Baja fish tacos with pickled jalapeño slaw

Baja fish tacos with pickled jalapeño slaw


Everyone has a favourite taco. Mine is a fish taco. To be more specific, the fish tacos from a super-simple shack down the motorway in LA called Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada. In my opinion, they make the very best fish tacos ever – not to mention their huge buffet of salsas and toppings so you can add your own faves. A baja fish taco, in short, is fish fried in batter, served in soft corn tortillas and topped with slaw and some sort of creamy white sauce like a mayo. I like spicing up the slaw with pickled jalapeños and its brine, which creates a zingy and spicy slaw. It’s deceptively simple, but it works, so why mess around with it?


Quantity Ingredient
200g firm white fish, cut into strips
sea salt
150g plain flour, plus extra to dust the fish
1 medium egg
80ml beer
freshly ground black pepper
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
4 tablespoons DIY sriracha
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 soft corn tortillas
4 wedges of lime, to serve

For the pickled jalapenos

Quantity Ingredient
250ml white wine vinegar
220g granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 jalapenos, sliced
1 garlic clove, peeled and thinly sliced

for the jalapeno slaw

Quantity Ingredient
5 tablespoons pickled jalapenos
2 tablespoons the brine
1/2 head white cabbage
large bunch coriander, finely chopped
sea salt, to taste


  1. To make the pickled jalapeños, heat the vinegar in a pan over a medium to high heat, and add the sugar and salt. Whisk until dissolved.
  2. Put the sliced jalapeños and garlic in a clean jar. Remove the pickling liquid from the heat and carefully pour over the jalapeños and garlic.
  3. Put the lid on and allow to come to room temperature. Put the jar in the fridge. Your pickle will be ready to eat after 2–3 days.
  4. Make the slaw. Put the pickled jalapeños in the food processor and give them a quick blitz. Transfer to a bowl.
  5. Finely slice the cabbage using a mandoline or simply use a sharp knife. Put the cabbage in the bowl with the jalapeños.
  6. Stir in the brine and coriander, then leave for 2 hours. Taste for seasoning and add more brine if needed.
  7. Put the fish in a bowl and season with salt.
  8. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, egg and beer to make the batter.
  9. Put the extra flour in a shallow bowl or on a plate. Lightly dredge the fish in flour and shake off any excess.
  10. Heat the oil to 190°C. When the oil is hot, dip the fish in the batter, and carefully add to the hot oil. Fry for about 3 minutes, until golden. Remove the fish using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  11. Combine the DIY Sriracha and mayo together in a bowl.
  12. Heat the tortillas in a dry skillet or pan until they bubble up slightly. Keep warm on a plate under a damp towel.
  13. To serve, spoon the slaw onto the tortillas, top with the fish and drizzle over the sriracha mayo. Serve with a squeeze of lime.
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