Hey summer! and hey hey heyyy beautifully delicious summer food eaten on a patio in the sunny sun.
Welcome. Stay in our lives forever. We u.
Especially us lonely winterers here in Minnesota who have not seen the out of doors for billions of days. Yesterday it was blisteringly hot out there (meaning 80 degrees here in M-N) and I was in summer sun patio heaven. I positioned my chair to face directly into the sun, right next to my newly purchased basil plant from the farmer’s market, and together we soaked up the hottness while I ate a little snack and it felt guuud. Then I panicked about all that sun on my basil and dumped my water bottle all over it to cool it down. Does basil love water bottle showers? Or does it need sun? The leaves are starting to look weird and my black thumb is feeling guilty. Halp.
I’m sorry not sorry to say that my favorite summertime foods = things like beer-battered fried fish tacos (hey! that’s today), corn dogs, mini donuts, French fries, onion rings, and the like. I know. I’m a horrible person and why can’t I just grill something? True story – I tried to grill something last week so I could be a Fresh Healthy Summer Blog Person and guess what? It was not delicious. I couldn’t blog about it in a million years and it made a mess, like, all over our yard. I’ll try again next year.
When I think of summer food, I think of eating outside and that makes me think of things like the State Fair and outdoor concerts and festivals and amusement parks. And as long as we’re on that topic, I am declaring today that I have officially reached the age of never going on any roller coasters ever again. No more. It’s time to just embrace the fact that my ride spirit is either non-existent or prefers rides meant for 3-5 year olds.
My food spirit, however, embraces the so-bad-but-so-good food at said amusement parks and so no worries – we’ll go, you’ll ride, I’ll eat, and we can all still get along. Today’s recipe is some kind of mashup between that yummy fried food of summer outdoor events and the good feeling of making a fun summer meal yourself, at home, with a freshy umbrella drink if you’re cutesy and have a perfect life.
The fish in these tacos is crispy and delicious >> CRISPY FISH TACOS. It’s crispy because it’s beer-battered with a few unique ingredients that give it extra crunch, like cornmeal. Crispity-crunch, that shooore tastes goooood. It turns a nice golden brown, and I know I just said this in a post recently but it’s worth repeating: truly that golden brown is the best food color. I love it.
I kept the toppings pretty simple for these tacos because I embrace minimalism and simplicity and zen-ness all the time. And/or/also, I didn’t want to go to the grocery store for any more ingredients when my fridge is overflowing with stuffs. That’s zen, right?
It ended up being perfect. The zingy spiciness of the sauce, along with its cool creaminess, had the perfect well-rounded balancing effect to the spicy, golden brown, crispy cornmeal beer-battered fish. A little Cotija cheese crumbled on top gave a little texture and saltiness, and those few little cilantro leaves added a fresh-green-pop look that tied it all together.
So this weekend was this –> I ate a few yummy tacos at home, sat in the sun with the basil plant, and then went out with friends where I sat on a rooftop deck and watched the sunset and felt very happy. These good feelings brought to you by summa summa summmmaaah.
These Crispy Fish Tacos with Jalapeño Sauce are fried to golden brown perfection with a crispy cornmeal crust and served with a fresh, spicy homemade sauce!
1 large jalapeño (if you like spicy, leave the ribs and seeds in there)
1 cup cilantro leaves
1/4 cup green onions
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 lbs. firm white fish like cod
1 cup flour (see notes)
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cornmeal
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon chili powder or spicy seasoning
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup light beer, such as Corona
1 egg, beaten
vegetable oil for frying
12 flour or corn tortillas
cilantro for topping
Cotija cheese for topping
Puree all the jalapeño sauce ingredients in a food processor until your desired consistency is reached. I sometimes add a little more oil or water at the end to make the sauce less gloppy and more drizzle-able.
Pat the fish dry with paper towels and cut into 2-3 inch pieces. Put 1/2 cup flour in a shallow bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk 1/2 cup flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, chili powder, baking powder, and salt. Add the beer and the beaten egg; stir until combined to form the batter.
Pour enough oil in a frying pan so that the fish will be partially submerged while frying. Heat the oil until a drip of water sizzles across the top. Dip each piece of fish in the plain flour, then the batter, then transfer to the hot oil. Fry on each side for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the frying pan and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil. Sprinkle with salt while still hot; let cool slightly.
Arrange your tacos with a few pieces of fish, cilantro, Cotija cheese, and jalapeño sauce. Yummy!
About the flour: I’ve used both whole wheat flour and white flour. White flour is more traditional but whole wheat works, and that’s what’s pictured here. The cornmeal adds a unique texture but you could use flour in its place for a more traditional beer-battered fish texture.
About the batter: If the batter sits for a while, the cornmeal will sink to the bottom. Stir it up again to get everything mixed before dipping the fish in it.
Prep Time:15 mins
Cook Time:15 mins
Keywords: crispy fish tacos, fish tacos, jalapeño sauce