onion
  • Salt
  • Serrano pepper

Cilantro-Lime Crema

  • Sour cream
  • Lime, zested and juiced
  • Salt
  • Mayonnaise
  • Cilantro

Beer-Battered Fish

  • Flour
  • Baking powder
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Beer, preferably Mexican lager
beer-battered-fish

What Kind of Beer Do You Use for Fish Battered Tacos?

I like to use beer that I don’t mind sipping on while making these tacos. That said, I typically go for a Mexican lager like Modelo or Tecate (personal favorites) but any lager will do.

three-beer-battered-fish-tacos

Best Fish for Fish Tacos

My go-to fish for making fish tacos will always be cod for its light and flaky texture that goes incredibly well with with the beer batter.

Curious about other types of fish you can use? See below for a few other great options:

  • Haddock
  • Tilapia
  • Orange roughy

Tips for Making the Best Beer Battered Fish Tacos

  • Place cooked cod on a wire rack to drain remaining oil. If you place cooked fillets on a paper towel, the batter will turn into a soggy mess.
  • Make sure the oil is hot. If the oil is not hot enough, you will end up with soggy pieces. If the oil is too hot, you will end up with crunchy and possibly overcooked batter and undercooked fish. I aim for 375°F then maintain a range between 350°F – 375°F while cooking.
  • Prepare the beer battered fish, last. Since there are a few parts to these tacos, start by making the pico de gallo, crema and slicing the cabbage before frying the fish. Once the fried cod fillets are ready, it will a quick assembly to make the tacos.
  • Go for fresh, not frozen fish. If possible, visit your local fishmonger and go for the freshest fish you can get your hands on.
beer-battered-fish-taco-limes

Looking for More Seafood Recipes?

Try these favorites:

Loving This Recipe?

There’s a reason why these beer battered fish tacos are a mainstay in our home! Leave a comment below and share your love for this recipe on Instagram and Pinterest. We love to see you get down in the kitchen. Happy eating!

beer-battered-fish-tacos

Beer Battered Fish Tacos

5 from 13 votes
This easy beer battered fish tacos recipe is a staple in our home. Made of light and crisp beer-battered cod, pico de gallo, cilantro lime crema, tomatillo avocado salsa, thinly sliced cabbage and a squeeze of lime juice for that extra zing, these tacos are perfect for a spring or summer meal.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 3 people
Author Jeri Mobley-Arias
Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican

Equipment

  • Kitchen Thermometer
  • Dutch Oven
  • Wire Rack
  • Baking Sheet
  • Food processor or blender
  • Spider strainer

Ingredients

Pico de Gallo

  • 2 medium roma tomatoes, small diced
  • 1 tablespoon, packed cilantro, finely chopped
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon serrano pepper, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup white onion, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, Diamond Crystal brand plus more to taste

Cilantro-Lime Crema

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, Diamond Crystal brand
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro

Beer Battered Fish

  • 1 pound cod fillet, preferably fresh, not frozen, cut into 1-inch thick, 3-inch long pieces
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • teaspoon kosher salt, Diamond Crystal brand
  • 1 cup Mexican lager
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • Oil for frying

Taco Assembly

  • 2 cups green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • limes, for squeezing

Instructions

Pico de Gallo

  • Add tomato, cilantro, lime juice, diced onion, salt, serrano pepper, and garlic to a bowl, mix well and set aside.

Cilantro-Lime Crema

  • Add sour cream, mayonnaise, cilantro, lime juice and zest, and salt to a food processor. Blend until cilantro is fine in texture. Set aside.

Beer-Battered Fish

  • To a mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder, paprika, garlic powder, and salt. Whisk to combine. Next, add cold beer. Mix until smooth. Do not over-mix, it's okay if there are small lumps. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare a baking rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet. Add oil to a large pot until it measures 1½ inches deep. Heat until oil reaches 375°F or when oil appears shimmery.
  • Pat cod dry then season both sides with salt and pepper. Dip cod fillets into batter, one at a time, then use a fork to remove from batter, allowing excess batter to drip back into the bowl.
  • Add cod to oil, a few pieces at a time. Careful to not overcrowd the dutch oven. Maintain a temperature of 350°-375°F.
  • After 4-5 minutes or when batter is golden brown, use a spider strainer to remove pieces from oil and place on wire rack.

Taco Assembly

  • Warm up both sides of tortillas on a comal or skillet. Place warm tortillas on a plate, then add beer battered cod, crema, pico de gallo, cabbage and finish with a squeeze of lime juice.
Did you make this recipe?Leave a comment below and tag @whisperofyum on Instagram and hashtag it #whisperofyum!
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21 Comments

  1. Kaluhi says...

    5 stars
    These were the star of my Taco Tuesday! Super simple to make and absolutely unforgettable to have! I will make this again!

  2. Jazz says...

    5 stars
    We tried your taco recipe for Taco Tuesday this week and have already decided to make them at least once a month. Thank you for this yumminess!

  3. Jen says...

    5 stars
    I always order beer batter fish tacos but have never made them myself. This recipe was so easy to follow and the flavors were absolutely delicious. I’ll definitely make these again.

  4. Marcus Avery says...

    5 stars
    I’m so glad I came across this recipe on a Taco Tuesday! It gave me an extra reason to run to the store and grab the ingredients! These tacos were so well seasoned and delicious. I can’t wait to make them again!

  5. Stephanie says...

    5 stars
    Made these tacos for some friends last night and they were devoured in minutes. So flavorful and balanced. I loved the addition of the light refreshing cilantro crema with the savory tender fish taco. Will be making this again!

  6. Tamara says...

    5 stars
    These were some of my most favorite fish tacos ever! All of the seasonings, and layers of flavor were so perfect in this recipe!! I can’t wait to make them again soon.

  7. Kim says...

    5 stars
    Made these for taco Tuesday and these will now be in the weekly rotation. So flavorful and crispy the family loved them!

  8. Marta says...

    5 stars
    I couldn’t find fresh cod (and I hate using frozen fish), so I made these beer battered tacos with orange roughy and they were so spectacular. I loved that crema so much, I hid some to eat with chips tomorrow for lunch.

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jeri-mobley

Hey, I'm Jeri!

At Whisper of Yum, we explore ALL cuisines - comfort foods, classics, elevated originals. If you love food like me, I invite you to settle in to this place, where swoon-worthy food is attainable + inspo for your next meal awaits.

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