Baja-Style Tacos de Pescado

Tacos de Pescado #1

So, along with the ceviche, these fish tacos are going to be added to my list of firsts. Can you believe that I had never tried fish tacos before?! Wow! I was totally missing out. But, I do have reason. When I lived in Mexico and even when I visit, I always find myself in the central part of the country (Mexico City, Puebla) or on the eastern coast (Veracruz). I have never ventured over to the western coast, even though I would LOVE to visit that area some day. So, you see? That’s why I haven’t tried a fish taco before.

Tacos de Pescado #2

But, I had to change that. So, the other night I brought Baja California to my kitchen with these scrumptious, crunchy fish tacos. Roberto and I enjoyed these alongside the beautiful ceviche that he prepared.

We both felt like we were chilling on the beach. We were just missing the straw palapa, hammock, ocean breeze, and possibly a few fresh cut coconuts. Oh well, these tacos still made us feel like we were in a tropical paradise.

Tacos de Pescado #3

These can be served for a light, summery dinner. In addition to the spicy mayo, you can make an additional salsa to put on top of the tacos. I made a creamy green salsa, but a pico de gallo would be divine.

So, now I just have to figure out how to get to Baja to try the real deal and see how my version compares!

Tacos de Pescado

Click here for printable recipe.  

Fish Tacos (Makes about 2-3 servings)

1 lb. cod (or other white fish, like hake or halibut)

1 ½ cups cake flour

½ tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp salt

¾ cup beer

1 egg

Oil for deep frying

→Preheat oil in a deep fryer to 375°F.

→Cut the cod into 2 ½-inch long strips. The strips should be about 1-2 inches wide. This will make the tacos easier to serve later on.

→In a bowl, combine flour, pepper, and salt. Transfer a little bit more than half of this mixture to a shallow tray. You will be using this shortly to coat the battered cod.

→Add beer and egg to the remaining mixture in the bowl and whisk until smooth. The batter should have the consistency of paint.

→Add all of the cod to the beer batter.  Remove one piece of cod at a time and let some of the batter drip off. Then place the battered cod in the flour mixture. Roll to coat. Remove and place on a baking sheet.

→Continue to roll the remaining battered cod in the flour mixture until all pieces are coated.

→Once the oil is heated, place 4-6 pieces of fish in the fryer. Do not try to put too many pieces in at once or it will lower the temperature of the oil and the fish will be soggy.

→Cook the fish about 3 minutes on each side (6 minutes total) or until it stops bubbling significantly. Remove and place on a paper towel-lined tray.

Spicy Mayonnaise

½ cup mayonnaise

½ chipotle in adobo, +1 tsp adobo sauce

1 TBSP milk

→Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. You may have to stop several times to scrape down the sides.

To serve

Corn tortillas, warmed on a flat griddle

1 small head of cabbage (white or purple), shredded

Limes, cut into quarters for easy squeezing

Spicy mayonnaise

→To serve, spread some of the spicy mayo in the bottom of warmed corn tortilla. Add several pieces of the cooked fish. Top with a squeeze of lime juice, shredded cabbage, and additional mayo or another type of salsa.

NOTES:

  • The fish does not necessarily have to be fresh. You can buy the previously frozen stuff, if necessary.
  • I used a Mexican beer (Negra Modelo), but any type of beer would work in the batter.
  • You can prepare the battered/floured cod in advance and place on a baking sheet. Just leave enough time to fry the fish. It took me about 20-30 minutes to fry the whole pound of fish. The fish stays hot for a decent amount of time.
  • Although I used white cabbage on my tacos (because that is what was available), I think purple cabbage looks prettier.
  • I also made a creamy green salsa to serve with the fish tacos. You could make something similar or you could also serve it with a fresh pico de gallo.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Serious Eats‘ “Crunchy Fried Fish Tacos”  

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