Fish is a rare culinary commodity in our household. I absolutely love anything that comes out of a lake, river, or ocean, but Tony is a hard sell. He is very picky about the sea creatures he eats and for that reason, I rarely cook it. Cue the sad trombone.
Don’t worry, this story has a happy ending! Regardless of Tony’s selective nature when it comes to fish, he is head over heals for these Beer Battered Fish Tacos. He loves the crispy, yeasty, perfectly seasoned crust that blankets the moist, flaky, tender fish inside. Is your mouth watering yet? Mine sure is.
I don’t know why, but when I think about fish tacos, it always makes me think of warm weather. Maybe it’s because I imagine laying on a tropical beach under an umbrella with a cold cerveza in one hand and a fish taco in the other. Of course, the fish was just snatched out of the ocean that morning and then cooked to perfection for my eating pleasure. Maybe that’s just me. Some people dream of winning the lottery or living in a mansion, I fantasize about food. Haha.
I think all of the fresh, crunchy garnishes also give these tacos a summery feel. And them colors, tho! Green cilantro and serrano, purple cabbage, and a drizzle of white sauce– it’s a feast for the eyes. Mmmm….
But Danielle, deep frying is hard! True, battering and deep frying fish is a bit of an undertaking, but I have faith in you! Here are a few tips that will make things go more smoothly. Trust me, your dedication will be handsomely rewarded.
1) Smash the Splash – One of the scariest things about deep frying is all of the splashing and spitting that goes on. If this is something that bothers you, try using a stock pot for frying or something else equally deep. This will help contain any splattering that may happen.
2) No Thermometer, No Problem – To know if your oil is hot enough to fry in, simply dip a wooden spoon into the oil. If it bubbles rapidly, it’s ready! If you see the oil smoking or if the bubbles seem to be coming out super fast, the oil is too hot. Take it back a notch.
3) Batter Up! – Dredging the fish with flour before dipping it in the batter ensures that the batter sticks evenly and doesn’t slide off of the wet fish. Also, the thickness of the batter is important. Too thin and there won’t be enough batter to add flavor and texture, too thick and the batter won’t be crispy, but soft and cakey like a corn dog. Try to aim for a batter consistency that is similar to maple syrup. The batter should blanket the fish completely, yet not be super thick. Keep in ind that the batter will expand while it cooks, making it even thicker.
4) Wet Hand, Dry Hand – Here is a tip for every time you want to bread or batter anything. Dedicate one hand to stay dry (for coating in flour) and the other for wet ingredients (like the fish and batter). This will keep your hands from getting caked in a crazy coating of flour and batter, making them easier to clean.
That’s it! You got this.
What are your favorite summer foods? We’d love to hear your story! Thanks for stopping by, see you soon!
- 1 egg plus 1 yolk
- ⅓ – ½ cup cold beer
- ¾ cup cornstarch
- ⅓ plus ⅓ cup all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons plus 1 ½ teaspoons salt, divided
- vegetable oil for frying
- 1 pound boneless, skinless tilapia fillets, cut in half lengthwise
- ¾ cup sour cream
- ⅓ cup fresh lime juice
- 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- ¾ cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 ½ cups finely shredded cabbage
- 2 serrano chiles, seeded and small diced
- salt to taste
- Preheat the oven to the lowest possible setting. Place a baking sheet topped with a rack in the oven. This will hold the fish and keep them warm while you’re cooking.
- Place the egg and yolk in a bowl or pie dish and whisk until blended. Add the beer and whisk once more. Add the cornstarch, ⅓ cup of flour, baking powder, and 1 ½ teaspoons of salt. Whisk until combined.
- In another bowl or pie pan, stir together the remaining ⅓ cup flour and 1 ½ teaspoons of salt.
- Pour the vegetable oil into a deep skillet or dutch oven. The oil should be at least 3 inches deep with at least 2 inches of head room. Place over high heat and bring to 350ºF, then reduce to a medium heat for cooking the fish.
- While the oil is heating, bread the fish. Place the fish pieces in the pan with the flour and toss to coat. When the oil is hot, dip the fish in the beer batter and carefully place in the oil, one piece at a time. Cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Cook the fish in batches, placing the fish on the rack in the oven after each batch is done.
- To make the sauce for the tacos, stir together the sour cream, lime juice, and salt to taste in a small bowl.
- Heat the tortillas in the microwave in 30 second intervals until hot. You can also heat them over an open flame one-by-one or on a skillet over high heat. You’ll know when they’re hot when they soften and do not crack when bent.
- To serve, place a piece of fried fish into each tortilla. Top each taco with a bit of the sauce, onion, cilantro, cabbage, and serrano. Devour immediately.