These Beer Battered Fish Tacos are light and crispy with a killer sauce that brings all the flavors together!
I had the good fortune to be invited to cover an event sponsored by Negra Modelo last week in DC featuring Rick Bayless, who just happened to be the chef at the top of my “most like to meet” list. He's not only an amazing chef (he took home the title on Top Chef Masters) but his restaurants and recipes are upscale Mexican food (and you all know about my love affair with spicy food). I have several of his cookbooks and now have a signed copy which will be proudly displayed on my bookshelf. The event was also hosted by Chris Contentino, another winner of Top Masters, and the two had us all entertained with their upbeat personalities; watching them prepare a meal for us was such a treat!
Rick made chili and I couldn't believe the depth of flavor he managed to pull out of it. Chris made clams with chorizo, chickpeas and fennel – the best clams I have EVER eaten. They also served some fantastic appetizers before and during the presentation; the stuffed peppers were my absolute favorite and even the rice that accompanied them was packed with flavor. They created the recipes to pair with Negra Modelo and the beer really did enhance the flavors. It's definitely going to be the beer I serve with my Mexican-style meals from now on.
I was so inspired by watching these amazing chefs cook that I knew I had to come home and make something – anything! – that either paired well with Negra Modelo or was an ingredient in the dish. I've had a craving for fish tacos for a while now that the weather's getting warmer so that's the route I took. Perhaps not the most creative choice but definitely a very tasty one! The sauce on these tacos is amazing and the beer batter is a must. The cornstarch is key to the fish turning out light and crispy so don't skip it.
I'd like to think that these Beer Battered Fish Tacos would do Rick and Chris proud. What I wouldn't give to have them over to give these a try; we'd sit out on my deck, talking food and tossing back a few Negra Modelos. A girl can dream, right? :)
For the sauce:
- 4 - 6 jalapeños, divided; you'll only need one for the sauce, the rest are for serving
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano, preferably Mexican oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
For the batter:
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 egg
- 1 cup Negra Modelo beer
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
For the fish:
- 1 pound white fish, tilapia, cod, etc.
- vegetable oil
- shredded green cabbage
- corn tortillas
- chopped fresh cilantro
- Preheat oven to 400F. Place jalapeños on a baking sheet and roast until slightly blackened. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, mix all sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl. Chop one roasted jalapeño and stir into sauce. Allow to sit at room temperature while you prepare the batter.
- Whisk egg in a shallow dish. Add beer and stir, then whisk in dry ingredients until smooth (just 1/2 teaspoon salt; the rest is for seasoning the fish).
- Pour vegetable oil or other high smoke-point oil in a deep pot until it reaches 375F.
- Dip fish into batter and fry until golden brown, then set on paper towels to absorb the excess grease. Immediately season with remaining salt after placing on paper towels.
- Serve fish in a corn tortilla with shredded cabbage, sauce, chopped cilantro and extra chopped roasted jalapeños. Then have a Negra Modelo beer to enjoy with it!