baja fish tacos

How to make El Catrin’s famous Baja fish tacos

Fish tacos are humble in their basic makeup — cooked fish wrapped in a flour tortilla (though some prefer corn) — but it’s the preparation and accoutrements that take this simple street food to a whole other level. When well-executed, fish tacos have the ability to conjure up feelings of summer days on the patio.

El Catrin’s fish taco, the Baja, is hands-down the most popular item on their menu. So popular in fact that during “normal times” executive chef Olivier Le Calvez typically has two shifts a day totally dedicated to the Baja taco station.

Check out the video that accompanies this recipe here!


125 gr skinless haddock, cut into 3 long strips
2 tbsp chipotle aioli (see recipe below)
½ cup coleslaw (see recipe below)
3 small flour tortillas
1 tbsp cilantro
1 batch Stella Artois batter (see recipe below)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups canola oil
2 lime wedges (about ¼ of a lime)


1 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp canned chipotle in adobe (find in the “international” section at the grocery store)
½ tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp lime juice (about ½ a lime)


Blend all the ingredients. Reserve.


½ cup green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 tbsp chipotle aioli
½ tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp lime juice (about 1 lime)


Combine all the ingredients thoroughly. Reserve.


1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tall can (500 ml) of Stella Artois


Combine dry ingredients.
Combine wet ingredients.
Combine wet into dry and stir until smooth.


Add flour to a shallow bowl.
Add oil to a medium saucepan (pot). Heat on medium-high until hot*. Once hot, lower heat to medium to hold the temperature.
Season the fish with salt and dredge in flour to coat.
Dredge in beer batter and carefully fry in hot oil until golden brown (approx. 3 minutes).
Carefully remove fish from oil and place them on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
Heat your tortillas either on a dry (no oil) comal or in a frying pan over medium heat — 30 seconds on each side.
Evenly distribute 2 tbsp of chipotle aioli over 3 tortillas. Add fried fish. Evenly distribute coleslaw over tacos. Finish with cilantro and plate with your lime wedged on the side.

* The easiest and safest method to test if your oil is hot is to stick the end of a wooden spoon into the oil. If you see many bubbles form around the wood and they start to float up, your oil is ready for frying. If it is bubbling hard, the oil is too hot; let it cool a bit and check the temperature again.

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO