Tasty Yellowtail Taquitos

Tasty Yellowtail Taquitos

Trevor Cook The SCUBA Chef
I’ll never forget a hunting trip to the outer Channel Islands on a day when the water was 71 degrees and yellowtail were zipping around in the kelp forest and enjoying the shade directly under our dive boat. A strong current made the hunt a bit challenging, but I camouflaged myself in the kelp and it wasn’t long before I got a clear shot of a nice-sized yellowtail. This versatile fish turned out to be perfect for the taquito recipe you see here.
Remember, “Always ‘Stay Legal,’ and never take more than you’ll eat.”
Servings 4 servings


  • 2 lbs. yellowtail cut into strips about 3/4” square
  • 16-20 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups peanut oil
  • 2 ripe avocados diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes diced
  • 1 small red onion diced
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Salsa and sour cream for garnish


  • In a non-metal bowl, combine avocado, tomato, onion and cilantro. Gently mix ingredients and season to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • In a large frying pan over medium heat, bring the peanut oil to 350 degrees F. While the oil is heating, line a baking tray with paper towels. Once the oil is hot, use tongs to gently place a tortilla into the hot oil for about two or three seconds, turn once and remove to the paper towel-lined pan. Do this with all the tortillas. The goal is to soften the tortillas a bit; do not overcook or they’ll become brittle.
  • Assemble taquitos by placing strips of yellowtail across the tortilla; roll tightly and secure each taquito with a toothpick.
  • Fry taquitos until crisp, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove to paper towel-lined pan and let cool just a bit, then arrange over a bed of avocado salsa, garnish with sour cream or Mexican crema and enjoy.


Pairing Suggestions

Your favorite Mexican beer will pair perfectly with yellowtail taquitos.

California Yellowtail Info

Family: Carangidae
Genus and Species: Seriola lalandi
Common names: California yellowtail, Asian yellowtail, Southern yellowtail and yellowtail amberjack.
Physical Description: Yellowtails range from 30 to 75 centimeters in length. The long tapered body is silver-white in color with a bright yellow strip running down the mid body to the yellow tail. The canine teeth, a defining characteristic of yellowtails, are located in the upper jaw. The lower jaw reaches slightly beyond the upper jaw
Habitat and Range: Yellowtails inhabit tropical waters and subtropical coastal waters, mostly around reefs and kelp. They are considered circumglobal in subtropical waters. Locally they can be found near reef structures and kelp forests ranging from Catalina Island to Mexico’s Baja Peninsula.
Fishing information: Per-person limit of 10 fish with a 24-inch fork length, measured from the tip of the mouth to the interior (bottom) of the fork in the tail.