Sunday, September 06, 2009

fish tacos and french fries

Made fish tacos and homemade fries tonight, in part based on this fish taco recipe.

Some notes:

  • If you're gonna do fries as well, you really should have 2 separate fryers going. I blanched and fried the fries first, then did the fish, and the fries were a little cold.
  • Blanched the fries for 2 minutes at 325 degrees, then about 2-3 minutes at 375 degrees. They puff up this way, and have a perfect texture (used yellow potatoes).
  • For fish sauce, yogurt would be good...I thinned it out with a little milk. Really needs crema or something for a more sour tang. Maybe buttermilk? It needs to be thinned out enough to be kinda runny.
  • Batter in the original flour-to-beer ratio was pretty runny, perhaps too runny. You get more of a gossamer-thin layer of crust this way; you could see the fish texture thru the batter. Adding about 1/4 cup of flour made it thicker like a fish n chips thing, a non-translucent coating. Thinner, original consistency would be a more crispy, wispy layer, and I like something a little more substantial.
  • Sauce: good flavors, but I think maybe too much spices, it needed something to kick up the freshness. Less dill next time! Next time, use yogurt like original recipe, mexican crema, or buttermilk. Also consider adding some garlic, like in aioli.
  • Fresh tilapia works well: it's semi-firm, very clean and very mild tasting, totally delish.
Fish Tacos My Way
Serves 2-3

Corn tortillas
2 tilapia filets, cut into 1" wide strips, 2.5-3.5" lenghts
1/2 head of cabbage (green preferred, or red), sliced very thin
At least 4 cups vegetable oil

Mix the sauce ingredients, and set aside.
Heat oil to 350-375.
Mix batter ingredients with whisk.
Dip fish in batter, shake off excess, and put into fryer (about 7-9 pieces at a time, depending on the pot)
Fry for 1 minute, flip sides, fry for 1-2 minutes.
Remove onto paper towels.
Season with salt, and serve immediately.
Make a taco with some cabbage, corn tortilla, some fish and some sauce.


1/2 cup mayo
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 tsp dried dill (was originally 1/2 tsp, was too much)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne
Salt + pepper to taste
1 habanero or jalapeno, minced* (I left this out)

1c flour (+ extra 1/4c)
1 tsp baking powder
1 can/bottle (12oz) cold beer (preferably a golden Mexican lager, like Corona, Pacifico, Tecate, etc. I used Olympia, which worked fine)
2 tsp table salt

Whisk together all but 1/4 c. flour all ingredients just before battering fish. Whisk together; add as much reserved flour (up to 1/4 cup) to make it "thick enough", so that it's not transparent when it's on the fish. The batter should be thick enough so that it's just beyond watery, runny, and transparent, so you don't see the fish through the batter. Not quite as thick as pancake batter, maybe a little thinner. This photo of how the batter drips off in the original recipe is a good example. If it's too thick, thin out with a little more beer (or water, or seltzer water), if necessary. Too thin, add some more flour.

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