Hot Outta The Oven: SoCal Fish Tacos

Hot foodie Teri Tsang Barrett knows her way around a kitchen—a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education, she works as a Food Editor at Everyday With Rachael Ray in constant search of the perfect thin crust pizza. Here she unveils her favorite frisky recipes—good food that every ravenous gal can make in a pinch. Got a rumble in your belly for something you want her to cook up a recipe for? Email us at [email protected].

I’m one of those annoying Californian transplants that constantly complains about the lack of good (cheap) Mexican food outside of my home town. A bowl of $15 guacamole in NYC will cost $8 at home and don’t even get me started on my inability to find a good burrito. The worst part is that I’ve never even found a proper fish taco in my adopted city, so I set out to make my own. This recipe’s a bit more labor intensive than I normally like, but it’s my fave and totally delish. It’s not something you decide to pull together after getting home from work at 9pm, but if you find yourself feeling like Suzy Homemaker and hosting a dinner party, bust out this recipe and go to town. It’s my #1 most requested recipe and provided that you know how to read and follow a recipe, you will soon see why.

SoCal Fish Tacos
Serves 6 

3/4 cup sour cream
1 finely chopped chipotle chile in adobo sauce (about ½ tablespoon)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 red cabbage, shredded
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup cornmeal

1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Coarse salt
1 cup flour 

1 ¼ cups beer 

3 large eggs, lightly beaten 

18 6-inch corn tortillas 

Peanut oil, for frying 

1 ¼ pounds cod, cut into strips the size of your pinky

1. In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, chipotle chile and cumin. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeno and juice of 1 lime; season generously with salt and toss to combine.

2. In a large shallow bowl, such as a pie plate, whisk together 2/3 cup flour, cornmeal, 1 ½ teaspoons salt and the beer. Place near the stove along with a bowl of the beaten eggs and a plate filled with the remaining 1/3 cup flour.

3. Stack the tortillas, wrap them in damp paper towels and then a clean kitchen towel. Microwave on high heat for 2 minutes. Leave covered as you prepare the fish.

4. Fill a deep saucepan with enough peanut oil to reach a depth of 1 inch and place over medium heat. Test the oil for doneness by sprinkling in a pinch of flour: if it bubbles immediately, you’re ready to fry the fish. Working in batches, dredge the fish in the flour, dip them into the egg, and then dip them into the beer batter. Carefully add to the oil and fry, turning, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season immediately with salt. Let the oil come back to the right frying temperature before proceeding with the remaining fish. Serve with the warmed tortillas, spicy slaw and chipotle mayonnaise for assembling.