Beer Battered Fish Tacos have a light, airy and crispy crust thanks to a delicious twist to original batter. The creamy avocado is the perfect topping. Your family will request these fish tacos over and over again!
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.
I’ve always been hesitant about beer battered food because the batter is rarely as crunchy as breaded. Plus regular batter creates a thick coating, and tends to be 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. It’s seasonal, so unfortunately it’s 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 do pan fry at home, but had never tried to deep fry anything before. Don’t get me wrong, I will eat it, but I don’t want to deal with the kitchen mess. I borrowed a Fry Daddy Deep Fryer from a friend and loved it. It’s compact, heats up fast, and cleanup is a breeze.
A SIMPLE BATTER FOR BEER BATTERED FISH TACOS
- 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.
AVOCADO SALSA TOPPING FOR BEER BATTERED FISH TACOS
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.
- 12 corn tortillas
- 2 lbs cod or other firm white fish
- canola or vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup light beer
- 2 egg whites, beaten
- 2 avocados, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
- 18 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
- 1 Jalapeno, seeded and diced
- Juice from 1 lime
- 2 limes, quartered
- fresh cilantro, chopped
- Combine avocado, tomatoes, jalapeno, red onion and cilantro in small bowl. Add lime juice and combine thoroughly. Set aside in the fridge
- Pat the fish dry with paper towels, and cut into 2"-3" pieces.
- Add ½ cup of flour into a shallow bowl. In a separate bowl, combine 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 that fish will float, and not touch the bottom. You want at least 3" of oil. Heat oil to 350 degrees, and use a deep-fry thermometer to maintain heat level
- Dredge fish in flour, and tap to remove excess flour. Transfer fish to batter and coat well.
- Using a spider strainer or tongs, carefully add fish to oil. Fry for about 3 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. Watch closely, because smaller pieces will cook quickly.
- Remove fish pieces from deep fryer with a spider strainer or tongs, and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil
- Spray cooking spray in a large skillet, and turn heat to medium-low. Add tortillas and warm for about 30 seconds per side
- Assemble tacos. Add fish pieces, and top with avocado salsa.
The batter will look a little runny at first, so allow it to rest for 5 minutes to thicken
Don’t overcrowd the fryer! The temperature drops as you add fish. The fish will take longer to cook, meaning more time to soak up oil
Fry the fish in batches, and return oil temperature to 350 degrees between batches
Use a Spider Strainer to both add the fish and remove the fish from the oil
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g
Adapted from Pinch of Yum