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Baja-Style Fish Tacos With Tilapia, Pineapple & Chipotle Sauce

Baja fish tacos with pineapple and chipotle spicy sauce.

These Baja-style sauce-drizzled tilapia fish tacos are a hit in the home of MariCarmen Ortiz Conway of St Louis, Missouri. ”There are many ways to prepare Baja sauce for tacos,” she explains. “This is my way: I use Mexican mayo and add tomato puree for a great touch to the combination of flavors also including: pineapple, chipotle chile, and, por supuesto: the breaded pescado. I use tilapia, which is sweet, light and fresh-tasting and takes on the flavors of the chile and cilantro beautifully.”

The secret to these fish tacos is the Mexican mayo, says MariCarmen, a renowned Mexican-food cook, caterer and tequila expert. “It really changes the flavor. You have to use McCormick Mexican Mayonesa, which you can find in grocery stores in the U.S. It’s sweeter than regular mayo and has lime juice in it—it honestly makes all the difference in getting that super-authentic sabor of Baja: the sea, the beach, the light. Believe me: these tacos are so good.”

With their chipotle sauce and grilled pineapple sweetness, these crispy fish tacos are extra delicioso on a hot summer day, but why wait? They’re crowd-pleasing favorites year-round, reports MariCarmen Ortiz-Conway.

Be sure to serve these fish tacos on flour, not corn, tortillas for the most traditional pairing, either store-bought or from scratch. Flour tortillas are surprisingly easy to make, promises Michelle Ezratty Murphy, another of our most active and popular Familia Kitchen homecooks. Check out her easy flour tortilla recipe (with one surprising ingredient!) here.

And since MariCarmen is a tequila expert and catadora, her recipe comes with a pairing recommendation, por supuesto. ”I recommend you enjoy these Baja fish tacos acompañado by a glass of good-quality tequila blanco, which has notes of citrus to perfectly complement and cut through the chipotle and cilantro breaded-fish crunchiness,” MariCarmen tells us. ”If you want to be more adventurous, drink with a small sipping glass of mezcal. If you are new to mezcal, this dish is a great way to start: bite into a piece of grilled pineapple, then take a sip of mezcal—uffff. It’s amazing!”

Ready to Make These Crispy Fish Tacos, Baja-Style?

Baja-Style Fish Tacos With Tilapia, Pineapple & Chipotle Sauce

Recipe by MariCarmen Ortiz Conway
3.2 from 9 votes
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup vegetable oil for frying, plus 1 Tbsp

  • 4 to 5 tilapia fillets, cut into 1-inch strips

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground

  • 1 tsp garlic salt

  • 1 cup milk

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs

  • 1 fresh pineapple, sliced into 1/2-inch rings or chunks

  • 4 flour tortillas, storebought or homemade

  • 1/3 cup cilantro, fresh, chopped

  • Baja Sauce
  • 1 cup Mayonesa McCormick (Mexican mayonnaise, made with lime juice)

  • 1 chipotle chile, or 2 if you want it spicier

  • 1/4 can tomato puree

Directions

  • Bread the Fish
  • Lay your tilapia filets on a plate or sheet tray. Sprinkle garlic salt and pepper on both sides of each piece of fish.
  • Lightly beat the 2 eggs with a fork. Add the milk into the same bowl and lightly beat into the eggs. Scoop the breadcrumbs on a plate. Now you’re ready: Dip each fish strip into the egg-milk mixture and dip each side in the breadcrumbs. Set aside.
  • Add the oil to a pan and heat until HOT. With tongs, place fish in the oil. Fry until light golden brown on each side. Place the fish on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb the oil and set aside.
  • Grill the Pineapple
  • In a different pan, add the remaining 1 Tbsp oil and heat to medium high. Caramelize the pineapple slices or chunks to an amber-brown, on both sides.
  • Make the Baja Sauce
  • In a blender, combine sauce ingredients. Set aside.
  • Heat Your Tortillas
  • Warm up your flour tortillas (either storebought or made from scratch in this surprisingly easy recipe) on a hot pan.
  • Put It All Together!
  • Place 2 or 3 crispy-breaded strips of the tilapia fish on each tortilla.
  • Add 1 to 2 slices of grilled pineapple.
  • Add as much of the creamy-spicy chipotle sauce as you’d like. Top with fresh cilantro. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Sometimes MariCarmen sprinkles 1 Tbsp of chicken bouillon instead of salt on the fish with the black pepper, before breading. This is optional. If you don’t use it, then garlic salt is also great, she says.

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