Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Beer-Battered Fish Tacos

My whole almost-30 years of life, I've hated fish. All seafood, really. Despised it. I started liking shrimp sometime after college, but that was the extent of it. But as I learn more about the health benefits and about the wide range of different kinds of seafood that can appeal to different kinds of palettes, I've decided to ease myself into trying to enjoy it.

Fish Tacos

I've had and loved halibut in restaurants a few times, and recently decided that it was time for me to try making fish at home. My friend Sarah suggested these fish tacos made with cod for my first DIY try. Since I know Andy loves them, and since it appeared as though the fish would be beer-battered and fried beyond recognition, tacos seemed like a good place to start.

Well, I'm pleased to announce that I'm now well on my way to being a fish convert, because these were insanely good. Cod was a good next step for me, it was really easy to work with (the nice guy at my local fish shop removed the bones for me) and extremely mild-tasting. The deep-frying process is a bit aversive to me, I only like to do it once in a blue moon, but it was worth it just this once. The recipe comes with an extra little recipe for "Rubio sauce," named after the California restaurant chain Rubio's. Don't skip the sauce!

Beer-Battered Fish Tacos
Adapted from Gourmet
Makes 12-16 small tacos
Printable Recipe

For tacos:
1 quart vegetable oil
12 to 16 corn tortillas
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup beer (not dark)
1 pound cod fillet, cut into 3- by 1-inch strips
Accompaniments: shredded green cabbage, sour cream, avocado slices, chopped or sliced radish, red or green salsa, shredded cheese, and lime wedges

For Rubio sauce:
1/2 c. plain yogurt
1 dollop sour cream
1 dollop mayonnaise
1/2 t. cumin
Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Heat 1 inch oil in a 5-quart heavy pot over moderate heat until a deep-fat thermometer registers 360°F.

3. Meanwhile, separate tortillas and make 2 stacks of 6 to 8. Wrap each stack in foil and heat in oven 12 to 15 minutes.

4. While tortillas warm, stir together flour and salt in a large bowl, then stir in beer (batter will be thick). Gently stir fish into batter to coat. Lift each piece of fish out of batter with tongs, wiping any excess off on side of bowl, and fry fish in batches, turning once or twice, until golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

5. Increase oil temperature to 375°F and refry fish in batches, turning once or twice, until golden brown and crisp, about 1 minute. Drain on paper towels.

6. Make Rubio sauce: mix all ingredients well in a small bowl.

7. Assemble tacos with warm tortillas, fish, and accompaniments.


b*schus said...

Looks delicious! A bit decadent, but I think I will have to try this weekend!

Renee said...

Does it taste like beer? I hate beer. I LOVE fish tacos though so I'm intrigued with this recipe. Sure looks yummy.

Amy I. said...

Thank you!

@Renee I didn't feel like it had a beer flavor at all, but I think it also depends on the beer you use and how sensitive you are to it. Maybe try looking for something you could substitute? Cheers!

Juliet said...

These look so good and pretty close to Rubio's - my all time fave fish taco. If you're looking to try something a little healthier (since you mentioned your aversion to deep frying very often - me too), do the exact same thing but replace the fried cod w/the Trader Joes Mahi Mahi (the marinated kind in their freezer section). We just grill it up and it's tender and flaky enough (and with great flavor) to use for "grilled fish tacos." Uh oh, now I'm hungry!

Shamrocks and Shenanigans said...

Found your site through anther's site. Love your blog!
I am a fish taco lover! We have tacos every Tuesday in our house. Fish is by far my favorite but unfortunately my kids would rather I do meat so I usually save the fish tacos for when we go out!
Shamrocks and Shenanigans

Julie @ Bunsen Burner Bakery said...

Since you've eased your way in now, I love fish tacos with pan grilled catfish! Use your favorite spice rub, cook 3-4 minutes on each side, and they are GREAT with black beans (if you've gotten over your bean-phobia, too) and shredded cabbage.

grace said...

well, you're progressing better than i am! i'm still at the no-fish-at-any-time-in-any-preparation phase, but i suspect that batter and frying will be key in my future attempts at liking fish!

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