These Baja Fish Tacos with veggie slaw are easily the BEST Whole 30 recipe I have ever made. Contrary to many “compliant” recipes we’ve all made and eaten, this recipe tastes restaurant quality and in no way feels like a diet meal. Being in New York I’m about as far away from a Rubio’s Fish Taco as I could be. These almond flour breaded tacos keep my Taco Tuesdays feeling San Diego-adjacent. Here’s the breakdown: veggie slaw, breaded fish, tortillas (gluten free, obviously), and toppings.
Slaw for your Baja Fish Tacos:
You can select the veggies you prefer for your slaw. I wanted to max out on vitamin C so I used a lot of brightly colored veggies. This recipe calls for bell pepper, red onion, carrots, cabbage, cilantro, lime, and mayo (chipotle or regular). If you use a bagged cabbage mix, roughly chop the mix with a sharp knife so the cabbage is in smaller, bite sized pieces. You can finely chop your carrot or use a vegetable peeler to shred the carrot into thin strands. Every veggie in the slaw should be thin and bite sized. When you’ve assembled your veggies and chopped cilantro, mix in the mayo and lemon and chill in the refrigerator until mealtime.
Breaded fish for Baja Fish Tacos:
Before preparing the fish, you need your fillets to be as dry as possible. Plate your fish to air out and blot them dry with a kitchen cloth or paper towel. Prep your counter: you need one dinner plate for the arrowroot powder, one bowl for the beaten egg, and one bowl for the almond flour breading mix.
Cut your fish fillets into pieces approximately 1 inch by 3 inches- I can usually get 3 pieces out of one fillet. Pat dry once more and roll each fish piece in arrowroot powder. Arrowroot powder is the secret weapon of this dish- it will help your fish get nice and crispy without any deep frying. Add more arrowroot powder to the plate as needed. Your fingers will get sticky; wipe or rinse between pieces. When all fish pieces are dusted with arrowroot powder, you’re ready to move on to egg and breading.
Whisk your egg in one bowl and in the other bowl combine almond flour and seasonings. With a fork, dip a piece of (arrowroot dusted) fish in the egg and allow it to drip excess before dropping it into the breading mix. Using a spoon, cover the fish completely before setting aside for cooking.
Depending on your baking mode, you may want to only prep as many fish pieces as you have room to cook, at a time. The longer prepped fish sits out or the more times it is touched before cooking, the more likely that the breading will fall off. Cooking times are as follows:
Spray fish with a little oil and cook in the air frier at 400 degrees fahrenheit for 12 minutes. While cooking my second round of fish, I pop the first pieces into a cast iron and a warmed oven (preheat to 200 and turn off heat).
Cook fish in a tbsp of olive or avocado oil in a cast iron pan on medium high for 6 minutes per side, or until well browned. Rest fish on a paper towel after cooking to remove residual oil.
Drizzle a tbsp of olive or avocado oil in a cast iron pan and add fish pieces. Bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for 16 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Tortillas and Toppings for Baja Fish Tacos:
I’ve used a variety of tortillas for these tacos. If you eat corn you can use corn tortillas (not whole 30 compliant). I love the jicama wraps from Trader Joes- they are perfectly sized to resemble street tacos.
I’ve also made my own coconut flour tortillas with this recipe. No tortilla rolling necessary, just whisk batter together and pour into a pan like a pancake. You can also use store bought almond or cassava flour tortillas.
I love using pepitas seeds to top these fish tacos- they lend such a nice crunch to each bite. You can use store bought roasted and salted pepitas, or my preferred choice, roast your own. I roast my pepitas on the stove, with a small drizzle of avocado oil, and a dash of salt, chili powder, and paprika. Keep the heat on medium-low, and stir until seeds have started to brown.
Finally for the toppings, AVOCADO. Sliced, cubed, or guacamole’d. It wouldn’t be a proper taco without it.
NOTE: this recipe is for 4 ounces of fish, or two servings. To prepare more servings, double the breading ingredients and ounces of fish as needed.
Baja Fish Tacos [Whole 30, Paleo, Keto, Air Fryer]
- Cutting Board
- Air Fryer OR Cast Iron Pan
- Chopping Knife
- Large mixing bowl
- 1/2 cup almond meal/flour
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayene pepper powder
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder (can be omitted if you don't have this)
- 1 Egg, whisked
- 4 oz Cod, defrosted and cut lengthwise into tenders
- 3 tbsp arrowroot powder (may need a bit more)
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 1/2 large red onion, finely sliced
- 1/2 large Bell Pepper, finely sliced (any color)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, leaves and stems included
- 1 cup cabbage mix, chopped
- 1/2 cup carrots, shredded or thinly chopped
- 1/2 lime's juice
- 1 tbsp Chipotle Lime Mayo from Primal Foods Kitchen (can use regular mayo)
- 1 ripe avocado, cubed
- 1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 2 tsp avocado oil (omit if not roasting pepitas)
- 1 package jicama wraps OR
- 1 package Siete foods grain free tortillas OR
- 1 recipe coconut flour tortillas See recipe linked above
- 1/4 cup raw pepitas seeds
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 2 shakes pink sea salt
- 1 shake black pepper
- 1 shake cayenne pepper
- 2 shakes garlic powder
Preparing the Slaw
- In a medium bowl, combine all slaw veggies. Veggies should be cut into bite sized pieces.
- Drizzle lime juice over the slaw.
- Add mayo. If you are using regular mayo, consider adding a few shakes of chili powder, paprika, or cayenne.
- Stir to mix. Cover and chill in the refridgerator until meal time.
Preparing the Fish
- Preheat your oven, air fryer, or stove to 400 degrees fahreinheit.
- With a kitchen or paper towel, blot fish pieces dry and set aside.
- Mix almond flour, salt, pepper, and seasonings in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg.
- Spread arrowroot powder on a dinner plate and gently dip your fish fillets into the powder until all sides are coated.
- Repeat until all fish pieces are covered in arrowroot powder. You may need additional arrowroot powder.
- Using a fork, dip a piece of fish into the whisked egg and turn to coat.
- Transfer fish to breading and us a spoon to cover all sides with breading mix.
- Set fish aside.
- Repeat with all fish (unless you need to batch cook fish in the air fryer- see notes above)
- Place fish in your cooking pan and lightly drizzle fish with avocado oil.
- Air Frier: Cook fish for 12 minutes at 400 degrees.
- Stove Top: Cook fish for 12 minutes on medium high heat, turning fish at 6 minutes or when well browned.
- Oven: Cook fish for 16 minutes at 400 degrees, turning at 8 minutes.
- Let fish rest a few minutes before serving.
- To roast pepitas, add seeds and 1 tablespoon avocado oil to a pan on medium heat. Stir in seasonings, if desired. Remove from heat after seeds start to brown, let cool.
- Enjoy your breaded fish in a tortilla of your choice. Top with slaw, avocado, and pepitas seeds.
Hungry for more? Check out my ideas for vegetarian Whole 30 meals.