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.
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
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.