Summer vacation is in full swing here right now and I am enjoying every bit of it. I decided to give the little guy a short break from summer camps and classes, so he is home with me all the time. And while we drive each other crazy, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
I see many kids with busy schedules and almost feel guilty about Boy’s lack of planned activities. But when did it become the norm to fill the little ones’ days with swimming and music and soccer and umpteen other classes? So I convince myself it is really not a big deal.
I am so lucky to be able to stay home and look after him (and maintain this blog as well). Without school, the days are longer and lazier and funner… oops, I meant to say more fun! We laze around, pot and repot plants, walk to the library for story time, check out little cafes and restaurants on the way back and plot how to make daddy feel special on Father’s Day this weekend. It is a simple and satisfying life right now…. touch wood!
Much like these beauties right here. Tacos – who doesn’t love them? Anything tastes good wrapped in a taco. Especially if they are as delicious and crunchy as these fish right here.
I have always wanted to try fish fried in a beer batter. But since we are not really beer drinkers and since I didn’t want to buy a six-pack solely for this, I used regular club soda in the batter. Guys, if you have never tried it, please please do so at once. It really makes a difference. The basic principle when you use beer or soda is that the carbonation helps the covering turn so light and crunchy and stay that way for a long time as well. And I can vouch for that. See for yourself.
Now, do not announce beforehand to the family that you are frying fish. Not unless you have no other plans for the fish but to eat them as such straight from the pan. But if you are thinking of making tacos with them and said family starts popping those nuggets into their mouths, the tacos might not happen. I had to literally swat the guys away from the kitchen like flies. The tacos almost didn’t happen. But I successfully hid a batch of fried fish, quickly took pictures (again, maintaining the blog, you see), made the sauce and tacos.
The sauce is a real simple jalapeno and cilantro yogurt sauce. You could use sour cream for a thicker and richer sauce, but I love the lightness of yogurt. Then you can have more without the guilt. And maybe drink some straight from the bowl. Just saying, you know.
Make a quick pico de gallo, slice up some avocados and taco night is here, baby! Enjoy!!
CRISPY FISH TACOS WITH JALAPENO-CILANTRO YOGURT SAUCE
You will need: (Makes 8-10 tacos)
For the soda-battered fried fish,
- All-purpose flour – 1 cup
- Cornstarch – 2 tbsp
- Salt – 1/2 tsp
- Baking powder – 1 tsp
- Cayenne powder – 1 tsp (or lesser, if you do not like the spice)
- Seasoning powder – 1 tsp (optional, see notes the end of the recipe)
- Club soda – as needed, say around a cup or so
- Rice flour – 1/2 cup (for dredging the fish pieces)
- Fish – 1 lb (fillets of any kind of white-fleshed fish cut into small pieces)
- Oil – for frying
For the jalapeno-cilantro yogurt sauce,
- Jalapeno – 2, de-seeded
- Cilantro leaves – 1/4 cup, loosely packed
- Yogurt – 1 1/2 cups
- Salt – to taste
For the pico de gallo,
- Tomatoes – 2, chopped
- Onion – 1 small, chopped
- Jalapeno – 1, chopped
- Cilantro leaves – 1 tbsp, chopped
- Lime juice – from half a lime
- Salt – 1/2 tsp
- Freshly cracked black pepper – a large pinch
For the tacos,
- Corn or flour tortillas – 8-10, lightly toasted
- Fried fish
- Pico de gallo
- Jalapeno-cilantro sauce
- Avocado – 3, thinly sliced
- Fresh cilantro leaves – to garnish
- Crispy Fried Fish: Wash the fish fillets, pat dry and cut into small pieces. Set aside.
- In a bowl, whisk the all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, cayenne powder and seasoning. Gradually add club soda and mix well. Batter should be smooth and have a pancake batter consistency. Take the rice flour in another shallow dish as well.
- Heat oil in a wok or frying pan. Fish should be submerged at least halfway in the oil to crisp up properly. You can use a fryer if you want to.
- When the oil is hot (but not smoking), start the dredging, dipping and frying process. Lightly coat a piece of fish in the rice flour, dip in the batter to coat evenly and drop in the hot oil gently. Fry on both sides till lightly golden, a couple of minutes per side. You can fry as much fish as your pan will hold at a time. Remove fried fish onto a wire rack to cool ever so slightly before assembling the tacos.
- Jalapeno-Cilantro Yogurt Sauce: Blend all the ingredients together. Refrigerate sauce till needed. This can also be done a day in advance.
- Pico de Gallo: Toss all the ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
- Crispy Fish Tacos: Assemble each taco with 2-3 pieces of fried fish, some pico de gallo, a few slices of avocado and some cilantro leaves. Generously drizzle the jalapeno-cilantro yogurt sauce on top. Fold the tacos and serve immediately.
- You can add cayenne or paprika powder and your favorite seasoning/spice powder to the batter. I used the Burger Spice I received from HEB for this post. It is basically a blend of onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, black pepper and a few other things. You can use Italian seasoning or a pinch of your favorite flavors. This helps to add a little oomph to the batter, but feel free to leave it plain if that’s what you like. You can also add a lightly beaten egg to the batter. But I found the soda water to be enough to add the perfect crunch to the fried fish.
The best thing in these tacos is definitely the crunchy fried fish. The sauce is delicious as well and I loved the lightness of yogurt here. You can definitely use sour cream if you wish to. Or even buttermilk for a ranch inspired sauce. Go on and make some!
So tell me, what is your favorite taco filling? Have you tried fried fish tacos yet? Have you tried a beer/soda batter to fry fish or chicken? Do share.
I am sharing this over at Angie’s amazing blog link party at The Novice Gardener.