Though it is technically Monday, we imagine by the time you’re actually reading this it’ll be Tuesday! Here’s our latest Alaska Seafood fish taco contest entry. For April’s edition, we salute “Taco Tuesday,” which has become a common food fixture all over the country. As you can imagine, “Taco Tuesday” is especially popular around these parts of Los Angeles. There are a plethora of food joints near us that boast various taco specials every Tuesday, adding in their own celebrations of the fish taco. My personal favorite place for fish tacos, away from our kitchens of course, comes from a little whole-in-the-wall Mexican food chain in Long Beach called Hole Mole. Every Tuesday, you can get any taco on their menu for $1. Of course, all the tacos at Hole Mole are spectacular, but it’s their Ensenada style fish tacos that earn the crown.
I did my best to recreate their fish tacos at home. Everything was pretty straight forward–a beer battered white fish double wrapped in warm corn tortillas and topped with overflowing amounts of onions, tomatoes, shredded cabbage, and plenty of fresh cilantro. It is their crema, though, that brings the whole piece together. I used crema Mexicana, same as Hole Mole, but they definitely add some extra stuff to their version to make it more flavorful and thinner. When I pried at my last visit to the restaurant, they were unsurprisingly reluctant to tell me exactly what that ‘extra stuff’ could be. Thus, I just added some lime juice, a splash of beer, and a dash of salt to the crema. The finished taco was fantastic. Sadly, I admit, it wasn’t the same as Hole Mole’s version. I just couldn’t get the crema right. Now I think they mix their’s with mayonnaise, which gives it a richer flavor. I’ll definitely have to try that next time, but until then, these tacos absolutely won’t disappoint. Make them for yourself and friends. Then you can charge whatever you’d like!
Ensenada Style Fish Tacos – Serves 4
1/3 cup crema Mexicana, or sour cream
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 tablespoons Mexican beer
Dash of salt
1/2 lb Alaskan cod fillets, cut into 1″ nuggets
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder, plus more for dusting
12 ounces Mexican beer
1 cup shredded cabbage
1/2 cup diced tomato
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro leaves
Vegetable oil, for frying
Corn tortillas, warm
Lime slices, optional
1. Mix all the ingredients together for the crema. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Meanwhile, mix flour and all the spices together in a large mixing bowl. Toss in fish nuggets and coat evening in the flour mixture. Remove fish from the bowl and set aside.
2. Stir the beer into the flour mixture, reserving about 2 tablespoons of beer for the crema sauce. Once a thick paste forms, toss the flour-coated fish pieces into the beer batter.
3. Pour enough boil into a frying pan until it comes about 1″ up the side. Set the flame to medium high. Once hot, fry battered fish in oil until fully cooked and golden brown in color, about 3 minutes on each side.
4. Remove from oil and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Immediately sprinkle with additional salt and chili powder to taste.
5. Assemble the tacos: Place cooked fish in tortillas and top with cabbage, tomatoes, onions, crema, and cilantro. Serve immediately with lime wedges, if desired.
Disclaimer: In exchange for participating in this contest, Alaska Seafood provided us with an initial $25 gift certificate to a local grocer and $25 to Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill. No further compensation has been received for participation.
Click HERE for the printable recipe.