I adapted this recipe from Bobby Flay, and Cesar Gonzales from the Fish Tacos episode on Throwdown With Bobby Flay. Cesar Gonzales’ traditional recipe from his restaurant in San Diego won the showdown, so I chose to do the deep fried tortillas and the battered fish his way (versus Bobby’s grilled tortillas and grilled fish). However I decided to use Bobby Flay’s tomatillo avocado relish and cole slaw for the toppings – so this recipe is (what I intended to be) the best of both worlds… and then some. 😉
I made this on Mother’s Day this past Sunday for a potluck. However, after having a football game in the middle of the day, and standing in ridiculously long lines at two different grocery stores – I was down to 2 hours of cook time by the time I got home. If you look at Bobby Flay’s recipe, you’ll notice that he has 4 different components to his fish tacos. I used 1 of the components (tomatillo & avocado relish), mixed 2 (mango hot sauce and cole slaw), and replaced the Tomato Crema with a premade Guatemalan Crema to save time (which everyone turned out to enjoy… considering it’s about 4 different types of cream swirled into one bottle). If you don’t want to spend the entire day following Bobby’s recipe (sorry, Mr. Flay!) then here’s my remedy for a yummy fish taco that’s quick, easy to make, and incorporates the best of both the traditional, and modern recipes. Enjoy!
For the Tomatillo & Avocado Relish
- 2 Tomatillos, rinsed and diced into cubes.
- 1 Large Avocado, halved, pitted and diced.
- 2 Jalapeno (or Serano) peppers diced.
- 2 Limes, juiced.
- Lemon Infused Olive Oil (Or regular Olive Oil)
- 1/4 Cup of Cilantro Leaves, finely chopped.
- Salt & Pepper
- Combine the tomatillo, avocado, jalapeno and lime juice in a medium bowl.
- Drizzle with a little olive oil, add cilantro and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.
For the Blue Agave & Mango Cole Slaw
- 1/4 Cup of Lemon Juice
- 1/4 Cup of Orange Juice
- 2 Tablespoons of Garlic Aioli Mustard (or Dijon Mustard)
- 2 Tablespoons of Blue Agave Nectar (or clover honey)
- 1/4 Cup of Chopped Basil
- Salt & Pepper
- 1/2 Cup of Canola Oil
- 1/2 Cup of diced (ripe) mango
- 2 Cups of Chopped Napa Cabbage (to save time, the next three parts can be found pre chopped in a bag at most grocery stores)
- 2 Cups of Chopped Red Cabbage
- 1 Large Carrot, Peeled and Julienned.
- Put the lemon juice, orange juice, mustard, nectar, basil and salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth.
- With the motor running, add the oil until emulsified.
- Combine the cabbage, mango and carrot in a large bowl; add half of the dressing and toss to coat.
For the Beer Battered Fish
The idea is to keep the batter light, so that the fish can shine through in every bite. Using beer to aerate the batter will make it fluffy enough to keep it from being a thick mess of too much breading, and too little fish.
- 1 Bottle of Dark Beer (I used Sam Adams)
- 1 Cup of Flour
- 1 Egg
- 2 Tablespoons of Corn Starch
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 Filets of Grouper (or Mahi Mahi, Tilapia, Cod, etc.)
- 1 Tablespoon of Garlic Powder
- In a large bowl, mix together the beer, egg, and whisk.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the Corn Starch, Flour, Salt & Pepper.
- Whisk in the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, and let it sit for about 5 minutes
- In a separate bowl, mix together 1 part flour, 1 part cornstarch, 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, salt and pepper. (You will use this to season the fish slices before dropping them into the wet mixture, so that it sticks.)
- Take your filet of fish and cut into strips of about 2 inches. (Think the size of cheetos or potato wedges (; )
- When you’re ready to start frying the fish – reduce the heat to about low – medium.
- With either tongs, or chop sticks (to keep your hands from getting dirty) dip the fish strips into the dry mixture, then the wet, and into the hot oil.
- When the fish are golden brown (or after about 20-30 seconds) take them out, and put them on a towel over a plate.
- Repeat 6-7 until all of your fish is cooked.
- Optional: Sprinkle Sea Salt over the fish after it is fried.
- Optional: Place the dish in the oven (at 200 degrees) to keep warm as you follow the next steps.
For the Corn Tortillas
- 6 inch Wide Corn Tortillas
- Canola Oil for Frying
- Increase the heat to about medium – medium high.
- In the same pot, drop one tortilla at a time into the boiling oil.
- When the bottom is a little hard, and the edges are crispy (but still bendable) flip it over in the oil (In med-high heat, this should be about 15 seconds).
- Let the other side fry in the oil to harden a little bit. Be careful not to leave it in the oil so long that the tortilla is no longer bendable. Ideally you want the tortilla to be crispy on the outside edges, but still bendable in the center of the tortilla.
For the Final Touch: Top it off with some Guatemalan Crema.