Mexican Baja California Fish Tacos With Chipotle Aioli
Taco Tuesday just got a whole lot better with this Authentic Baja Mexican Inspired Tacos With Homemade Pico de Gallo and Chipotle Aioli.
Do you remember those taco's you used to eat growing up? With the ground beef, and the taco seasoning, and the hard shell tacos, or the soft shell wheat tortillas that you would load up with all the taco goods? Ya, these aren't those tacos.
I honestly had no idea what authentic tacos tasted like, or even really consisted of until I traveled to Puerto Vallarta Mexico and experienced what a true Baja California, Mexican taco was meant to taste like. From one taco obsessed person to hopefully another, there was no going back.
First, let's start with the basics. If you are going to start making traditionally inspired tacos then you have to throw a few things out the window.
#1 - 100% corn soft-shell tortillas only. No half corn/half wheat, no hard-shells, no lettuce wraps, etc. the base of a traditional taco starts with the shell, and that shell has to be corn. One day I am going to teach you how to make homemade corn tortillas that I learned how to make it Guatemala, but for now just look for 100% corn tortillas, the only other ingredients should be salt, and lime.
#2 - Skip the cheese. Believe it or not, but most Mexican tacos actually don't have cheese added to them. While they may top them with other sauces, or marinate certain types of meat, cheese is typically left off the taco
#3 - Your taco is only as good as it's ingredients. So get rid of that store-bought salsa, or guacamole, it has no place in a traditional taco...and I am going to teach you how to make everything you need from scratch.
#4 - Highlight fresh herbs and spices, these will make up the main flavor profile of your tacos.
Since we are going to be making a traditional fish taco it is important that you choose the right fish. For our fish tacos, I always make sure that we are choosing a sustainably sourced, wild-caught white fish that has a flaky texture once cooked. Some great options would be hake, which is a great fish that is abundant and can easily be sustainably sourced, halibut, or haddock, but my best advice is to find a local fish market and ask them what they would recommend. Hopefully, the person at the market will be knowledgeable about sustainable fishing, and also a good enough cook to give you some recommendations. In my experience this is usually the case, but not always.
When making the fish for these tacos it can be battered with eggs and flour and pan-fried, or it can be baked which we are going to make here with this recipe. When baking white fish, once you can begin to smell the fish and it easily flakes apart you know it is ready.
Now moving onto the chipotle aioli. In my opinion, chipotle flavoring with fish tacos is a match made in heaven, and these tacos just aren't the same without it. Depending on how much heat you prefer, add just a little chipotle powder or 1/2 red chili at a time and stop when you have the flavor you prefer.
Get ready to get addicted to this sauce you guys because it is so simple to make, and out of these world delicious.
mexican fish tacos with chipotle aioli
1 pound wild-caught white fish
2 cups chopped red cabbage
2 cups chopped lettuce
1/2 Jalapano Pepper (finely chopped)
Salt and Pepper
Lemon and Lime
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 minced garlic clove
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder, or 2 small red chilis
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375 and place your fish in a glass baking dish. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper and bake for ~25 minutes, or until fish is flaky.
Next, make your homemade pico de gallo by following the directions on my "perfect pico de gallo" recipe.
Then chop all of your remaining vegetable ingredients, and set them aside for easy taco assembling.
Taking a food processor, combine all ingredients for the aioli and blend on high until smooth. Adjust the salt, pepper, and chipotle flavor to your taste. Remember you can always add, you cant subtract.
Once your fish is nearly finished place the tortillas in the oven for 1-2 minutes to soften slightly and warm.
Remove tortillas and fish from the oven and begin to assemble your tacos.
Start with the cabbage and lettuce, then move onto the pico de gallo. Next add your fish and top with avocado, chipotle aioli, and salt, pepper, and jalapeno's to your taste.