Light and airy batter plus a creamy and delicious avocado salsa come together for Beer Battered Fish Tacos. You won’t want to stop eating them.
I’ve always been a huge seafood fan. Growing up in Maryland, we always had access to very fresh product, and my mom bought seafood from a fish market near their house. When I moved to Oklahoma, I refused to eat seafood for the first year. Now I buy flash-frozen seafood from Sam’s Club plus fresh seafood from Bodean Market in Tulsa.
I’m participating in a Recipe Roundup to celebrate National Beer Day, and wanted a recipe I’ve never made before. I searched Pinterest for inspiration and found a wide variety of beer-based recipes. After a lot of back and forth, I finally settled on fish tacos.
Part of my problem with regular beer batter is that it’s not as crunchy as breading. Plus regular batter creates a thick coating, and tends to get quite greasy. I found a recipe from Pinch of Yum, one of my favorite fellow bloggers. She substitutes part of the flour with a combination of cornmeal and cornstarch. The pictures looked amazing, so I decided to try an adaptation of her recipe for my Beer Battered Fish Tacos
Oh. My. Goodness. These Beer Battered Fish Tacos are so delicious. The combination of cornstarch and cornmeal creates a light, airy and very crunchy texture. Even after the fish pieces sat for about 10 minutes while I took photos, the fish retained the heat and crunch.
I use cod, a meaty white fish, for these Beer Battered Fish Tacos. Of course, fresh fish is always best, but a good quality frozen fish works great as well. About a year ago I discovered Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy. It’s very light and refreshing, and one the few beers I do drink. The problem is, it’s seasonal so only available March-October. I found some the other day in the liquor store and knew it would be great for the batter. Any light beer will work for these Beer Battered Fish Tacos.
I’ve never deep-fried food at home, because I always felt like it caused such a mess in the kitchen. So I borrowed a mini deep fryer from a friend. I’ve never used one, so I kind of went in blind.
The batter is simple, with a lot of basic ingredients
- Flour – I use white-wheat all-purpose flour, rather than regular white, for a little more texture
- Corn meal and corn starch create a lighter, fluffier batter and crust
- Seasonings – salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and chili powder
- Egg – I almost missed the egg in the original recipe. But then again, pancake and waffle batter has egg, so it makes sense
- Beer – any light beer works great. As I mentioned before, I use Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy
When I first mixed all the ingredients together, the batter seemed very runny, and I didn’t think it would adhere to the fish. I let the batter sit for 3-4 minutes, and it became a beautifully thick mixture, similar to waffle or pancake batter. It’s best to remix the batter after it sits, because the cornmeal sinks to the bottom of the bowl.
I’ve seen many different toppings for Beer Battered Fish Tacos. I had both avocado and cherry tomatoes that I needed to use up, so I decided to do an avocado salsa
I used chunks of avocado for a better texture. The creamy avocado pairs so well with the tomatoes and red onion. I added a squeeze of fresh lime juice, which adds a delicious tang. You can use either corn or flour tortillas for these Beer Battered Fish Tacos. I use corn tortillas, and warm them slightly in a skillet before stuffing.
I won’t make these Beer Battered Fish Tacos very often, but only because deep fried isn’t healthy. Yes, when you use smaller chunks, this batter, and cook them at the right temperature they absorb much less oil. But that doesn’t change the fact that you’re still using a deep fryer. So these will be a special occasion treat.
Adapted from Pinch of Yum
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- 4 corn tortillas
- 12 ounces cod or other firm white fish
- canola or vegetable oil, for frying
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup light beer
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and large diced
- 12 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 Jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
- Juice from one lime
Combine avocado, tomatoes, jalapeno, red onion and cilantro in small bowl. Add lime juice and combine thoroughly
Pat the fish dry with paper towels and cut into 2-3 inch pieces.
Put ½ cup flour in a shallow bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk ½ cup flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, chili powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, baking powder, salt and pepper. Add the beer and the beaten egg; stir until combined to form the batter.
Add enough oil to deep fryer so fish pieces will float when added. Heat oil to 350 degrees
Dip each piece of fish in the plain flour, then the batter, then transfer to the hot oil. Fry for 2-3 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Watch closely, because smaller pieces will cook quickly. Remove from deep fryer and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil.
Spray cooking spray in large skillet, and turn heat to medium-low. Add tortillas and cook through until warm and easily pliable
Assemble tacos. Add fish pieces, and top with avocado salsa.
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