Cool, tangy cabbage slaw cozies up to crisp fish in these tasty Baja fish tacos. They’re so easy and fun to make that they’ve become a regular part of our everyday repertoire.
For the cabbage slaw:
2 cups finely shredded cabbage
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 small tomato, diced
2 sprigs cilantro, leaves and stems finely chopped
1/2 small jalapeño pepper, stem and seeds removed, finely chopped (optional)
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
First, make the cabbage slaw: In a large mixing bowl, stir together the cabbage, garlic, sour cream, lime juice, tomato, cilantro, jalapeño (if using), and salt. Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the fish (it will keep up to 2 days).
Tempura or fish-fry mixes can be found in the seafood department of your local supermarket (McCormick is a popular brand). However, you can also make your own by mixing 1 cup all-purpose flour with 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder.
For the tacos:
Vegetable oil for frying
1 pound tilapia fillets
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 large egg
1 cup cold beer or ice water
1 cup tempura or fish-fry mix (see “Note”)
20 corn tortillas (6-inch)
Garnishes: lime wedges, finely chopped cilantro
Pour about an inch of oil into a large skillet. Set over medium-high heat and bring the temperature to 375°. Meanwhile, cut the fish into strips about 1 inch wide and 4 inches long. (No need to be exact; you just want the fish to fit into the tortillas.) In a small bowl, stir together the salt, garlic powder, and cayenne; then sprinkle the mixture evenly over the fish.
In a medium-size bowl, beat the egg lightly with the beer or water. Add the tempura mix and stir just until evenly combined.
Dip a few pieces of fish into the batter; then transfer to the preheated skillet. Cook, turning once, until the fish is nut-brown on both sides, 3 to 5 minutes total. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining fish.
Meanwhile, warm the tortillas in a microwave or in a skillet (about a minute on each side). Place two tortillas, one on top of the other, on a plate; add two to three pieces of fish, and top with a dollop of slaw. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Serve hot, with extra lime wedges on the side.