The Best Fish Tacos Recipe

As a fishing guide in Montana, Alaska and Hawaii, I’m required to have dozens of go-to fish recipes. But I have to say that my fish taco recipes are probably the most popular.

Two ingredients are critical to making these fish tacos live up to their name as “the best:” tortillas made from scratch (or the raw, uncooked ones from your grocer’s refrigerated section) and a killer sauce. My favorite is a caper and yogurt-based sauce that I’ve been tweaking for years, and I’m confident it’ll become one of your favorites, too.

Although this taco recipe calls for fried perch, you can use just about any type of fish, grilled or fried. I usually find myself with a little free time during Montana winters, and the frozen lakes provide fantastic fish taco opportunities.

Serving size

4 to 8

Time to make

30-45

Ingredients

Fish
5 to 10 perch or walleye, or 1 to 2 pounds of boneless filets
Batter for frying (I recommend Shore Lunch batter mix, Original Recipe)
Add 2 tsp. of any Creole seasoning to the prepared batter (I recommend Original Tony Chachere’s.)
Canola or vegetable oil for frying

Fish Sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2/3 cup plain yogurt
2 garlic cloves, minced finely or crushed with garlic press
1 tbsp. capers, crushed
2 tsp. caper juice from jar
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 to 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. white pepper

Toppings
3 to 4 tomatoes, finely diced
1/2 purple onion, finely diced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 lime, juiced
1 tsp. salt
1 package of small, fresh 8- to 10-inch uncooked flour tortillas (I recommend Tortillaland)
8-oz. package of shredded Mexican cheese

Also works with

Boneless fish fillets

Special equipment

Fryer or stovetop pan

Method

1

Sauce

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Taste, then add more cayenne if desired.
  2. The longer the sauce sits, the hotter the cayenne will taste. The sauce can be made several days ahead and will keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
2

Toppings

  1. Chop the vegetables and mix them in a large bowl.
  2. Add the lime juice and mix again.
  3. Add the salt right before serving.
3

Frying

  1. Heat oil in a deep pan. You’ll need approximately 2 or 3 inches of oil so the fish fillets can float freely.
  2. Once oil reaches 350 degrees, dredge each fillet in batter. Pull one fillet at a time out of the batter with a fork. Remove excess batter by dragging the filet against the side of your batter bowl.
  3. Gently place fillets in hot oil. Don’t overcrowd; make sure each floating piece of fish has room in the pan to fry without touching the others. After one minute, take your fork and flip each filet. When the batter turns a light golden color, remove all filets with a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel-lined plate. You’ll want at least three sheets of paper towels on the plate to soak up excess oil. Continue frying fish in batches until all the filets are fried.
4

Tortillas

  1. While the last batch of filets fries,  start cooking the tortillas. Heat a griddle or frying pan to approximately 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease the hot surface before cooking the tortilla. If you are using raw tortillas, small bubbles will form after about one minute. Flip the tortilla using a spatula and add shredded Mexican cheese to the cooked side of the tortilla.
  3. Remove the tortilla when most of the cheese is melted.
  4. If your tortillas are already cooked, place each one on the hot surface after lightly greasing. Immediately add a layer of cheese and heat it until most of the cheese is melted.
5

Assembly

  1. Top each cooked tortilla with a filet of golden battered fish, spoon the tomato and onion mixture over the fish, and finish it off with a generous dollop of the yogurt sauce. Add more if desired.
  2. Roll your tortilla and enjoy!

Serving size

4 to 8

Time to make

30-45

Ingredients

Fish
5 to 10 perch or walleye, or 1 to 2 pounds of boneless filets
Batter for frying (I recommend Shore Lunch batter mix, Original Recipe)
Add 2 tsp. of any Creole seasoning to the prepared batter (I recommend Original Tony Chachere’s.)
Canola or vegetable oil for frying

Fish Sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2/3 cup plain yogurt
2 garlic cloves, minced finely or crushed with garlic press
1 tbsp. capers, crushed
2 tsp. caper juice from jar
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 to 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. white pepper

Toppings
3 to 4 tomatoes, finely diced
1/2 purple onion, finely diced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 lime, juiced
1 tsp. salt
1 package of small, fresh 8- to 10-inch uncooked flour tortillas (I recommend Tortillaland)
8-oz. package of shredded Mexican cheese

Also works with

Boneless fish fillets

Special equipment

Fryer or stovetop pan