Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Baja Fish Tacos

I shared grilled fish tacos a while ago. I love a good grilled fish taco. I also love a delicious fried fish taco. I'm really not picky; both are delicious. I realized I haven't shared a fried fish taco yet so here I am, sharing a yummy beer battered fish taco.

I feel like there are a lot of preferential elements that go into making a good fried fish taco. For me, I need the crunch of cabbage (preferably purple), a really good spicy and creamy sauce (preferably not mayonnaise based), and a spicy pico de gallo to cut the grease (preferably homemade). My favorite fish taco restaurant is in Miami (Alma Mexicana, anyone?) so it's not the most accessible. There aren't many delicious Mexican restaurants in my neighborhood so instead of resorting to subpar fare, I like to make it at home.
Ingredients [serves 4]:
2 fish filets (cod, tilapia, halibut, mahi-mahi, snapper, any good, fresh, white fish)
½ cup flour
½ to ⅓ cup beer
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
oil for frying
1 chipotle pepper (canned in adobo)
¼ cup sour cream
2 to 3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons lime juice (juice of 1 lime)
1 teaspoon hot sauce
+ tortillas
+ red cabbage, sliced
+ pico de gallo
+ avocado
+ hot sauce
+ lime wedges
+ guacamole

Cut the fish into smaller pieces. You'll want to cut them into appropriate sizes for the tortillas.
Combine the batter ingredients in a bowl. Add the flour, salt, pepper, and beer and mix together to form a batter. The foam from the beer will create a light and crisp batter. If you're not a beer fan, you can use soda water or hard cider.
Dip the fish in the batter and then drop into hot oil. The oil should come about 1" up the pan and be 350F. To test the oil, put the handle of a wooden spoon in; if it sizzles, it's ready.
Cook the fish until it's nice and crispy and then let them drain on a paper towel to wick away the excess grease.
Earlier in the day, I made a batch of homemade corn tortillas. I just had them rolled out so while the fish was going, I started toasting the tortillas.
I also whipped up a quick and simple chipotle sauce.
Plop a chipotle pepper and some sour cream into a food processor. Drizzle in a little milk and whizz until smooth. Add a few drops of hot sauce and some lime juice, whizz again just to combine, and that's that. If you're like me and you dislike mayonnaise, then this is a great alternative to the usual sauce that gets plopped onto fish tacos. It's got tartness from the sour cream and the lime juice, it's got a smoky spiciness from the chipotle peppers, and of course, since it's dairy based, it's definitely creamy.
I served up the fish tacos with a big batch of rice and beans (where the beans were stirred into the rice), pico de gallo, shredded red cabbage, and a huge bottle of hot sauce. Oh, and if you're wondering why there are two bowls of pico, it's because one of them is cilantro-free (you know, for the cilantro haters).
Assemble the taco by first grabbing a tortilla (double up if you think you need a little more stability). Slap on a delicious piece of fish, slather it in sauce, top with cabbage and pico de gallo, and chow down. The fish is light and crispy, the sauce is tangy and spicy, the pico de gallo adds lots of freshness, the cabbage adds crunch, and the fresh corn tortilla is so soft and perfect. This is a balanced and amazing meal and quite healthy to boot, despite what you may be thinking with the fried fish. Fried food is okay to eat in moderation, I promise!
Here's the recipe page:

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