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Tacos Capeados

Tacos Capeados

A Mexican lager—laced batter for juicy fish tacos.

“When I think of Baja, I think of the beach, fish tacos, almejas chocolatas (chocolate clams), pristine oysters, and wine,” writes Rick Martínez in his first-ever cookbook, Mi Cocina, released this May. An exploration of Mexico’s seven diverse culinary regions culminating with Baja, the transportive book from the food writer, cook, and host of Pruébalo and Sweet Heat shares Martínez’s favorite at-home versions of more than 100 delicious wonders of Mexican cuisine—including the aforementioned tacos capeados.

“Before I started eating tacos capeados here in Baja and in Mexico generally, I was guilty of over-spicing my batter,” Martínez writes. Using a 50:50 blend of wheat flour and corn flour or masa harina for extra flavor and crunch, he enlivens the batter with Mexican-style lager. “The crust in this recipe does two things: gives crunch to the taco and preserves the juicy and flaky texture of the fish.” 


  • 1 1/2 lbs. (680 g) skinless halibut, cod, or other white fish fillets, cut crosswire into 16 strips
  • Morton kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (4.4 oz./125 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (3.5 oz./ 100 g) masa harina or fine- or medium-grind cornmeal
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 12 oz. Mexican-style pale lager
  • 1/2 cup sparkling mineral water, club soda, or water
  • 3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying (about 3 quarts)
  • Tools:wire rack, sheet pan, medium bowl, whisk, heavy pot, deep-fry thermometer


For servingWarm tortillas de maíz (corn tortillas—Martínez uses homemade tortillas, from his book)
Salsa (Martínez uses a salsa blanca and a salsa de papaya y tomatillo crudo, from his book)
Lime wedges
Shredded red cabbage

Lightly season the fish with salt and pepper. Transfer to a wire rack set inside a sheet pan. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 1 hour or up to overnight (this air-dries the surface so the batter will adhere better to the fish).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, masa harina, baking powder, baking soda, and 1 3/4 tsp. salt. Add the beer, sparkling water, and vinegar, and whisk just until combined and no lumps remain.

Pour 3 inches of oil into a large, heavy pot and clip on a deep-fry thermometer. Heat over medium-high heat until the thermometer registers 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a sheet pan with paper towels.

Working in batches, dip the fish into the batter, allowing any excess batter to drip back into the bowl. Lower the fish carefully into the oil and fry, using tongs to turn the fish occasionally, until light golden brown and just cooked through, for 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the fish to the paper towels to drain.

Serve the pescado capeado with tortillas, salsas, lime wedges, and cabbage.

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