Daniella Guevara’s cuisine is an ode to her home of Sector Popular in Mexico City. The self-taught cook has been sharing her cuisine since moving to Australia in 2009, starting with pop-up dinners in her home under the banner of Mi Mero Mole. Since then she’s been educating Adelaide diners on the intricacies of Mexican cuisine – from proper taco-eating etiquette to correct use of condiments (tip: don’t mix and match).

Now her base is in the heart of Port Adelaide, at La Popular Taqueria – considered one of the best, if not the best, places to get tacos in Adelaide. It has white-tiled walls and colourful plastic plates, just like taquerias in Mexico City, and a Virgin Mary statue on the high shelf.

Since it opened in 2017, one of the most popular orders has been its Baja-style fish taco. “It is actually a very simple recipe; you can prepare all the sides and batter separately and keep them in the fridge till it’s time to serve. Once it’s serving time you just need to heat the tortillas and fry the fish,” she tells Broadsheet.

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Guevara is a big promoter of sustainability, both for the planet and for the quality of the dish. Her pro-tip: “At La Popular we use sustainable South Australian fish like tommy rough or ocean jacket.

“I would recommend serving the [cooked] fish straight away – outside or at the kitchen dining table is best.”

Baja-style fish tacos
Serves 6
Preparation: 25 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
500g firm white fish, cut into strips
1L vegetable oil
8 maize tortillas
¼ small purple cabbage, finely shredded
½ cucumber, finely diced

Pico de gallo
2 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
1 small white onion, finely chopped
½ cup coriander, roughly chopped
1 lime, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste

Chipotle mayonnaise
1 cup of mayonnaise
1 tbsp canned chipotle chilli

Fish batter
200g plain flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp Mexican oregano
¼ tsp pepper
1 can of cold beer (355ml)
1 egg
Extra flour to coat fish

Method:
To make the pico de gallo, combine the tomatoes, onion, coriander and lime juice in a medium bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.

For the chipotle mayo, blend mayonnaise and chipotle chilli in a food processor. Place in a bowl to serve.

To prepare the batter, mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, oregano and pepper in a medium-sized bowl.

In another medium bowl, mix the beer and egg. Once well combined, add the dry ingredients and mix until you have a thick batter.

Heat the oil in a deep cast-iron pan to 180°C. One by one, dust fish strips in flour and dip into the batter so they are lightly but fully coated. Fry for a couple of minutes, turning regularly until batter is crisp and golden. Cook each strip like this, and place on a tray with paper towel to drain.

Moisten the tortillas by sprinkling with water so they stay flexible and don’t dry out, then heat them one at a time on a hot skillet, around 10 seconds each side. Keep them in a clean tea towel to retain heat.

To build the taco, grab a tortilla, place fish in the middle, add shredded cabbage followed by chipotle mayo, pico de gallo and cucumber.

Looking for more recipe inspiration? Check out Broadsheet’s recipe hub.