Tacos de Pescado, also known as fish tacos, originated in San Felipe, Mexico, where they are the taco of choice from the street vendors. My recipe duplicates Tacos de Pescado that I had the pleasure of eating in Ensenada, Baja California, not long ago.
tools: Deep fat fryer, cast iron frying pan, or cast iron
wok; comal or griddle for tortillas
2 halibut or other white fish filet, about
6 oz each
Cut fish into strips of about 1-1/2" by 3" each. Break egg in a bowl, whisk. Pour about 1/2 cup of Bisquick into another bowl, add seasoned salt and paprika. In another bowl, pour remainder of Bisquick, add beer enough beer to bring the mixture to the consistency of pancake batter. Mix well.
Heat oil in deep fat fryer until a drop of water sizzles when dropped in the fryer. Dredge fish in egg, roll in Bisquick mix, then coat well with batter. Cook each fish filet in deep fat fryer about 4 minutes, or until golden brown.
Heat comal or griddle to high heat. Place tortillas on griddle or comal, heating until brown spots appear, about 20 seconds. Turn over to heat until brown spots appear on other side, about 10 seconds.
Wrap fish in taco, add cabbage, tomato, radish and cilantro. Top with dressing. Serve immediately.
Variations include using fresh, warm flour tortillas and adding sliced avacados. If you decide to use flour tortillas, you'll only need one per taco, as flour tortillas hold together better than corn tortillas, and don't crumble as easily as their corn counterparts. You can't ruin a fish taco unless you burn the meat!
Crema Fish Dressing:
1/4 cup sour cream
Squeeze lime juice into sour cream; its very authentic to add some lime pulp to the crema. With a large spoon, blend juice and sour cream until thouroughly blended together. The mixture should be about the consistency of very runny pancake batter. Add more lime juice, if needed. Lemon juice also works well.
* If you don't want the trouble of making the fish sauce, Ranch salad dressing, my favorite is the Kraft brand, will work fine.
Photo: Yes, I know I'm using lettuce instead of cabbage, but I was out of cabbage. Note each fish taco has two tortillas and that crema has been applied. I like to squeeze a little lime juice on each taco; that's how the locals in Baja California like to season their fish tacos.
My Tacos de Pescado are similar to my favorite fish tacos that can be found near the fish market in Ensenada, Mexico. There are many taco stands and street vendors near the pescado mercado, where vendors sell a wide variety of freshly-caught seafood, and the whole area is populated with street vendors who sell the best fish tacos that you've ever tasted.
Lettuce is a "gringo" thing and you won't find it in a taco in Mexico. However, you will find lots of cabbage, especially in fish tacos, as cabbage keeps better in adverse conditions than lettuce, and adds nutrition and superior flavor to most dishes, especially fish tacos.
Either corn or flour tortillas can be used, however the corn tortillas seem to be more in favor with the locals. Flour tortillas are larger, so they will hold more veggies than their corn counterparts, which are about CD-sized. If you're camping, I've found that flour tortillas keep better and are less likely to crumble. Whatever you do, keep them sealed in a zip lock bag so they won't dry out.
What is a comal? It's a round, flat griddle, made of cast iron, (of course,) with slightly raised edges. It's basically a Mexican griddle. I purchased one on a recent trip to Mexico, and I use it frequently in place of the heavier, rectangular cast iron gridd!le that I've used for years.
When you visit the taco stands or street vendors in Ensenada, you'll notice that most of them use a cast-iron, propane-fired wok to deep-fat fry the fish. I have a cast iron wok that I use, but I find an electric deep-fat fryer easier, cleaner and safer. No matter what utsensil you use to cook the fish, the taste remains the same... good!
Oh, to be in Ensenada right now, sitting on the malecon and sipping a cold Tecate beer and munching on a fish taco...
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