Makes 12 tacos (6 servings)


  • 1 1/4 pounds white fish such as catfish, tilapia or striped bass
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1 cup pancake mix
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces beer
  • Vegetable oil for frying

    Lime crema:
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

    To serve:
  • 12 (6) corn tortillas, warmed
  • Finely shredded green cabbage
  • Lime wedges
  • Pico de gallo
  • Bottled Mexican hot sauce (optional)
  • Diced red onion (optional)
  • Cilantro sprigs (optional)


    Total time: 50 minutes

    Cut fish into 12 pieces. Squeeze lime half over fish and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt. Cover fish with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.

    To make batter: Whisk together pancake mix, remaining 1/2 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 1 1/2" to 2". Heat over medium to medium-high heat until oil registers 350° F 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° F 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.

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