There are many ways to prepare fish tacos, but we especially like ours Baja-style: coated with a beer batter and deep-fried, then popped into warm corn tortillas along with crunchy shredded cabbage and topped with a squeeze of fresh lime juice. The fish should be served as soon as possible after frying; if it sits for too long the crust gets soggy.
Fried Fish Tacos
- 1 cup (5 oz./155 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
- 3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) dark beer
- 1/3 cup (3 oz./90 g) ketchup
- 1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml) mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup (3 oz./90 g) plain yogurt
- 3/4 lb. (375 g) skinless red snapper or sea bass fillets
- 1 tsp. fresh lime juice
- Canola oil for frying
- 8 small corn tortillas, warmed
- Chopped fresh cilantro for serving
- Shredded red cabbage for serving
- Lime wedges for serving
1. In a bowl, stir together the flour, 1 tsp. of the garlic salt and 1/2 tsp. of the cayenne pepper. Pour in the beer and whisk until smooth. Cover and let stand for at least 10 minutes or for up to 1 hour.
2. In a small bowl, stir together the ketchup, mayonnaise and yogurt until blended. Set aside.
3. Cut the fish into 8 strips, each about 4 inches (10 cm) long and 3/4 inch (2 cm) wide, and place in a nonreactive bowl. Sprinkle with the lime juice, the remaining 1/2 tsp. garlic salt and the remaining 1/4 tsp. cayenne and toss to mix. Let marinate at room temperature for 10 minutes.
4. Pour the oil to a depth of 1 inch (2.5 cm) into a deep, heavy fry pan and warm over medium-high heat to 375°F (190°C) on a deep-frying thermometer. Pat the fish dry with paper towels. One at a time, dip a strip into the batter to coat, allowing the excess to drip off, and carefully add the battered fish to the hot oil. Do not allow the pieces to touch. Deep-fry, turning once with a wire skimmer, until the strips are crisp and golden, about 7 minutes. Using the skimmer, transfer to paper towels to drain.
5. Transfer the fried fish to a warmed serving plate. Serve the warmed tortillas, ketchup-mayo sauce, cilantro, cabbage and lime wedges in separate dishes and have diners assemble their own tacos.
Recipe adapted from Williams Sonoma Cook Good Food: Simple Techniques and Foolproof Recipes for Everyday Eating