(POSTED: May 31, 2005)
People either love them or hate them. But the people that hate them have never tried them. Go figure. Just let me say that they aren't what you think, and you should give them a chance. There's a reason why every taco place in San Diego carries them - they're great! And fortunately for you, I make the best fish tacos anywhere, and I'm happy to pass my recipe on.
You can use whatever type of fish you like, but I feel shark works best. I'm sure cod would work just as well. But don't even think about using lettuce instead of cabbage. Also don't forget a squeeze of fresh lime juice just before you eat them. It changes the whole character. Sometimes I'll add some salsa verde as a topping, but it's good either way.
For the beer, try to find some unfiltered, unpasteurized beer. Regular will work, but real beer tastes better.
Note: You need to let the batter sit for several hours, or even over night. Plan ahead!
This recipe will make about six large tacos.
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp crushed oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt & pepper as you like
1 egg yolk
4-6 oz beer
oil for frying
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 ripe avocado
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 lb shark filet
Lime for squeezing
First get all the batter ingredients together. In a medium bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, spices, beer, and egg yolk. If the mixture is too think, feel free to add a bit more beer, but don't let it get watery. It should be plenty thick to coat the fish.
Now cover the batter and let it sit in the fridge for at least 3 hours. You can even let it sit overnight or through the work day. As a variation you can whip an egg white into a thick froth and fold that in just before you dip the fish. This will make a deeper, lighter batter. But I actually prefer it without, which happens to be less work. But whatever you like.
Okay. When you're ready to start cooking the fish, heat the oil (I use peanut oil) to 375 or so. Mix the mayo, cilantro, and enough lime juice to make it "saucy." Slice the avocado. Slice the cabbage paper thin. And cut the shark into portions that will fit well in a taco after you fry them.
Once the oil is hot, dip the shark in the batter and get it well coated. Cook one slice at a time. Drop a slice into the oil while the batter is still dripping off and fry it for about 4-5 minutes, turning half way through. While the fish is cooking, go ahead and steam the tortillas.
And you're done! Grab a steamed tortilla, add a piece of fish, a couple slices of avocado, sprinkle on some cabbage, add sauce to taste, and just before you eat it, squeeze on some lime juice.