Air Fryer Baja Fish Tacos are similar to tacos you find at the taco stands along Baja California.
My most favorite Fish Taco joint is located in Rosarito Beach. A colorful and quaint resort town on the coast of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula is breathtaking. There is nothing like sitting on a beautiful beach and enjoying freshly made Fish Tacos. I wanted this recipe to be like the Rosarito Beach, Baja California Fish Tacos!!!! That was my goal.
Converting my trusty recipe to use in the Air Fryer, was a whole other experience. I had to play around with the breading in order to get a batter-like effect, as I wanted the crust to puff and be light.
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Ingredients for Air Fryer Baja Fish Tacos
- Potato Starch
When I moved back to Florida from California, for a few years, we used to fish a lot….like, every weekend, a lot. We had plenty of Dolphin, don’t you think?
What is Dolphinfish or Mahi Mahi?
- These fish are found in tropical and subtropical water.
- In Florida, Mahi Mahi is referred to as Dolphin or Dolphinfish. In California and Mexico, the Spanish name Dorado is used when talking about fishing for Dolphinfish, however you most likely will see the name Mahi Mahi used on restaurant menus.
- Dolphinfish are not Porpoises like Flipper or what you see jumping in the sea. Those are called Oceanic Dolphins and are Grey in color with a bottle nose.
- Mahi Mahi/Dolphinfish are very colorful; golden, blue, green and iridescent blue, The males have a forehead, which protrudes, while the females have a more founded profile.
Fresh caught Florida Dolphin is the best for this recipe, obviously, right!
Pro Tip: If you cannot get fresh fish, make sure your package says Atlantic Dolphin (“Mahi Mahi”) or caught in the Gulf of Mexico or the Pacific (“Dorado”).
We have recently seen frozen packages of “Mahi Mahi” that says product of China. To my eyes, they do not look like Mahi Mahi.
When cleaning fish, make sure to use a good and sharp Paring or Utility Knife, like this Henckels, which you see above. It helps to easily remove the skin.
As I like to have a nice crust and crunch on my Air Fryer Baja Fish Tacos, cutting the Fish into strips makes this possible.
The freshness of Lime Juice adds a nice layer of flavor.
It also helps to plump and tenderize fish, so that during cooking, the fish will stay nice and moist.
For “marinating” I like to use a medium sized Lock and Lock container.
I can stack the Strips and use get the most bang out of a smaller amount of brine or marinade.
Even mild fish like Mahi Mahi can sometimes be a bit fishy.
Why Soak Fish in Milk?
- Even mild fish like Mahi Mahi can sometimes be a bit fishy.
- Soaking the fish in milk will remove any fishy taste it might have.
We used to fish for Dolphin in Florida, leaving out of Lakeworth.
While the Fish is soaking in the Buttermilk, mix up a batch of my Baja Fish Tacos White Sauce and pop it in the Fridge.
Here is the tricky part.
Fish Batters often contain Beer, Soda, Soda Water, which are all bubbly.
Baking Soda contains bicarbonate and is used in recipes, where specific ingredients are involved.
Think Bath Bombs! I have some recipes for those, which are coming. 🙂
In order to have a reaction, there needs to be an acidic, such as Buttermilk, which can be made with Milk, Yogurt and an acid, like Lemon, Lime or Vinegar.
Following along so far? The Milk and Lime soak?
The Flour coating is a mixture of a couple of Flours, to keep the crust crispy, yet light and airy.
Using straight All Purpose Flour as a coating in the Air Fryer, will make the coating hard and solid, which is no good. Potato Starch, Tapioca Flour/Starch and Cornstarch is a great addition to a Flour Coating.
Make sure to use an Oil Sprayer and spray one side of the Fish very well. You will see the texture change, which is perfect.
So, here is the story with the Parchment Rounds. I wanted to make sure the Fish wouldn’t stick and the coating would not fall off.
For food with a wet batter, it is better to cook from frozen.
When using Fresh Fish, or Frozen Fish, you don’t want to thaw and then refreeze.
So, I tried the Parchment Rounds with half of my Fish. The second half of the Fish, was cooked without the parchment.
I am happy to report however, that in both tests, the Fish did not stick.
You can see how nicely the Air Fryer Baja Fish Tacos have puffed.
They were easy to flip too, as I just grabbed a hold of the Parchment Round, and turned them right over.
Like my blurry photo?
How beautiful is this Fish?
This recipe will work with Pollack and Cod too, so if you cannot find Mahi Mahi, don’t fret.
If you like Catfish, or even you are on the fence, my Air Fryer Southern Fried Catfish is the best Catfish I have ever had!
Typically, Corn Salsa is not inside of Baja California type of Fish Tacos, but it is soooo good, so try it.
For another authentic Taco of Baja, California, try my Air Fryer Tijuana Street Tacos.
A big scoop of my This Old Gal’s Simple Guacamole would be good right on top of your Taco.
But, it’s really good and you should go mix yourself up a batch. 🙂
For another yummy Air Fryer recipe, try my Air Fryer Air Fryer Cleo Hollywood Brussels Sprouts.
Kitchen Equipment and Essentials
- Ultrean 8.5 Quart Air Fryer
- Paring or Utility Knife,
- J.A. Henckels Classic 8 inch Chef’s Knife
- Amco Advanced Performance 18/10 Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons
- Culina Stackable (Dry) Stainless Steel Measuring Cups
- Anchor Hocking Glass (Liquid) Measuring Cups
- Rösle Stainless Steel Flat Whisk– a MUST have, probably my most used utensil
- Cilio Olivewood Spatula
- Porcelain & Bamboo Salt Box with Spoon
- Gravity Electric Salt and Pepper Grinder
- Olive Oil Sprayer / Mister for Cooking
- 6 oz Porcelain Ramekins
- My FANTASTIC Teak Cutting & Charcuterie Board & Compartments
- Lock N Lock Container for Fish Soaking
- Silicone Coated Tongs
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Here is the handy printable recipe:
- 2 pounds Mahi Mahi Filets cut into strips
- 1 cup Milk
- 2 Limes
- 2 large Eggs
- 1.5 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
- 1/2 cup Potato Starch
- 2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 8 Taco Size Corn Tortillas
- 8 Taco Size Flour Tortillas
- Shredded Cabbage
- Baja Fish Tacos White Sauce
- Simple Corn Salsa
- Remove skin and slice Fish into strips about 1 inch thick and place into a container. Add Milk and the juice of one Lime. Place into refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, beat Egg with Baking Soda and Mayonnaise.
- In another bowl, combine Potato Starch, Flour and all spices.
- Using tongs, coat fish with egg mixture and then into Flour mixture, making sure pieces are completely coated. Shake off excess flour.
- Place Fish Strips into refrigerator for 30 minutes to completely chill.
- Spray Strips generously with Oil and then place the Filets into Air Fryer Basket (with or without a Parchment Round), Oil side down. Generously spray tops of strips with Oil.
- Cook at 390 degrees for 7 minutes. Flip over Strips and spray with Oil and cook an additional 5 minutes.
- Place Fish on Tortillas and cover with Shredded Cabbage, Corn Salsa and drizzle with Baja Fish Tacos White Sauce. Include Avocado slices and a wedge of Lime.