Today we have a recipe that harks back to our first trip to Santa Barbara last February. In perfect 70-something weather, we dined outside along a beach full of families, pups, and surfers, where land and sand meets mountainside. We had the most delicious beer battered fish tacos I’d never forget, and I made it my goal to recreate them as soon as we returned home.
I’m addicted. I’ve made fish tacos four times in the past month. This recipe is so simple and and perfectly balanced – a little acidity on beer battered fish is like heaven on earth, except in your mouth. What sealed the deal was the last time I prepared these succulent beasts: I cooked up these badass tacos for my Lieutenant Hunny Bunny (husband) and eight other hungry firemen (as well as myself and my beautiful bestie slash gold star sous chef). When you have a kitchen table full of firemen chowing down silently, going in for seconds on the assembly line, and asking you how you made the slaw, you intrinsically know you’ve won.
So, get over to Pandora, put on some chicha, get a little shake in that booty, and have yourself a fine, merry time whipping these beauteous, golden brown babies up.
Beer Battered Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw
Serves four to six
For the batter:
1 lb. cod loin (or any white fish you prefer)
1 Negra Modelo beer, 12 ounce
1½ cups flour
1 tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
Safflower oil, for frying
For the slaw:
1 med. cabbage, finely julienned
1 sm. radicchio, finely julienned
2 carrots, julienned
1 jalapeno, seeds reserved
1 tsp. mustard seed
½ cup mayo
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste
Garnish & Whathaveyou:
Flour tortillas (California made, obv)
No. 1: A few leaves at a time, thinly julienne cabbage, radicchio and carrots into fine strips. Remove the thick, fibrous stem on each leaf before cutting. Mince jalapeno, seeds reserved. Combine and mix mayo, mustard seed, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. Let marinate for a minimum of thirty minutes.
No. 2: Cut white fish into chunks. Pat dry with a paper towel. Set aside.
No. 3: Prepare safflower oil for frying in a saucepan on stovetop. Use a toothpick to check on readiness. If ready, toothpick will cause bubbling. Monitor the heat as you fry.
No. 4: Mix together flour, salt, and paprika. Whisk beer in slowly until you have a fluffy, fine paste.
No. 5: Dredge fish in flour, coat in batter, and gently place in fryer until fish is cooked through. Remove fried fish with a spider and place on a paper-towel laden plate to soak up excess oil. Lightly salt the fish as soon as it comes out of the fryer.
No. 6: Build your taco. Char the tortilla on both sides atop a direct flame. Remove and smother avocado on the shell. Place two to three pieces of beer battered fish and top with slaw. Add tomatoes and cilantro to garnish. Spritz lime atop and serve immediately.