San Diego-Style Fish Tacos

Making these tacos doesn’t have to be a completely kitchen-trashing experience (although I’ve toyed with the idea of posting pictures of what mine looked like after I made these. And then I decided against it for fear that someone might call the health department). Get your toppings ready–dressing, Pico de Gallo (or Mango Pico de Gallo), pre-shredded cabbage (think cole slaw mix), and crumbled cheese–ahead of time, or you can even use pre-made pico or fresh salsa. That way, all you have to do is fry your fish and tortillas and the mess is minimal.

Photo by Gayle H.
Adapted from ourbestbites.com

PREP TIME

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minutes

TOTAL TIME

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minutes

SERVINGS

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servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

--

servings

Adapted from ourbestbites.com

Ingredients

  • 1

    c. all-purpose flour

  • 2

    Tbsp. cornstarch

  • 1

    tsp. baking powder

  • 1/2

    tsp. salt

  • 1

    egg

  • 1

    c. beer (non-alcoholic beer works great)

  • 1

    lb. cod fillets, rinsed, patted dry, and cut into 1-2 oz. strips

  • Corn tortillas (as many as you have pieces of fish)

  • Pico de Gallo (and/or Mango Pico de Gallo)

  • Shredded cabbage (packaged coleslaw mix works great)

  • Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing

  • Crumbled Cotija cheese or Queso Fresco

  • Fresh lime wedges and sea salt for serving

Directions

Preheat oven to 170 (or lowest setting on your oven). Combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk an egg and then whisk in the beer. Add the beer mixture to the flour mixture. Heat about 1 quart (3-4 inches) of canola oil to 375 degrees (use a candy or frying thermometer) in a heavy cooking pot. Lightly dredge each piece of fish in flour and then dip in beer batter. Gently drop into the hot oil and cook for about 7-8 minutes or until the coating is dark golden-brown and a test piece flakes easily with a fork. Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel-lined plate; stick the plate in the preheated oven to keep warm while you cook your tortillas. Place tortillas, 1-2 at a time, in the hot oil and cook 1-2 minutes or until they start to get crispy but are still bendable. Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel. Assemble each taco with a piece of fish, shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, crumbled Cotija cheese (or Queso Fresco), and a drizzling of Lime-Cilantro Ranch. *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-* Pico de Gallo About 3 Roma tomatoes 1 smallish jalapeno pepper 1/2 small onion (white onions are traditional, but I love the color and flavor of red onions) THESE MEASUREMENTS ARE APPROXIMATE: Freshly squeezed lime juice (use 1/2 lime for a little zing, use the whole thing for distinct lime flavor. In case you were wondering, I use the whole thing) A very generous pinch of chopped cilantro–I just grab some using all my fingers at once. It probably comes out to about 1/4 c. Kosher salt to taste; some people leave it on the bland side because a lot of foods pico de gallo is served with tends to be salty. Personally, I like it on the salty side. Cut ends off tomatoes and then slice in half lengthwise. Under running water, gently run your finger under the membrane that contains the seeds. It’s okay if some seeds get in there, but if you have all of them, it’s going to get a little sloppy. Cut into small chunks. If you look at my pictures, I actually cut my tomatoes a little bigger than I really wanted them. I’m learning to let the little things go…Place in a small serving or mixing bowl or a really large cereal-type bowl. Finely dice the onion. No one wants giant chunks of raw onion. Well, maybe some people out there do, but I don’t know any of them personally. Toss with the tomato mixture. Finely chop the jalapeno, removing the seeds if desired (the seeds contain the majority of the heat, although the flesh is still pretty hot). I’m a pansy and absolutely don’t ever add seeds, but some of you are way braver than me, so this is totally up to you. Toss with the tomatoes and onions. Add the fresh-squeezed juice of 1/2 of the lime. Taste. If you want to walk on the limey side, add a little more. I like to go easy on the heat and heavy on the lime, but I’m sure there are others out there who are the opposite. Add your giant pinch of cilantro. Combine well. Add a generous sprinkling of Kosher salt, taste, and add more if desired. This is best if it stands for a few hours before you serve it, but it also may (okay, will) get a little wet in the bottom of the bowl, so you might want to strain it before serving it. *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-* Mango Pico de Gallo 1 c. small cubes of mango (about 1 medium to large mango) 1/2-1 large jalapeno pepper (1/2 without seeds is a nice, mild-medium heat; go from there) 1/4 c. chopped cilantro 1/4 of a medium red onion, finely chopped Juice of 1 lime 2 cloves garlic, minced Kosher or sea salt to taste ROCKET SCIENCE ALERT: Combine ingredients. Serve. This will keep for a day or so (like it will last that long), but after that, the mangoes will get mushy. *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-* Creamy Lime-Cilantro Ranch Dressing 1 pack (1oz) Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix (ignore directions on packet) 1C mayo 1/2 C buttermilk (or milk works, too) 1 lime 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped 1/2 C roughly chopped cilantro 1/4 C green salsa* hot sauce Place milk, mayo, and ranch mix in a blender. Juice the lime in there too, you should get about 2T juice. Toss in the garlic, cilantro and green salsa. Blend 'er up. Sample it and add hot sauce to taste. Make it several hours ahead of time to allow it to thicken. *A note about green salsa If you're not used to buying green salsa, make sure to sample it first before you put it in the dressing so you know what you're getting into! La Victoria (pictured) is completely mild, whereas Herdez is much more spicy. I prefer La Victoria, as I get all of the flavor of the tomatillos but I control the level of heat with the hot sauce.

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