Can we all just agree that fish tacos are the best? Warm and savory with a delightful, cool crisp, they’re the perfect way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Pair with a Mexican beer and you’ve got the ultimate Taco Tuesday. That’s right, Cinco de Mayo falls on a Tuesday this year.
And this fish taco recipe is no ordinary fish taco recipe. The Mexican-dark-beer-battered crunch perfectly complements a sriracha tartar sauce, which is tangy, with a kick. Chef Derek Simcik of Outpost in Santa Barbara, CA, was kind enough to provide us with the how-to. You can also follow his culinary adventures at OutpostSB on Instagram. Trust us: This is a #foodie worth following.
Beer-Batter Halibut Tacos With Smoked Cabbage and Sriracha Tartar Sauce
1½ pounds halibut, cut into 2-3-inch-long by ¼-inch strips
1½ cups flour (or use 1 cup brown rice and ½ cup potato starch)
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 bottle of your choice of beer (preferably a dark Mexican beer) — plan to use about 1½ cups worth.
Directions: Whisk together the flour, salt, pepper and paprika. Whisk in just enough beer to make the consistency pourable, but not too thin. The mixture will be similar to pancake batter. Place a few pieces of fish into the batter and coat well. Shake off the excess batter and gently place the fish into the hot oil. Hold it there for a few seconds before releasing it, so the coating will seal and it won’t stick to the other pieces or the bottom of the pan.
Repeat the process, cooking just a few pieces at a time to avoid crowding. Let them cook for a few minutes, until the coating is lightly browned. Remove from the oil with clean tongs and drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
Sriracha Tartar Sauce
¼ cup mayonnaise
¾ cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon pickle relish, sweet or dill
1 tablespoon minced shallot or onion
3-4 tablespoons lime (or lemon) juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Sriracha to taste
Directions: In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, pickle relish, and minced shallot. Stir in citrus juice, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Add Sriracha, tasting as you go, until you reach your desired spice level.
8 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 head of cabbage
Directions: In a small bowl combine butter, salt, and pepper. Core cabbage, cutting out a good-sized cavity, then place the seasoned butter in the cavity. Wrap cabbage with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place cabbage, cored end up, on the top rack of your grill, close lid and smoke until soft (2-4 hours). Unwrap cabbage and discard any blackened leaves, then shave cabbage into slaw-like consistency.
To build one taco, warm up two 4-inch corn tortillas. Stack the tortillas together and place fried halibut in the center of the tortilla. Drizzle the sriracha tartar sauce over the fish. Top with smoked cabbage and a pinch of toasted sesame seeds, if you so desire.
— Whitney Smith