Rick Martinez’s Tacos Capeados – Baja style fish tacos

Rick Martinez’s new cookbook, “Mi Cocina: Recipes and Rapture from My Kitchen in Mexico” (Clarkson Potter, $35), includes 100 recipes from seven different regions of Mexico. This recipe for Tacos Capeados features Baja-stye tacos, but with a slightly different mixture than what we usually see in the States—and two great options.

“For the crispy fried fish, I use a batter mix that has a 50/50 ratio mix of wheat flour to cornmeal or masa harina,” Martinez says in the book. “The corn adds extra flavor but also creates a crunchy crust that stays crunchy even when cooled to room temperature.”

Don’t over-season the mixture or make it “pull more than its fair share of flavor lift,” he says. “The real artistry of making tacos lies in the layers of flavor and texture. Each ingredient contributes to a different sensation in your mouth—hot, cold, soft, crunchy, sweet, salty and spicy.”

Rick Martinez Taco Capiados

Serves 4 to 6


1½ pounds skinless halibut, cod, or other white fish fillets, cut crosswise into 16 fillets

Morton’s Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup masa harina or fine or medium-grind cornmeal

2 teaspoons baking powder

Half a teaspoon of baking soda

12 oz dull mexican style lager

¼ cup of sparkling mineral water, carbonated water or water

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Vegetable oil for frying (about 3 liters)

To apply:

Warm corn tortilla

Salsa de Papaya y Tomatillo Cruda (see below)

salsa blanca (see below)

lemon wedges

Sliced ​​red cabbage


Season the fish with a little salt and pepper. Transfer it to a wire rack fitted inside a tray. Place in the refrigerator, uncovered, for at least an hour or overnight (this surface is air dried, so the mixture sticks to the thickness better).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, masa harina, baking powder, baking soda, and 12 teaspoons salt. Add the beer, sparkling water, and vinegar and whisk until completely combined and no lumps left.

Pour 3 inches of oil into a large, heavy saucepan and place on a frying pan, heat over medium-high heat until thermometer registers 375 degrees. Cover tray with paper towels.

Working in batches, dip the fish into the mixture, allowing excess batter to drip back into the bowl. Carefully lower the fish into the oil and fry, using tongs to flip the fish occasionally, until light golden brown and completely cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the fish to paper towels to drain.

Serve pescado capido with tortilla bread, salsa, lemon and cabbage.


Makes 2 cups


3 medium tomatoes, peeled, washed and cut into 2cm pieces

¼ ripe papaya, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces

¼ medium white onion, coarsely chopped

3 serranos peppers, seeded and finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely grated

6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

Morton Kosher Salt


In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, papaya, onion, chili pepper, garlic, lemon juice, and mint together. Season with salt to taste. Cover the bowl with plastic and refrigerate for an hour, so that the flavors hold together. Serve chilled or at room temperature. (Note: Cruda salsa can be prepared up to 1 day in advance. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.)

salsa blanca

Makes 1 1/3 cups


1 anchovy fillet filled with oil

½ teaspoon Morton’s kosher salt, plus more to taste

“Mi Cocina: Recipes and Rapture from My Kitchen in Mexico” by Rick Martinez collects 100 recipes from seven regions. (Image credits to Clarkson Potter/Publishers)

Half a cup of mayonnaise

¼ cup cream, fresh cream, or sour cream

½ cup finely chopped coriander

2 serranos peppers, seeded and finely chopped

2 finely grated garlic cloves

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Place the anchovies on a cutting board and sprinkle with salt. Using the flat side of a knife, mash it up until a paste forms. Scrape the mixture into a medium-sized bowl.

Add the mayonnaise, cream, coriander, chile serranos, garlic, lemon peel and lemon juice and whisk to combine. Season with salt to taste. Cover and put in the fridge until ready to serve. (The sauce can be made up to 1 day in advance. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.)

– Reprinted with permission from “Mi Cocina: Recipes and Rapture from My Kitchen in Mexico” by Rick Martínez, Copyright © 2022. Published by Clarkson Potter / Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

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