My favorite tacos are fish tacos, and for the past five years, I've been a bit of fish taco junkie. Anywhere I've gone, any way they were served, I indulged in fish tacos. I didn't discriminate against shrimp, grilled or blacked, I just made sure I got my fix any way I could.
What sushi was to my 20's, fish tacos were to my 30's.
Over time, and with A LOT of experience, I narrowed down my preference, and fine-tuned my craft. Eventually, I developed a taste for a favorite taco, and soon thereafter, I figured out how to make it in my own damn cucina.
It started back in the Spring of 2010 while on a cruise ship stop in Puerto Vallarta. My mom and I stumbled on Joe Jack's Taco Shack, in what will go down as one of the more memorable afternoons of my life.
Mr. Noodle was a dream, mojitos were half price, and the beer battered fish tacos nearly caused my head to explode.
The craziest part about this story is that I would find my way back to Joe's in 2012 AND again in 2013. It's not like I'd ever been to PV before that cruise ship stop. It's not like I ever thought I'd really be able to go back. And yet, I did. Life has a funny way of giving you what you need. Clearly, I needed more fish tacos.
So like I said, I worked at perfecting my perfect taco. Above, I got it almost right. Father's Day, 2012
By the time last night's Cinco de Mayo family celebration came around, I was very well prepared. See, I've been able to craft my perfect fish taco for almost a year now. It's a bit of this and that, a trick pulled from one recipe here, coupled with another something special over there. Add three giant tablespoons of Roberto Santibañez' Classic Guacamole and olé!
Favorite Fish Tacos
12 flour tortillas, warmed
8oz. sour cream
1 bunch cilantro
1 pound tilapia, cut in 3/4" strips
Purple cabbage, julienned
5 oz. queso fresco, crumbled
Double recipe of Roberto Santibañez' Classic Guacamole
Vegetable oil for frying
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
12 oz. beer
Mix the flour, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Gradually add in the beer while whisking. Set aside and let the batter rest for 15 minutes.
Cilantro + Lime Sour Cream
8 oz. sour cream
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon of lime juice
Mix all three ingredients by hand or in mini chopper.
For the Beer Battered Fish:
In a large skillet, over medium heat, add enough oil to reach a depth of 1-inch. Test oil by dropping a bit of batter in. When batter sizzles, you're ready to go.
On a large plate with a cup of flour, roll cut fish until completely dusted. Working in batches, dip the fillets in the beer batter and coat on both sides. Fry in the hot oil until golden brown. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
Keep battered fish warm in an over at 200 degrees while finishing cooking.
Fill warmed tortillas with battered fish, top with cabbage, guacamole, cilantro + lime sour cream, and queso fresco. Enjoy!
We almost ate these macarrons for dessert. They are sooo good and the coconut would have made the perfect finish. I had made a double batch over the weekend for a friend's party on Saturday night, and had lots left over. But apparently it wasn't enough to last us through Monday night. So instead, I grabbed a quick and easy quart of Dulce de Leche instead.
While that's likely enough taco talk to get you through until Grito de Dolores, I have to share one other favorite taco recipe of mine. It's from a beautiful little taco book I picked up two years ago while walking the aisle of Powell's bookstore for the first time, a trail of drool falling behind.
I admit, tonight was the first time I've cracked this book open since I returned from Portland. Things don't always go as we plan. I had originally planned to make both fish AND shrimp tacos last night, but eventually decided to save my mind and break it all up into two nights.
Shrimp Taco Dorado was selected based on my kid's love of shrimp, and one of their loves of mango. I skipped their guacamole recipe and supplemented some great, homemade guac from our local grocery. The recipe was for 12 healthy size tacos. The three kids and I polished it all off before Daddy even had the chance to think about coming home.
I can't wait to try more recipes from this great little book!