When I started college in Wisconsin, I learned very quickly that Friday nights were for Fish Frys. The tradition of eating fish, rather than traditional meats, on Fridays has deep Catholic roots, and what better way to serve it up than fried? Although, I must admit, there isn’t much that Wisconsinites won’t fry (i.e. cheese curds), and I’m not complaining by any means. However, frying fish was never a technique that I had tried to take on. That is until I moved to San Diego and discovered America’s Finest City’s weekly treat, Taco Tuesday. Growing up in Portland, I will admit I led a sheltered life, as far as tacos are concerned; they only came in the form of chicken, ground beef or shredded beef. The idea of a fish taco, seemed a little too far-fetched and I was not quite adventurous enough to try it.
Upon arriving in San Diego, a city that is literally a hop, skip and a jump from the Mexican border, my eyes were opened and my taste buds found a bold, new side. I discovered tacos were not limited to merely three choices, but could contain carne asada, mashed potatoes or any type of fish you desired, grilled or fried. The possibilities are endless. Taking the tradition of Taco Tuesday under my belt, I decided it was time to try my hand at frying fish and I found the perfect recipe for doing just that in Martha Stewart’s Cooking School. The recipe for beer battered fish makes delicious fish tacos and would even pair well with french fries for homemade fish and chips.
Beer Batter Fried Fish
This beer batter is delicious for fish and chips or fish tacos. Tilapia is a cheap, yet tasty alternative to more expensive fish. Leftovers can be easily reheated in the oven at 375˚ until heated through and crispy.
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup Mexican dark lager beer (Negra Modelo)
- 1 1/2 cups flour (not self-rising)
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
- 2 pounds skinless firm white fish (cod, haddock, fluke, orange roughy, scrod, tilapia) cut into 3-by-3/4-inch pieces
- Vegetable oil, for frying
Whisk the eggs in a large bowl and gradually add the beer, while whisking. In a separate bowl, whisk flour and salt together. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the egg and beer mixture, until it is thick and creamy, resembling the consistency of pancake batter. Be sure not to overly mix, as a few lumps will ensure a crispier result. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before using. Batter can be refrigerated for up to 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 200˚ and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and then paper towels and set aside. Pour 3 inches of oil into a large pot and heat to 375˚. You can also use a deep-fryer, if you have one. Once the oil is ready, coat the fish, by using tongs to dip the fish in the batter, completely coating each piece and allow the excess to drip back into the bowl. As soon as it is coated, lower the battered fish into the oil and fry until the crust is deep golden brown (5 to 7 minutes). Turn the piece once or twice to ensure that the crust browns evenly and try not to overcrowd the fryer. Remove from the oil, using a spider or slotted spoon and place on the baking sheet in the oven to keep warm. Once all the fish as been fried, serve immediately.
These tacos are a perfect way to enjoy a Tuesday evening with friends and family.
- Beer Batter Fried Fish
- 1 cup sour cream
- Fresh lime juice, to taste
- Chipotle in adobo sauce, to taste
- Coarse salt, to taste
- Corn tortillas, softened
- Green cabbage, finely shredded
- Cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- Lime wedges
In a small blender or food processor, blend sour cream, lime juice, chipotle in adobo sauce and salt until smooth, adjusting amount to taste. Add more chipotle for more kick. Serve fried fish on 1 to 2 tortillas, top with shredded cabbage and cilantro, drizzle chipotle crema over tacos and garnish with a few lime wedges. Enjoy!