Baja-Style Tempura Fish Tacos, 2009
Though this week’s recipe for baja-style fish tacos is not necessarily historic, fish tacos have reached near legendary status in a relatively short period of time. Fish tacos recipes originate from towns along the Baja of Mexico, with most crediting the town of Ensendada as the birthplace of the fish tacos in the 1930s. This week we’re trying a baja-style fish taco recipe from Mark Miller’s Tacos: 75 Authentic and Inspired Recipes.
Baja-Style Tempura Fish Tacos/Baja al estilo tempura tacos de pescado (Pp. 68-69)
1.5 cups of water
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
10 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 serrano chiles, stemmed and sliced
2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano (ground)
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
2 pounds young shark fillet (or tilapia or mahi mahi substitute), cut into 4 X 3/4 strips
Baja Tempura Batter
3/4 cup water, plus 1 tablespoon ice water
2 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard (optional)
1 cup bleached all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil, for deep frying
10 soft white corn tortillas
Baja Cabbage Slaw (cabbage, lime, mayo, and jalapeño Tabasco sauce)
In the Kitchen…
First prepare the tempura batter by whisking together ice water and yellow mustard. Gently add 1 cup of flour, taking care not to overmix the batter, then place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
To prepare the marinade, combine 1 1/2 cups of water, lime juice, garlic, chiles, oregano, salt, and fish fillets in a large bowl and let marinate for 20 minutes.
To fry the fish fillets, bring 2-3 inches of vegetable oil to 360°F in a large frying pan. After removing fish fillets from marinade, dry fillets on paper towels before coating each fillet in the tempura batter and dropping into the hot oil. In batches of 3-4 fillets, fry fish for 2-3 minutes, or until batter has reached a golden brown hue. After frying is complete, place fish on a plate with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
After frying all of the fish, serve 1-2 fillets on a corn tortilla, garnishing with Baja cabbage slaw, fresh lime, and salsa.