Beer Battered Fish Tacos with Salsa Fresco and Honey Lemon Slaw

These are, hands down, the best fish tacos on the planet. The fish is crispy and light, the white sauce is creamy with a little heat, and the slaw and salsa just complete the experience. They are inspired by the Baja style fish tacos in southern California. This is my go to menu for having friends over on a Friday night. You can make most of it the day before or the morning of the day you plan to serve these, then fry the fish right before you are ready to eat.

This recipe easily feeds 4-6 people, especially if you add some Spanish rice as a side and eat up the excess salsa fresco with some tortilla chips. If you want to make this a party add some Margaritas.

White Sauce Ingredients:

  • ½ Cup plain yogurt (unflavored)
  • ½ Cup mayonnaise
  • Juice from one lime (about 2-3 Tbsp)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1 tsp ground red pepper (optional, adjust to your heat preference)

Salsa Fresco Ingredients:

  • 1 15oz Can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Medium Tomatoes
  • 1 Medium onion
  • 1 Green bell pepper
  • 1 Red/Orange bell pepper
  • ½ Cup fresh cilantro chopped, or 1 Tbsp dried cilantro
  • 2 tsp diced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground red pepper (optional for some heat)

Honey Lemon Slaw Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups finely shredded cabbage
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp celery seeds
  • Juice from 2 limes (about ¼ of a cup)

Beer Battered Fish Ingredients:

  • Tortillas (corn or flour, your choice)
  • 1 lb cod fillets or other mild fish (thaw if frozen)
  • 1 Cup flour (for batter)
  • 1 Cup Flour + 1 Tbsp Old Bay seasoning (for dusting fish before battering)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Cup beer (you can sub lemon lime soda if you don’t want to use beer)
  • Oil for frying

Day before or morning of Directions:

  • Put the shredded cabbage in a medium bowl (one that has a lid)
  • drizzle the honey over the cabbage
  • Add the celery seeds and the lemon juice. Stir well to mix. Cover and put in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 3 hours. The acid from the lime juice needs a little time to soften the cabbage)
  • In a medium bowl (one with a lid) mix the yogurt and the mayonnaise.
  • Add the salt, oregano, cumin, dill and ground red pepper. Stir well.
  • Add juice from one lime (about 1 Tbsp). Stir well. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 3 hours.
  • Drain and rinse the black beans. Place them in in a large bowl.
  • Core and slice the tomatoes and remove the seeds. Dice into small pieces and add them to the beans
  • Dice the onion and the bell peppers and add them to the bowl
  • Chop the cilantro and add it to the bowl along with the garlic.
  • Add the salt, black and red pepper and stir well.
  • Add the juice from 2 limes (about ¼ cup) to the bowl and stir well. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 3 hours.

Fish and assembly Directions:

  • Pre-heat deep fryer to 375° F
  • Cut the fish fillets into one inch pieces. Be sure to remove any skin or bones still attached to the fish.
  • Pat the fish dry with a paper towel.
  • In a small bowl combine 1 Cup flour and Old Bay and mix well. Set aside.
  • In a med-large bowl combine flour, salt, baking powder, cornstarch.
  • Combine egg and beer, stirring to mix and then add immediately to the large bowl with other dry ingredients.
  • Dust a few of the fish pieces with the flour/Old Bay mix then dip them in the beer batter.
  • Fry the fish in small batches until golden brown. It doesn’t take long, 3-5 minutes per batch.
  • Assemble the tacos by placing 2-3 pieces of fish on a tortilla, top with white sauce, then slaw, then salsa fresco. Feel free to add your favorite hot sauce too.

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