Whew. That’s a mouthful, isn’t it? A freaking delicious mouthful that is.
It may be one of the longest post/recipe titles I’ve ever shared. A little gratuitous on the description but not at all disappointing on the flavor. Fish tacos! Mango-avocado salsa! Beer batter! Spicy ranch! Yes to all of it. Especially because tomorrow is CINCO DE MAYO! If there was ever a time to pull out all the stops on Mexican food, this is it. Let’s do this.
Now, this recipe may come off as kind of high maintenance and that’s because…it is. There’s no point in sugar coating it. Listen, I am never going to sit here and tell you that a recipe is anything but high maintenance when frying is involved. I hate frying at home and rarely do it. It’s gotta be really something special in order for me break out the vat of oil. In this case, we’re doing a shallow pan fry, which kinda makes it more justifiable.
The yummy result DEFINITELY makes it justifiable, though! I promise!
Tacos in and of themselves are high maintenance a lot of the time because of all the ingredients that are involved. For me, a good taco requires lots of components. Something meaty. Something cheesy. Something crunchy. Something fresh. And possibly one or two margaritas on the side?
See? Totally high maintenance. But worth every damn second of prep (and every calorie consumed).
Today’s tacos are one of my favorites. In general, I’m a sucker for a good fish taco. Flaky, tender white fish battered and fried until ridiculously crispy and then slathered in something creamy and topped with something fresh and crunchy. That’s my usual preference for fish tacos. And today’s recipe meets all the criteria!
I dunk my fish in a beer batter (um, yum) and then fry them until golden and crispy. This batter turns out SO RIDICULOUSLY light and airy. I am obsessed. I hate frying, and I’m already like “what else can I batter with beer?!?” That could be a slippery slope. I top my crispy fish with the most glorious avocado and mango salsa. It’s so fresh and tangy and yet creamy…it’s texture heaven, people.
Mango is kind of a…creamy fruit, isn’t it? I have to admit I never really thought about mango as being creamy, but it IS! And when paired with avocado, it’s pretty much the best thing to top off your tacos. Of any kind. I’m confident in that statement.
Another thing I’m confident in? My ongoing obsession with ranch dressing. It’s a newer infatuation. All of a sudden, during the past several months, I’ve been getting huge ranch cravings (no, I’m not preggo). But not with salad! In fact, I really don’t enjoy ranch on salads that much. I like it as a dunking sauce or drizzle best. I’ve been using it to dunk my fries and cheese pizza lately. I know this is not a novice idea, but it’s definitely new for me! I’ve never really done it before. But lately, I just can’t get enough ranch flavor.
Hence, the spicy ranch drizzle that you see here. At first, I was worried my blind love for the stuff was causing me to make bad decisions when developing recipes. Basically, I was worried the ranch wouldn’t work here.
But I was wrong! My ranch infatuation has not led me astray yet. It works beautifully here. Kicked up a notch with some spice and fresh lime, it’s addictive drizzled over these tacos.
This is the kind of high maintenance I can definitely get behind. Happy Cinco de Mayo (tomorrow, that is), friends!
2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 cup beer (I used a lager)
Salt and pepper
2 lb boneless, skinless white fish (cod, haddock, halibut, etc)
Oil, for frying
1 cup diced mango
1 cup diced avocado
⅓ cup diced red onion
⅓ cup diced and seeded tomatoes
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
Pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
Juice of 1 lime
3 tablespoons ranch dressing
2 teaspoons hot sauce (or to taste)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Milk, as needed, to thin out the sauce
Corn or flour tortillas, warmed or toasted
In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup of the flour and beer. Season with a pinch of salt. Set aside for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the oil to a large skillet (you want about 1-2 inches of oil) and heat to 350F (HINT: I make my salsa and ranch drizzle during this downtime).
Place the remaining 1 cup flour in a shallow dish or bowl and season with salt and pepper. Cut your fish into 1-inch strips and dredge in the flour.
Dip the coated fish in the batter, allowing the excess to drip off before adding the battered fish to the oil.
Fry the fish in batches, for about 4 minutes per batch, or until the fish is white and cooked through and the batter is golden and crispy.
Transfer the fried fish to a plate lined with paper towels.
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Keep chilled until you are ready to serve.
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Add a splash of milk, if needed, to thin the sauce out to a drizzling consistency. Keep chilled until you are ready to serve.
Warm or toast your tortillas (I like to do this over my stove’s gas burner) and then layer the crispy fish and salsa. Drizzle over the ranch sauce. Serve while the fish is still warm with lime wedges on the side.