There are lots of times I miss living next to the Pacific ocean but a big one is not being able to buy fresh, fish tacos whenever I like. In our pre-kids life Paul and I used to ride our motorbike down to the ferry then take the short sail through the gulf islands to Gibson’s Landing where we would immediately disembark and head for the restaurant under the jetty where the fish tacos were incredible. Whilst I can’t replicate that experience from my Suffolk kitchen, I’m still transported by the crunch of these addictive fish tacos.
Serves 2 Adults & 2 Kids
8 small flour or corn tortillas
350g cod fillet
60g tempura flour (or 60g plain flour and 1/2 tsp baking powder)
90ml fizzy water
400ml veg oil
1 head of little gem lettuce
1 small red onion
1 tbsp capers
1/4 tsp salt
100g sour cream, 2 tsps chipotle hot sauce, 1 tbsp ketchup mixed together
1 spring onion
- Peel the onion then slice as finely as you can. Loosen the onion rings into a small bowl then add the capers, 1/4 tsp salt and squeeze over a whole lime. Toss the ingredients together then leave to soften. Give the mixture a stir every 5-10 minutes.
- If using frozen cod make sure it’s completely thawed before using. Cut the cod into similar sized pieces about 10cm long and 4cm wide.
- Cut the bottom off the lettuce then loosen all the leaves (leave whole or shred). Put the salsa into a bowl and in another bowl mix together the sour cream, ketchup and chipotle hot sauce. Chop the spring onion and coriander then put into a bowl. All of this can go on the table, along with the tortillas, for everyone to build their own tacos.
- Put the oven on a low heat (about 50°) so you can keep the fish warm as you cook in batches.
- In a wide, shallow bowl mix together the flour (and baking soda if using) and fizzy water until it’s smooth. Dry all the fish fillets with some kitchen roll then sprinkle with salt.
- In a heavy duty skillet or frying pan heat the vegetable oil to a medium high heat. The temperature of your oil is important. Don’t overcrowd the pan as this makes the temperature drop and the batter becomes soggy. Slow and steady wins the race.
- Dip a piece of cod in the batter, letting the excess drip off, then carefully place in the hot oil (use tongs). Dip another piece of cod in the batter and place in the oil. Carefully turn the first piece of cod over to cook the other side then turn the second piece of cod to cook the other side. The batter should be light golden brown. Remove the cooked fish to a grill pan that stays warm in the oven while you repeat the process and cook all the fish.
- By the time the fish is finished the onions should be softened (still with some bite) and ready to go on the table. Spread some of the chipotle sour cream on a tortilla then top with lettuce, the crispy fish then finish with red onion, spring onion and coriander. Serve with salsa.