Fish tacos, that first-rate meal of the Baja Peninsula, and a flavor of summer. They are simple to make, no greater complex in reality than a hamburger or a large number of pancakes, and they’re drastically extra flavorful. Fried in strips and served onboard heat corn tortillas with a easy salsa, a pinch of sparkling cabbage, plenty of lime and a cream sauce you may need to punch up with a few chopped chipotle, these fish tacos can turn a chilly night into bluebird summer season, transporting you from chill into deep humidity and bliss.
- 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ cup roughly chopped cilantro
- 1 jalapeño, halved lengthwise, seeded and cut crosswise into half-moons (optional)
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 limes, 1 halved and 1 cut into wedges
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon canned chipotle pepper, finely chopped (optional)
- ½ cup flour, preferably Wondra or other fine-milled flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup peanut oil, plus a splash more for greasing pan
- Pat of butter
- 1 pound flounder or any firm white-fleshed fish, cut across the grain of the flesh into strips about 1/2 inch wide by 3 inches long
- 12 6-inch fresh corn tortillas
- 2 cups shredded green cabbage
- A saucy hot sauce, like Tapatio or Frank’s
- In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, and jalapeño (if using).
- In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise and sour cream until combined. Season to taste with the halved lime, salt, pepper and chipotle (if using).
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, chili powder and 1 1/2 teaspoons each of kosher salt and black pepper. Pour the milk into another medium bowl, and place the fish into it.
- Pour 1/4 cup of the peanut oil into a 12-inch frying pan and place over medium-high heat until it shimmers and is about to smoke. Remove the fish pieces from the milk bath and dredge them lightly through the flour mixture, shaking to remove excess. Add the butter to the pan. Place some fish pieces in the oil, without crowding them, and cook until deep golden brown on one side, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn carefully and cook for 1 minute more. Remove to a warmed, paper-towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the remaining fish.
- Meanwhile, lightly grease a skillet with a drizzle of oil and set over medium heat. Heat the tortillas, one or two at a time, until they are soft and hot. Keep them warm, wrapped in a dishtowel.
- Fill each tortilla with 3 pieces of fish, browned side up, followed by tomato salsa and a pinch of cabbage. Drizzle with the cream sauce. Serve 2 to 3 tacos per person, with lime wedges and hot sauce on the side.