Gluten Free Baja Fish Tacos with Fresh Flour Tortillas

Gluten Free Baja Fish Tacos with Fresh Flour Tortillas

2 baja fish tacos on a white surfaceI like to serve the Gluten Free Baja Fish Tacos with the gluten free flour tortillas from page 203 of GFOAS Bakes Bread, but you may prefer them with corn tortillas. But good news! We’ve got recipes for both.

And anyway, this recipe is really alllllll about the gluten free tempura batter. When it comes to tempura made with gluten, the main object is avoiding gluten development so your batter fries up crisp, not chewy. *ahem* I think we can take care of that problem pretty easily around here. Don’t you?

5 baja fish tacos in a metal dish

I also imagine you have some pretty important ideas about how you like your Baja fish tacos: with pico de gallo or without, on corn or flour tortillas, how hot you like your sauce, which cheese is best, etcetera etcetera etcetera.

This way is the way my family and I love them, but feel free to make them your own! This 5 Ingredient Easy Lemon Dill Sauce from My Gluten Free Miami also looks like it would go great here.

Overhead view of baja fish on black tray

But even if you really are kind of afraid of deep frying (it’s not unhealthy when done right!), promise me you’ll at least try this fish tempura at least once? The super crisp, paper thin layer of tempura that’s light and bright—never greasy!—and the super tender white fish inside is just something you need to try.

Overhead view of fish and tortillas on a white surface

I want you to know that I wish I had taken a photo of that white paper after I moved the fried fish. Not a speck of oil. Nothing. Dry as a bone (the paper, not the fish)!

Fish being fried

White rice flour, cornstarch and a bit of salt, mixed with an egg yolk beaten in warm water are all it really takes to make the best tempura batter. Make sure your oil is hot enough and kept at a consistent 360°F and the outside of the batter seals almost as soon as the fish hits the hot oil. The rest of the frying is just about gently cooking the fish inside without absorbing any oil.

Close up of baja fish taco on white surface

If word gets out that gluten free tempura batter is so light and flaky and makes baja fish tacos this tender, they’ll all be knocking on our gluten free doors. Don’t worry, gluten-eaters! I’ll set a place for you.

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 12 to 14 tacos


1 recipe Gluten Free Flour Tortillas from page 203 of GFOAS Bakes Bread (reprinted here on the blog)

For the Chipotle Sauce
1/4 cup (56 g) mayonnaise

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (84 g) sour cream

1 chipotle chili in adobo, rinsed and seeds removed

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons sugar

For the Fish Tempura
1 1/2 pounds firm white fish fillets (I used tilapia)

6 tablespoons (54 g) cornstarch, plus more for dredging

3/4 cup (120 g) superfine white rice flour

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 egg yolk, at room temperature

1 cup (8 fluid ounces) warm water

Oil, for frying

For Serving
2 cups shredded red cabbage

6 ounces cotija cheese or queso fresco, crumbled

Sour cream


  • Make the tortillas. Prepare the flour tortillas according to the recipe instructions, cutting the raw tortillas into 6-inch rounds before cooking them in a hot, dry skillet. Set the tortillas, wrapped in a moist tea towel, aside while you make the fish tempura.

  • Make the chipotle sauce. Place all of the chipotle sauce ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. Set the sauce aside.

  • Prepare the fish tempura. Slice the fish fillets into strips about 3-inches long and about 3/4-inch wide. Blot them dry with a paper towel, and set the fish aside. In a large bowl, place the 6 tablespoons cornstarch, the white rice flour and the salt, and whisk to combine well. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk with the warm water until well-combined. Create a well in the center of the large bowl with the cornstarch and white rice mixture, and pour in the water and egg yolk mixture in a slow and steady stream, whisking to combine constantly. The tempura batter should be about the consistency of heavy cream.

  • Fry the fish. In separate medium-size bowl, place enough extra cornstarch for dredging the fish strips before dipping them in the tempura batter. Next to the cornstarch, place the tempura batter. Place about 3-inches of frying oil in a medium-size, heavy-bottom pot or fryer. Clip a deep-fry/candy thermometer to the side of the pot or fryer, and place the oil over medium-high heat. Bring the oil temperature to 360°F. Dredge each piece of fish in the cornstarch to coat lightly, then dip in the tempura batter and allow much of the batter to drip off the fish. Place the fish strips, a few at a time, in the hot oil, taking care not to crowd the oil. The fish should bubble up immediately in the hot oil. Fry until the bubbling begins to subside and the fish strips are very lightly golden brown all over (about 2 to 3 minutes per side). As soon as each batch is removed from the fryer, place on a wire rack placed over paper towels to drain and cool completely.

  • Assemble the tacos. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of chipotle sauce in the center of each flour tortilla. Top with 2 fried fish strips, about 3 tablespoons of shredded cabbage, 2 tablespoons crumbled cheese, and another tablespoon of chipotle sauce. Serve immediately.



P.S. If you haven’t yet, please pick up your copy of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread. Your support means so, so much to me!

Comments are closed.

  • Leslie Farmer
    June 2, 2014 at 4:24 PM

    I have been pinning your recipes for probably an hour as I read them and my mouth waters. I came on your site looking for a bread (maybe a roll or something) that I could make several for travel. Do you know how long they would keep? We are traveling to England soon with a large group, and I want to make sure I am not not left hungry if the group decides to eat somewhere that has no GF options. I am trying to make some snacks and whatever to take along. Thanks for any help! :) By the way, I have added one of your recipe books to my wish list on Amazon and plan on ordering when we get back.

    • June 2, 2014 at 6:07 PM

      Hi, Leslie, Welcome to the blog! Any homemade yeast bread that is not frozen will be less fresh as the days go on. The more moist breads, though, like my English Muffin Bread (recipe in my bread book, reprinted here on the blog) will stay fresher longer, as will the “Subway-style sandwich rolls” here on the blog (just use the search function). But I think you might do best with my soft tapioca wraps here on the blog. They do great in my kids’ lunches, and hold up well for days. Have a great trip!

      • Leslie Farmer
        June 4, 2014 at 8:16 AM

        Thank you so much for the suggestions!

  • Lucy
    June 2, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    I haven’t had Baja fish tacos, not a staple in Canada :)
    These do look lovely.
    At one time I had a deep fryer, I never used it. So I gave it away to my sis in-law. I wonder if she will lend it out? Or the old pot will just have to do…;)
    I have finally found a bench scrapper and found a glass large cutting board ( no marble boards around here) without having to drive to far (40 miles)…
    So next baking day will be a new adventure for me… wish me luck :)

    • June 2, 2014 at 12:59 PM

      I’m wishing you alllll kinds of luck, Lucy. But you won’t need it. :)

      • Lucy
        June 2, 2014 at 1:01 PM

        Thanks Nicole, I was just looking a the demo videos, you make it look so easy.

        • June 2, 2014 at 6:04 PM

          It is easy, Lucy! Promise. :)

  • Michelle
    June 2, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    I can’t wait to try these! Thanks so much! Your chipotle sauce is different from the kind I usually make, but I think I will like yours better. Since I like food hot enough to peel paint, I’ll use the whole chipotle unrinsed with a little extra spoonful of the adobo, though. Did I ever tell you that when I made the olive bread from the book, I was out of kalamatas, so I used some regular black olives and some jalapeño-stuffed green ones? It was really, really good.

    • June 2, 2014 at 12:58 PM

      This is another Michelle Beck inspired choice! You should have your own blog category at this point. I think you’re gonna love the tempura batter, Michelle. And that olive bread sounds amazing!

      • Michelle
        June 9, 2014 at 9:48 PM

        I made them tonight, and they are wonderful! Light and crispy, and the sauce really makes them. Thanks so much!

  • Donia Robinson
    June 2, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    And hey, the batter is dairy free!!!!!!!!

  • Jennifer S.
    June 2, 2014 at 9:31 AM

    you know what? I have the fryer, I have the oil, I still haven’t used it!!! ugh. I do not know why I’m delaying it so much. These look good enough to push me over the edge — or maybe the donuts. :)

    • Donia Robinson
      June 2, 2014 at 9:36 AM

      Stern look, Jennifer.

      • Anneke
        June 2, 2014 at 10:43 AM

        Donia, you totally made me snort!!

        • Jennifer S.
          June 4, 2014 at 1:04 PM

          Oh you girls!

    • June 2, 2014 at 10:01 AM

      Go for it, Jennifer! What are you afraid will go wrong? I’ll talk you through it. :)

      • Jennifer S.
        June 4, 2014 at 1:04 PM

        I think where I get hung up is the clean up afterwards. I have to wait for the oil to cool down and then strain and funnel it back into the container, and then what do I do with the fryer? clean it out each time? ugh.

Where should I send your free guide?

By entering your email, you're agreeing to our Privacy Policy. We respect your email privacy, and will never share your information.