Curing my Rubio’s Fish Tacos craving!

fishtacosNow before you react like my daughter first did with the thoughts and sounds of “eeewww!” hear me out! If you’ve never had a fish taco from Rubios, or anywhere else that makes them decent, then you are MISSING OUT. And for all of the Minnesotan out there, no, we do not have a Rubio’s chain here…yet. Though I stay forever hopeful that “one day” it will come our way.

Ok, so how did I even find out about these in MN you ask? Well, for a couple years in my life I lived in CO, such a beautiful state. But to be honest I only miss 3 things about Colorado-the views, the sunshine, and the fish tacos from the Rubio’s down the street from where I used to live. It was “Pesky combo #5” I think that I used to always get, it came with 2 fish tacos and a side of refried beans with tortilla chips, I would crave them like a pregnant woman craves ice cream and pickles every 30 minutes. Really, I’m drooling right now thinking about them and looking at the picture. Well anyways, I moved back to MN quite a while ago, and actually went 5 long years without these, and it was tough, let me tell you. But it’s not like the local Taco Bell has them, and the Mexican restaurants I went to never seemed to have them on the menu, or if they did it just looked and sounded different then what I was accustomed to. So I wouldn’t order them as I didn’t want to be disappointed by the thought of “these are just not the same!!!”.

Well, as it often happens, one day I just decided to try and make them myself. I figured, how hard could it really be plus I wanted some BAD. I knew they key was in the sauce, as a fish taco is really nothing more then a fried fish fillet (I prefer Tilapia) and thinly shredded cabbage wrapped in a corn tortilla….but then that delicious sauce pulls it all together and it becomes something so much more then the sum of it’s individual parts. I’ll have you know, my teen is now the first to line up and get her 2-3 tacos before the rest of us can, so much for turning her nose up at them in the beginning!

The recipe below is from with just a couple slight changes, you can see the comments and original recipe by going to Fish Tacos. Be generous with the sauce, and even more so with the limes, trust me. In my family, if there are any leftovers, we fight over them.

Oh, and the sauce would be great for baked fish or salmon fillets, anything that would pair well with a tart and creamy sauce.

Want to keep this low carb? Ditch the tortilla, it still tastes great!!

Like Rubio’s Fish Tacos (12 tacos):

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 jalepeno pepper-minced
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 Tbls cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 ts salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup beer
  • oil for frying fish
  • 6 Tilapia fillets, cut in half down the middle
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 a head of cabbage, thinly sliced
  • a couple limes


  • Combine well the first set of ingredients in a large bowl and then refrigerate until ready to eat, this is the sauce.
  • Combine the next set of ingredients, mixing well. Refrigerate this until ready to use, this is the batter for the fish.
  • Fill a small pot (6-7 inches in diameter) about 1/3 of the way with frying oil. Allow this to heat up over medium heat for at least 5 minutes, longer if you use a smooth top range.
  • In the meantime, thinly slice/shred the cabbage and place in a large plate. Slice the limes into wedges and place on the plate with the cabbage.
  • Test to see if the oil is hot enough by dropping in a tiny bit of the batter. It should react right away by puffing up and floating to the surface, getting golden in color within 10-15 seconds.
  • Once the oil is ready you will need the batter, the fish, and a plate lined with a couple paper towels for the cooked fillets to drain on. I suggest setting all of this up fairly close to the stove, so you don’t have to go to far for anything and avoid dripping batter everywhere.
  • Dip the fillet into the batter, coating it completely. Place it right into the oil and repeat with another fillet, you should be able to fit about 3 in the pot at the same time. Allow them to cook for 1-2 minutes, once they are golden on the bottom flip them over and continue to cook until both side are golden. These will not take long to cook. Take them out of the oil and place on the plate with paper towels.
  • To assemble the tacos: Simply place a fish fillet in the middle, add a handful of cabbage, and add about 2 Tbls of sauce. Squeeze in some lime, fold it up and eat!

16 thoughts on “Curing my Rubio’s Fish Tacos craving!

  1. I cant believe I am actually going to try these. I was wondering though, if there is a beer substitute that you know of? I realize it is just for cooking, but while at the store today, I realized that it can only be purchased in packs. I did not wish to get that much for the 1 cup required. I didnt want to go to the liquor store either. I cant even stand the smell of beer. Suggestions?

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  3. Yummy! Made these tonight and everyone liked them. Definately different. Neither Steve or I recall the restaraunt Rubios. Where in Co. was it? Some of Steve’s family still live there. Mine have all moved now. I thought the next time I make these, I would try the original recipe to compare. Thanks.

  4. so glad you guys liked them! we live near the DTC area, Littleton and Edgewood. Let me know what you think of the original recipe, my alterations were minimal, as I didn’t have capers and prefer the tilapia over the cod. I did try the cod one and the fish just didn’t taste as good to me.

  5. Steve’s mom used to work in the DTC. I know the area and dont recall Rubios. They must’ve come after we moved in 89. I’m sure Steve’s mom knows of it. So I made these again using the original recipe. I had leftovers to use up, so I figured I would. This time I used cod fish and the deep fryer. Big mistake on the deep fryer. Everything else was fine. I also briefly fried the shells since the “boys” thought that would be better. It was still good, but just more greasy even though I drained them on paper towel. You are right about the lime, it makes the flavor pop!

  6. oh yeah, it was after you left then as it was built up around 2006-ish, it’s right over by the University of Phoenix, if it’s still there. I know, isn’t lime just a great flavor??

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  11. Just made these tonight and they were a huge hit!! My nine and seven year old even loved them!! Thanks so much for sharing!!

  12. We used to live in Arizona and we LOVED Rubio’s fish tacos. We have had these 3 times and they are wonderful! My kids even love them!

  13. WOW! My son says, these are awesome!! I never have been able to fry anything with any luck, but this was great! the filets puffed up like little tasty pillows of fish goodness!! I will make this again. We live in San Diego, near the original Rubios, but I’ll save myself the trip and make these at home!!! YUM!

  14. You pretty much made my day. Fell in love with Rubios while living in Southern California. Moved back to Minnesota and have craved them since. Now we’re moving to Colorado and I can get my Rubios fix! πŸ™‚

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