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Crispy Beer Battered Fish Tacos

These Beer Battered Fish Tacos are light and crispy with a killer sauce that brings all the flavors together!

Where did beer battered fish tacos come from? In general, fish tacos are a classic dish that some sources believe was influenced by fishermen from Japan working near or in Mexico. Others believe indigenous people living on the coast of Mexico were the first fish taco innovators.

These Beer Battered Fish Tacos light and crispy with a killer sauce that brings all the flavors together!

How To Make Fried Fish Tacos

Making these crispy fish tacos is incredibly easy. Just make the sauce, batter and fry the fish, assemble the tacos with corn tortillas, cabbage and cilantro and enjoy!

(Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe card with exact measurements and recipe instructions.)

Best Fish For Fish Tacos

Go for fresh fish, not frozen if you can. If using frozen fillets, thaw out the fish and pat the fillets dry using paper towels.

Going fresh doesn’t mean you need to buy an expensive fish like halibut. Any firm white fish such as tilapia, cod, snapper, orange roughy, flounder or haddock will do. Many people swear by cod and it’s a favorite of mine as well. Other popular white fish choices include mahi mahi, bass and catfish.

There is a reason why you don’t see salmon tacos on the menu at your favorite restaurant. Fish with strong flavors tend to overpower a taco.

What Does Beer Do To Batter?

  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2): The carbonation in the beer causes the bubbles to froth up and expand the batter, making it lighter and full of bubbles, which translates into a crispy airy batter.
  • Foaming Agents: The foam head you see when beer is poured also helps here. The foam slows the bubbles down and draws the heat into the batter instead of the fish.
  • Crisping the Crust: Alcohol evaporates faster than water, so a beer batter doesn’t have to cook as long which works well with fish that cooks quickly.
  • Taste: The type of beer you choose absolutely will influence the flavor of the batter, color too.

Best Beer For Fish Tacos

Pairing beer with food is similar to pairing wine with food, where certain beers pair better with certain foods. The white fish in these beer battered tacos will not have a strong flavor so you don’t want to drown out the fish with a strong beer.

Choose a light-colored beer that you also enjoy drinking such as a Mexican lager (Del Sol, Corona, Tecate) or a weak American beer like Budweiser. The carbonation in beer is important for crispy fish tacos, so flat or beers past expiration that may have lost carbonation are not recommended.

Best Beer Batter Fish Tacos


  • Non-Alcoholic Beer: Some may wish to opt for a non-alcoholic beer; the alcohol in beer is not necessary for the cooking process so any non-alcoholic lager or lighter-colored beer may suffice. You could also get some soda water or seltzer to substitute the beer in your batter but you’ll sacrifice the flavor that beer adds in doing so.
  • Cilantro: If you need to substitute cilantro, you may wish to use Thai basil, Mexican oregano, cumin, or caraway seeds as a substitute. You may find that some cilantro replacements just don’t do the job; in some cases, it may be better to omit it altogether.
  • Managing The Jalapeño Heat: This recipe calls for jalapeño, which some feel are too spicy in general. You can mitigate the heat of the jalapeño by slicing it open and removing not just the seeds but also the white bits which also carry heat. This allows you to enjoy the flavor of the pepper but with the burn significantly reduced or omitted completely.
  • Fusion Tacos: Go fusion by adding elements of another culture’s cooking such as a curry sauce or the addition of pickled daikon radish or pickled ginger.
  • Vegan Options: There are three ingredients in the recipe below which would need to be replaced, starting with the fish itself, plus the mayo, sour cream, and egg called for in the batter and sauce.
    • Swap pico de gallo for the sauce, and you may need to experiment with using an egg substitute in the batter or omitting the egg completely.
    • If you want to add a creamy vegan friendly sauce to your tacos, you can use vegan mayo as a base.
    • You can swap out the fish for a meat substitute including vegan chicken, but you may want to consider adding some Old Bay seasoning to the meat substitute to give it a more “seafood” flavor profile. There is no seafood in Old Bay but it is used so commonly in seafood dishes that some associate the two.
These Beer Battered Fish Tacos light and crispy with a killer sauce that brings all the flavors together!

Crispy Beer Battered Fish Tacos

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

This crispy beer-battered fish taco recipe with a delicious sauce is simply irresistible.


For the sauce:

  • 4 - 6 jalapeños, divided; you'll only need one for the sauce, the rest are for serving
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano, preferably Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

For the batter:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

For the fish:

  • 1 pound white fish, tilapia, cod, snapper etc.
  • vegetable oil

For serving:

  • shredded green or purple cabbage
  • corn tortillas, flour if you prefer
  • chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Place jalapeños on a baking sheet and roast until slightly blackened. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, mix all sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl. Chop one roasted jalapeño and stir into sauce. Allow to sit at room temperature while you prepare the batter.
  3. Whisk egg in a shallow dish. Add beer and stir, then whisk in dry ingredients until smooth (just 1/2 teaspoon salt; the rest is for seasoning the fish).
  4. Pour vegetable oil or other high smoke-point oil in a deep pot until it reaches 375F.
  5. Dip fish into batter and fry until golden brown (about 3-4 minutes), then set on paper towels to absorb the excess grease. Immediately season with remaining salt after placing on paper towels.
  6. Serve fish in a corn tortilla with shredded cabbage, sauce, chopped cilantro and extra chopped roasted jalapeños. Then have a beer to enjoy with it!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 685Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 165mgSodium: 891mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 47g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

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Kristy Bernardo
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