When I lived in Texas I’d never even heard of fish tacos. Then Dana, who grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, came into my life and started introducing me to some new tastes. I remember raising my eyebrows at the thought of fish in a taco and was sure that he was messing with me. But he took me to some California taquerias and taco trucks (the best food ev-var) where I grew to love those warm tortillas full of fried fish, shredded cabbage and tangy, lime-zested sauce. Through experimentation I came up with my version using sautéed or grilled fish, as opposed to breaded and fried. They were pretty good, but every once in a while, it was so satisfying to eat the full monty with breaded, fried cod topped with cabbage and that zingy sauce. When we moved up here, I mourned the loss of taco truck fare and the little taqueria dives I’d grown so fond of. Then I read this recipe and saw all the positive reviews . . . I got a very good feeling. I tried it and the guys were went wild. This recipe is now safely stored in my keeper file – the beer batter is perfect, the sauce is bossy and together they are soooo good. The only problem I had with it, is that it doesn’t photograph worth a darn. Please don’t let the photo turn you off – this is a “must try” recipe. If nothing else, whip up a batch of that sauce to try with your own fish recipe – it’s incredible!
(Slightly Adapted from Allrecipes) Full Recipe Serves 8
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt (I’ve substituted sour cream and it works equally well)
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
- 1 teaspoon minced capers
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
- 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (this can be cut back to 1/2 tsp, if you just can’t take the heat)
Puree all in the food processor. Put in a small dish and cover. Set aside and let the flavors blend. May be made ahead and refrigerated.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 cup beer
To make beer batter, combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Blend egg and beer in a measuring cup, then quickly whisk it into the flour mixture.
- oil for frying
- 1 pound cod fillets, cut into 2 to 3 ounce portions (I like to cut mine in smaller portions which makes more breading – you choose)
- 1 (12 ounce) package large corn tortillas
- 1/2 medium head cabbage, finely shredded
- While the recipe gave instruction for a deep fat fryer, I adapted it by using an iron skillet with a good 1/2″ of canola oil heated at slightly higher than medium heat. (The deep fryer direction is – 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Dust fish pieces lightly with flour. Dip into beer batter, and fry until crisp and golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Lightly fry tortillas; not too crisp. To serve, place fried fish in a tortilla, and top with shredded cabbage, and white sauce.
Serve these with lime wedges.