Fish Taco Love Affair

Everyone has a menu deal breaker – a dish that, if discovered on a menu, will preclude any other offerings, no matter how tempting they may sound. For me, this dish is fish tacos.


My first fish taco experience occurred many years ago during a trip to Mexico. While wandering through the west coast surfing village of Sayulita, my family and I happened upon an unassuming little eatery boldly proclaiming to be home to “the world’s best fish tacos” on a brightly painted sign. Unfortunately we were unable to immediately investigate the claim, as the restaurant was closed for surfing. A small notice explained that the place was apt to shut its doors without warning whenever a particularly tempting batch of waves lured the cooks to the beach.


The next day we returned to the taco hut and had better luck. Sitting on their patio I enjoyed an ice cold cerveza and the best fish taco in existence. True, it was my first experience but I was an instant believer upon first bite. Tender chunks of fried marlin were sprinkled with crisp slices of cabbage, an incredibly flavourful pineapple salsa, and a drizzle of creamy garlic sauce. The whole delicious mess was resting in a little masa tortilla, fresh from the quaint tortilla factory next door. It was a culinary game changer for my palate, and I ate as many fish tacos as I could during the remainder of my trip.


Back at home, my tan faded but my fish taco fixation did not. Summer approached and I perfected my fish taco recipe using the bounty of my fishing inclined friends. It’s a great casual meal that can be mostly prepped in advance, and guests can personalize their own tacos as desired.



Fish Tacos:


Fried Fish

any fresh white fish, cut in roughly 1” chunks


1 egg, beaten

cumin, ground chile powder, chipotle powder, salt and pepper- to taste

canola oil for frying

  • Toss the fish with the beaten egg
  • Season your flour as desired then dredge batches of fish in the mixture. Ensure you only dredge as much as you can fry in your pan without overcrowding.
  • Fry fish immediately after dredging in a shallow layer of oil over medium heat. Once cooked through enough to “flake”, place fish on a paper towel lined plate and keep warm in a low temperature oven until all fish is cooked.
  • Serve tacos immediately after cooking all the fish


Pineapple Salsa

1 cup diced fresh pineapple
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

1/4 cup red pepper, diced
1/8 cup finely chopped cilantro
1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced
lime juice, to taste
Salt, to taste

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Stir before serving.


Creamy Garlic Aioli

1 egg yolk

1/2 c oil

1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1/4 c sour cream

salt, to taste

lime juice, to taste

  • Whisk together the garlic and yolk. Whisking constantly, slowly pour in the oil in a thin steady stream to allow for emulsification.
  • Add salt and lime juice to taste. Stir in sour cream.


Additional Garnishes

Warmed corn tortillas

slices of avocado

thinly shredded green cabbage

hot sauce



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