Crispy beer battered fish with panko over a cilantro crema, topped with feta, avocado and radish microgreens. Perfect for Cinco de Mayo recipe inspiration...or any time.
If you're looking for Cinco de Mayo recipe inspiration, might I suggest a fish taco? Or a fish taco for any night for that matter. This fish taco with cilantro crema starts with a crispy beer battered coated fish and is paired with radish microgreens for peppery-ness, cilantro jalapeño aioli slash crema (call it whatever makes you happy), avocado and feta cheese on a tostada.
It's the crispy kind of tostada situation that, quite frankly, can be kind of a mess to eat. I haven't quite perfected the tostada eating methodology. It's kind of a insert like a car CD player situation? And then it all crumbles after the first bite? So again...I don't have a smart tostada consumption technique. Please let me know if you do.
Since there are a bajillion fish taco recipes out there, I tried to meld a bunch of our favorite things together to bring you something different. The fish is first beer battered and then patted with whole wheat panko. I've tried beer batters/batter frying a bunch of times recently and I hate the way it turns out. No matter the recipe, it just doesn't' work out how I think it should (the batter slips off-regardless of patting the item dry, letting the batter set etc). After said batter disappointments, I've ended up adding bread crumbs of some kind on top of the batter. I've done it to chicken, I've done it with fish and I love the result. Pushing the bread crumbs or panko onto the battered item creates the little crispy bits that are so delightful on things like fried chicken. The batter works as an awesome glue...better than a typical egg dip. And yes, the beer comes through! So buy a six pack of your favorite lager (we used Singha which is actually Thai beer) and enjoy cooking with, and while cooking.
Okay. Cilantro jalapeño crema. Coriander aioli. You could call the green sauce on the tostada several things, but the important thing here is there is a bunch of flavor in a single spread. It makes serving very easy. It contains spice (jalapeño) and brightness (cilantro) and an extra layer of flavor from actual dried, powdered coriander. Powdered coriander is aromatic and earthy but also a bit bright. It's a nice contrast to the leafy green cilantro that some people HATE (we love it). It rounds out the sauce by grounding it in a way where having just the top note items of cilantro and jalapeño and dairy wouldn't have been balanced without it.
Beer Battered Crispy Fish Tacos with Cilantro Crema
Beer Batter Fish
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 6 oz lager beer (eg SINGHA)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon salt/spice seasoning (something with salt, garlic, onion, cayenne type thing)
- 1/2 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
- 1 pound firm white fish (cod or haddock) cut into chunks
- high heat oil like canola or coconut oil to fill cast iron pan about 1/2 an inch
Cilantro Jalapeño Crema
- 2 T 0% strained Greek/Icelandic style yogurt
- 2 T light mayo
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
- 1/8 teaspoon coriiander powder
- 2 teaspoons jalapeño, deseeded and finely chopped
- sliced avocado
- crumbled feta/cojita cheese
- radish microgreens or other brightly flavored microgreens
- hot sauce
For the Batter: Whisk together flour, cornstarch and salt in a medium bowl. Add egg and pour in beer, whisking to make sure there are no clumps.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes to 1 hour.
For the Fish: Pour oil into a large cast iron pan that will hold about 1/2 an inch of oil. Heat and bring to 375 F.
As oil heats, cut fish into chunks. Pat dry with a paper towel
Once batter is in the fridge for at least 20 minutes, dip each fish piece into the batter, then place on a plate.
Pat panko breadcrumbs onto each piece, pressing in clumps and pieces to stick to the fish.
Gently add a few pieces into the hot oil, be sure not to crowd or the temperature will be brought down too much.
Flip fish so each side is browned and crisp and reaches an interior temperature of 145 F. This should be about 5-7 minutes, depending on how thick your fish is.
Place fish onto a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with Adobo.
For the cilantro sauce: add ingredients to a bowl and use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. If you don't have an immersion blender, finely chop everything and stir together.
To compile the tacos: Spread a layer of the cilantro crema, add slices of avocado and pieces of fish. Sprinkle with cheese and microgreens.
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