“FireHouse 7” Fish Tacos

dinner entree May 30, 2021

Fish Tacos
Code 3 Cooking - FireHouse 7 - Chula Vista, California
serves 6, or 4 firefighters

Fish tacos are found on the Baja Coast and have found their way to San Diego. They are popular street fare and are quintessential San Diego.

This recipe was created by me along with my brother Captain William Nigh, a firefighter in San Diego County.

We worked on this for weeks to recreate the authentic San Diego fish taco for a cooking show pilot my brother had dreams of hosting that would feature the special dish that each fire station boasts across the country along with the unique, local non-profit that each fire station supports. It was such a good idea!  

You’re going to love these tacos!

















 My brother, Captain William Nigh


Batter Fried Fish (note: the fish needs one hour to marinate before cooking)
1 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup plain yogurt with 1/2 cup milk)
1 egg white
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro (save 1/4 cup for salsa)
1 Tbs. Juice from a can of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce*
1 Tbls. fresh lime juice
2 lbs. skinless sea bass, red snapper, Mahi Mahi, or other thick, flakey white fish
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
Olive or Grapeseed oil (for frying) 

Garnish/To serve
Finely-shredded green cabbage
16 corn tortillas
Lime wedges
Baja Cream & Jicama Fruit Salsa


  1. Whisk buttermilk (or ½ cup plain yogurt with ½ cup milk), ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro, egg white, Chipotle-Adobo Sauce, and lime juice. 

  2. Place marinade and fish In a ceramic dish and coat the fish with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

  3. After marinating, preheat the oven to 300˚F. 

  4. Blend the flour and cornmeal in a dish large enough to fit fish. Cover the bottom of a large frying pan with a thin layer of oil and until hot but not smoking. 

  5. Remove fish from marinade and lightly shake off excess liquid. 

  6. Dredge in flour-cornmeal mixture covering both sides, patting fish lightly to adhere coating. 

  7. Place the fish away from you into the hot oil and cook until the fish is golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Cook the second side until golden. 

  8. Place on a paper towel-lined platter and keep warm in the oven until the remaining fish is done.

  • Add more oil if needed and allow it to heat up before adding the next batch of fish.


Fire It Up A chipotle pepper is a jalapeño pepper that has ripened and turned red. Chipotle is derived from the Aztec word meaning Smoke. The peppers are placed over pits and smoke is blown from tunnels underground. Adobo is the sauce that these canned chilies come in flavored with vinegar, tomato sauce, and spices.

Firefighter Bill’s Notes How long to cook the fish on each side? Fish, whether fillet or bone-in takes 8 minutes per inch. If you have a fish fillet that is 1/2” thick, sauté it for 4 minutes or 2 minutes on each side. Fish is delicate. Do not flip it back and forth from side to side.

Toppings and Sides

Baja Cream
1/2 cup each mayonnaise and plain full-fat yogurt
1 Tbls. fresh lime juice
Pinch salt
1 small canned chipotle pepper, seeded and minced (or juice from a can of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce)

Whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Cover and refrigerate. Can be made ahead and kept for 3 days.

  • For plain crema, blend 1/2 cup of each mayonnaise and plain full-fat yogurt with 1 Tbls. (or more) fresh lime juice and a pinch of salt

Jicama Fruit Salsa
(Instead of orange or mango, you can also use pineapple, cucumber, or a combination)
1 large orange or mango
3/4 cup peeled and diced jicama (about ⅓ large jicama)
½ white onion, finely chopped
¼ cup minced cilantro
3 Tbls. lime juice
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. (or more) canned chipotle juice

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

If using an orange: 

  • Using a sharp knife, peel the orange by slicing along the skin and removing all the pith. Slice the orange into ⅓-inch rounds and then dice into ⅓-inch pieces.

If using a mango:

Cut a thin slice of skin off the bottom of the mango opposite the stem. Stand the mango upright with the stem up. 

  1. Slice as much of the fat side of the mango away from the oblong white seed in the center of the mango.

  2. Repeat on the opposite side and then cut the two small sides off the mango to remove the flesh from the seed. 

  3. With the two wide pieces, hold the mango steady and make long slits lengthwise to create parallel lines of desired thickness. Cut across the lines to make cubes being careful not to cut through the skin. Score the smaller pieces as well. 

  4. Cup the mango cheek in your hand and use a large spoon to scoop out the fruit, scraping as close to the flesh as possible.


Warm the tortillas by sprinkling a clean kitchen towel with 3 Tbls. water and wring the towel to evenly moisten. Wrap half the tortillas (or no more than 12) in the towel and place them on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave at 50 percent power for 3 to 4 minutes. Place in a covered dish or tortilla bowl and heat remaining tortillas. Allow tortillas to rest before serving for 2 minutes, covered. Tortillas will stay warm for 10 to 20 minutes. 

Stay up-dated with new recipes and techniques in the kitchen

We respect your privacy. We will not share your information or spam you. Unsubscribe at any time.

Quick Links

Recipes & Tips

Community Cuisine
Campbell, CA

Photo Credits:
Amy Johnson, David Greer, and Phillip Romano
© 2008-2023 Community Cuisine, Barbie Aknin. All rights reserved. Site by Hirea, Co.