Fish Taco
Photo: Ditte Isager
The beer-battered fish in these tacos is fried twice—the first can be done up to a day ahead; the second is done quickly right before serving. Mexican oregano is stronger than the Mediterranean variety and can be found at Latin markets or at penzeys.com; you can also substitute the Mediterranean version.
Makes: 12 tacos (6 servings)

Ingredients


Fish:
  • 1¼ pounds white fish such as catfish, tilapia, or striped bass
  • ½ lime
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • ⅛ tsp. cayenne
  • ¼ tsp. dry mustard powder or prepared mustard
  • ¼ tsp. Mexican oregano, crumbled
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces beer
  • Vegetable oil for frying
Lime crema:
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
To serve:
  • 12 (6) corn tortillas, warmed
  • Finely shredded green cabbage
  • Lime wedges
  • Pico de gallo (Get the recipe)
  • Bottled Mexican hot sauce (optional)
  • Diced red onion (optional)
  • Cilantro sprigs (optional)

Directions

Total time: 50 minutes

Cut fish into 12 pieces. Squeeze lime half over fish and sprinkle with ½ tsp. salt. Cover fish with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.

To make batter: Whisk together flour, baking powder, garlic, cayenne, mustard, oregano, remaining ½ tsp. salt, and black pepper until well blended. Stir in about 10 ounces beer to make a batter with the consistency of pancake batter. Stir just until no large lumps remain.

Place a heavy-bottomed pan, at least 4 deep, on a back burner (in case oil spatters). Pour oil into pan to a depth of 1½ to 2. Heat over medium to medium-high heat until oil registers 350° on a deep-fry thermometer or a drop of batter immediately cooks and floats to the surface.

Pat fish dry with paper towels. If batter has thickened, add a little more beer. Mix fish in batter, coating evenly. With a slotted spoon, lift a piece out of batter and slip it into the hot oil. It will sink and form bubbles around the edges, then float to the surface; when batter on the bottom sets, carefully flip to cook the other side. (If fish sticks to pan, leave it alone—it should release itself.) Cook a few pieces of fish at a time until batter is set but still very light in color. Remove to a rack to drain; reserve oil. (If serving later, store in refrigerator.)

To make lime crema: Mix lime juice and mayonnaise.

Right before serving, reheat oil to 350° and fry fish again, a few pieces at a time, until batter is very crisp and golden brown.

To serve: Top tortillas with fish, lime crema, cabbage, a squeeze of lime juice, and any other accompaniments desired.