As soon as we got home, I knew I wanted to recreate this. Every single week since I've been home, I've thought, this is the week. But I kept putting it off. Finally, this past Friday being a Friday during Lent, I finally got around to it. So glad I did!
Of course, my version is not without subtle changes. First thing to go was the grouper. I really wanted to get grouper, it was so mild and flaky and perfectly suited for the taco. But when I got to Whole Foods, they had flounder on sale and it was hard to pass up $7.99/lb when grouper was $26.99/lb. Flounder is also a very mild fish, in fact more so than grouper. An excellent stand in.
I tried two different beer batters. The first one, I found on epicurious. At the suggestion of the the fishmonger at Whole Foods, I used Guinness. It was good. Really good. But on my second batch of batter, for which I used a Cook's Illustrated recipe, I used an IPA. Honestly, both batters were very good. But I liked the second better.
I used flour instead of corn tortillas, mainly because I knew I could use the left overs for breakfast burritos. (I am all about using up everything throughout the week.) Finally, I topped mine with pickled red onions and chipotle cream. I was going to make the tamarind chutney, but ran out of steam at the end the day. I did make some lemon sour cream to top them. I put some salsa verde on the table, but the tacos did not need it.
I did make some guacamole, too. At the last minute, I took a few wedges of avocado and tossed them in the beer batter. After a swim in hot oil, they came out absolutely delicious! I cannot wait to make this again.
Beer Battered Fish Tacos
5 cups vegetable oil
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup light colored beer (I used Sweetwater IPA)
2 pounds boneless, skinless flaky white fish
Juice of one lemon
8 corn or flour tortillas
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from canned chipotles)
avocado or guacamole
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream and adobo sauce. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Cut the fish into 4x1 inch strips. Toss with lemon juice and set aside.
Pour the oil into a large Dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat until it reaches 375 degrees.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, cumin, black pepper and cayenne together. When the oil is almost ready, add the beer to the flour mixture and stir until completely smooth.
Pat the fish dry with paper towels. Add half the fish to the batter and stir gently to coat. Using tongs, lift the fish from the batter and allow any excess to drip off. Gently lower it into the hot oil. Fry the fish, moving it occasionally, making sure none of the pieces stick together, about 5 minutes. Do not overcrowd the pot.
Remove the fried fish from the oil and let drain on a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining fish (or avocado, if you are feeling decadent!) When all the fish is done frying fill the tortillas with fish and top with chipotle cream and any other desired toppings.
Beer batter - Cooks Illustrated
Chipotle Cream- adapted from Ellie Krieger