9.01.2008

Fish Tacos

Since this post, I've done some more experimenting and I have the following additional tips for even crispier fish tacos:
- Everything should be ICE COLD. Your beer should be cold, and set your bowl of batter over an ice bath.
- Do not make batter ahead of time.
- Use Rice flour instead of All Purpose Flour. Even Cake or Pastry flour work better than All Purpose. The measurement is the same.
- If you prefer All Purpose Flour, don't overmix or it will develop glutens, making a softer/less crispy coating once fried. Also add a little baking powder.
- Fold in an egg white beaten to stiff peaks into the batter right before coating the fish.

- Heat oil to 20 degrees higher than normal temperature- about 375 degrees. Otherwise the ice cold batter will cool down the oil too much.

Well, it's Labor Day...I have mixed emotions on this day, b/c all media marks it as the "official end of summer." How so? It's still hot out! People can still grill, picnic, and simply enjoy the outdoors. There's no need to make such a proclomation and ruin my happy summer mood. Summer's not over for me yet, and my serotonin is still going strong. I plan to make the best of the warm weather that's here to stay for a while. And dare I say it, maybe even wear white shoes!

Enough venting, and on to my next "summertime eat"...fish tacos! Good fish tacos are hard to come by here. East coast Mexican has been overdone and over-run by the “tex-mex”. I do enjoy tex-mex, but I crave the Mexican that I had in Cabo. Real Mexican food should be simple and fish tacos exemplify simplicity at its best, consisting of a tortilla, lightly fried fish, zesty sauce, and a fresh, crunchy cabbage garnish. The textures and flavor is awesome, and it totally hits the spot on a hot day. The only ones I like in this area are served at Guajillo, but they don’t hold a candle to the ones that I’ve had in Mexico. When we were in Los Cabos, fish tacos were a daily ritual, and now a summer ritual at our home on the east coast.

I played around with different recipes after returning from Cabo. Every recipe had a different take on the batter, some having egg/milk, others having beer. The batters w/ egg or milk were a little too heavy and didn’t result in a crispy coating. I found that the crispiest fish came from a simple batter of equal parts beer and flour. The base of this recipe was given to me by my foodie and chef in training coworker. If you have had real fish tacos, I really think you’ll love this recipe. Also, they are extremely inexpensive to make for a crowd!

The picture above also has a carnitas taco sitting alongside the fish taco. I happened to stumble upon readymade carnitas at Trader Joes that day, so tried it. All I added to the carnitas was some sautéed onions, cumin, and a little bit of chipotle in adobo. They were super tasty, and I love having variety on my plate! Neil thinks I’m a freak of nature, because I have a strict methodology to cleaning any varietal plate. I take a bite of the fish taco, some rice/beans, sip my drink, then a bite of the carnitas taco, some rice/beans, sip my drink…. and then do it all over again :) Neil on the other hand will eat his entire fish taco first, then the carnitas tacos, and the rice/beans last. This drives me absolutely nuts!!! Where's the logic in that !?!?!

Anyways, I also made fresh corn tortillas for the tacos. Enjoy!

See Fish Taco Recipe!
See Corn Tortilla Recipe!

3 comments:

Maureen said...

Hi Sonal - I just found the link to your blog on the Luhring site. These recipes are amazing! I'm getting hungry as I browse through your postings.

Soma said...

If I ever have time to try to cook again, I want to try these. So, how deep is the oil - is the fish completely submerged in the oil?

Sonal said...

Thanks Maureen!!! I've been keeping up with your blog too :) Can't wait for Maya to be featured soon.

Soma, it should be deep enough for the fish to be half-way submerged, but doesn't have to be fully submerged. Hope you make them!