Crispy Fish Tacos with Jalapeño Sauce Recipe - Pinch of Yum
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Crispy Fish Tacos with Jalapeño Sauce

23 reviews / 4.8 average

Hey summer! and hey hey heyyy beautifully delicious summer food eaten on a patio in the sunny sun.

Welcome. Stay in our lives forever. We ❤ u.

Especially us lonely winterers here in Minnesota who have not seen the out of doors for billions of days. Yesterday it was blisteringly hot out there (meaning 80 degrees here in M-N) and I was in summer sun patio heaven. I positioned my chair to face directly into the sun, right next to my newly purchased basil plant from the farmer’s market, and together we soaked up the hottness while I ate a little snack and it felt guuud. Then I panicked about all that sun on my basil and dumped my water bottle all over it to cool it down. Does basil love water bottle showers? Or does it need sun? The leaves are starting to look weird and my black thumb is feeling guilty. Halp.

Fish frying in a skillet.

I’m sorry not sorry to say that my favorite summertime foods = things like beer-battered fried fish tacos (hey! that’s today), corn dogs, mini donuts, French fries, onion rings, and the like. I know. I’m a horrible person and why can’t I just grill something? True story – I tried to grill something last week so I could be a Fresh Healthy Summer Blog Person and guess what? It was not delicious. I couldn’t blog about it in a million years and it made a mess, like, all over our yard. I’ll try again next year.

When I think of summer food, I think of eating outside and that makes me think of things like the State Fair and outdoor concerts and festivals and amusement parks. And as long as we’re on that topic, I am declaring today that I have officially reached the age of never going on any roller coasters ever again. No more. It’s time to just embrace the fact that my ride spirit is either non-existent or prefers rides meant for 3-5 year olds.

My food spirit, however, embraces the so-bad-but-so-good food at said amusement parks and so no worries – we’ll go, you’ll ride, I’ll eat, and we can all still get along. Today’s recipe is some kind of mashup between that yummy fried food of summer outdoor events and the good feeling of making a fun summer meal yourself, at home, with a freshy umbrella drink if you’re cutesy and have a perfect life.

Crispy fried fish in a bowl with a lime.

The fish in these tacos is crispy and delicious >> CRISPY FISH TACOS. It’s crispy because it’s beer-battered with a few unique ingredients that give it extra crunch, like cornmeal. Crispity-crunch, that shooore tastes goooood. It turns a nice golden brown, and I know I just said this in a post recently but it’s worth repeating: truly that golden brown is the best food color. I love it.

I kept the toppings pretty simple for these tacos because I embrace minimalism and simplicity and zen-ness all the time. And/or/also, I didn’t want to go to the grocery store for any more ingredients when my fridge is overflowing with stuffs. That’s zen, right?

It ended up being perfect. The zingy spiciness of the sauce, along with its cool creaminess, had the perfect well-rounded balancing effect to the spicy, golden brown, crispy cornmeal beer-battered fish. A little Cotija cheese crumbled on top gave a little texture and saltiness, and those few little cilantro leaves added a fresh-green-pop look that tied it all together.

So this weekend was this –> I ate a few yummy tacos at home, sat in the sun with the basil plant, and then went out with friends where I sat on a rooftop deck and watched the sunset and felt very happy. These good feelings brought to you by summa summa summmmaaah.

Crispy Fish Tacos with Jalapeño Sauce in a bowl.
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A picture of Crispy Fish Tacos with Jalapeño Sauce

Crispy Fish Tacos with Jalapeño Sauce

  • Author: Pinch of Yum
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 tacos 1x


These Crispy Fish Tacos with Jalapeño Sauce are fried to golden brown perfection with a crispy cornmeal crust and served with a fresh, spicy homemade sauce!



Jalapeño Sauce

  • 1 large jalapeño (if you like spicy, leave the ribs and seeds in there)
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup green onions
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Fish Tacos

  • 2 lbs. firm white fish like cod
  • 1 cup flour (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder or spicy seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup light beer, such as Corona
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 12 flour or corn tortillas
  • cilantro for topping
  • Cotija cheese for topping


  1. Puree all the jalapeño sauce ingredients in a food processor until your desired consistency is reached. I sometimes add a little more oil or water at the end to make the sauce less gloppy and more drizzle-able.
  2. Pat the fish dry with paper towels and cut into 2-3 inch pieces. Put 1/2 cup flour in a shallow bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk 1/2 cup flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, chili powder, baking powder, and salt. Add the beer and the beaten egg; stir until combined to form the batter.
  3. Pour enough oil in a frying pan so that the fish will be partially submerged while frying. Heat the oil until a drip of water sizzles across the top. Dip each piece of fish in the plain flour, then the batter, then transfer to the hot oil. Fry on each side for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the frying pan and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil. Sprinkle with salt while still hot; let cool slightly.
  4. Arrange your tacos with a few pieces of fish, cilantro, Cotija cheese, and jalapeño sauce. Yummy!


About the flour: I’ve used both whole wheat flour and white flour. White flour is more traditional but whole wheat works, and that’s what’s pictured here. The cornmeal adds a unique texture but you could use flour in its place for a more traditional beer-battered fish texture.

About the batter: If the batter sits for a while, the cornmeal will sink to the bottom. Stir it up again to get everything mixed before dipping the fish in it.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: crispy fish tacos, fish tacos, jalapeño sauce

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Crispy Fish Tacos with Jalapeño Sauce - lightly battered and fried fish served with a fresh, spicy homemade sauce! simple and delicious. |

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  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Glad you’re enjoying your lovely summer; it’s windy winter down here in Oz – that’s ok though, because winter food and layering is a lot of fun and comforting too. 🙂 These crispy fish tacos look so good! Beer battered anything tastes amazing, especially fish – one of my favourite ingredients, and hugged in tortillas with a jalapeno sauce – wow – what a classic recipe – perfect all year round! Thank you.

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Your fish tacos look amazing, something I’d enjoy while on the beach at sunset and accompany it with a big glass of lemonade.

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    The end of the post with the no nutrition facts killed me – so funny! Sometimes ignorance is bliss right?
    Fish tacos. Jalapeno Sauce. Eating outside. Summer. This recipe/post is pretty much everything that one human could ever want out of life. Pinned!

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Hey Lindsay, this is my kind of food! Gosh I’m drooling just thinking about it lol I really love the way you write is super entertaining! I have been on the hunt for a good fish taco recipe, living in the UK that’s kind of hard to find. I’m excited to try this out and I don’t even cook! 🙂

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      there isn’t 1 commenter/reviewer here that actually has MADE the recipe, yet this recipe comes up as 4-5 stars. Seriously. That’s not right. Don’t review a recipe and give it stars if you haven’t made it. Very dishonest

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Kelly // The Pretty Bee: Cooking & Creating

    Fish tacos are my husband’s favorite! Thanks for this recipe – it looks delicious and very doable!

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Melanie @ Carmel Moments

    They look amazing! Don’t know why this poor family has never tried fish tacos yet.
    Changing that this summer!

    And my basil aint’ lookin’ so hot this year either. It looka withered. Last year it did great. I’m bummed! So I’ll stop back for all the lovely tips everyone is going to leave so I can cash in a vibrant harvest of pesto this year.

    Have a wonderful Monday Lindsay!

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Melanie @ Carmel Moments

    That was weird (up above). It somehow submitted my comment with Kelly’s info.

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    We used to have some tacos similar to these at a restaurant I worked out and they were our most popular and my favorite. Yours sound and look even better! Can’t wait to try these out! Pinned 🙂

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I’m totally with you on the roller coaster thing. I used to loveeeee to go on all the dizzy rides, till I developed chronic vertigo a few years back. Now I just get to spin all the time for free :)…saves money right!

    I totally love embarrassing my teen by making a bee-line for the kiddy rides. The older I get the more I regress into my childhood and well, I just like being a little quirky too 🙂

    Great post as always, your recipes always make my tummy rumble 🙂

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I made fish tacos that weren’t fried a couple of summers ago…a big, wet mistake! I can’t wait to try these!

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This just SCREAMS summer! All of the aforementioned fried things, I’m all about in the summer. Especially those mini corn dogs, I think I could eat like 50 in one sitting. Although I’m trying to eat mostly healthy, there is ALWAYS room for some fried fish tacos! Always. You just can’t so no to them.

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    How did you know this is like.. my FAVORITE meal?! Ugh! Love.

    Oh, and you think you like summer? Come to Memphis, where it’s already 96º and 100% humidity.. ha! I’d gladly summer in your guest room if you don’t mind. 80º sounds amazing!

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    It’s funny isn’t it how here in MN (we are an hour north of you), 80 seems hot? 🙂 Would Pollock work for this? It’s a bit cheaper and easier to find up here than cod. Can’t wait to try this. Thanks!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I don’t know – I haven’t tried polluck! It’s pretty adaptable though – you just want something that will hold together enough for you to fry it nicely. 🙂

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        Oh, and by the way, being that you’re not that far away from us, I’ve found that actually cod is the easiest fish for me to find at my grocery store that’s both wild caught and sourced in the US. I don’t know why but for whatever reason that’s really the only fish that I trust the sourcing from at my local grocery store! It’s still not “local” (which reminds me – walleye would be amazing in these) but I feel really good about the quality of it.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I am like an anti-green thumb, but I was successful with basil last summer (until Iknocked it off the balcony). This summer, the slugs ate my basil, but its comments like these that keep my hopes high. Round two is coming up this weekend.

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo

    And now I want fish – crispy fish in tacos, out of tacos – bathed in that sauce – your fish sounds incredible and it looks killer! I so hope your basil plant makes it through the summah!