Ingredients

Baja Fish Tacos

  • 3 pounds cod fillets
  • 2 cups cornstarch
  • Rice bran or vegetable oil
  • 4 limes
  • 1/2 cup radishes, sliced
  • 12 corn tortillas

For the Crema

  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons chipotle in adobo
  • 1 fresh habanero

Batter

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1 pilsner beer (12 ounces)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

For the Slaw

  • 1/2 head red cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 3/4 cup cilantro stems, roughly chopped
  • Juice of 4 limes
  • Salt, to taste

Pico de Gallo Salsa

  • 1 pound heirloom tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • 2 serranos, sliced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 limes, juiced
  • Salt, as needed
  • Pepper, as needed
  • For toasted, crushed peppers:
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 12 chile japones, de-stemmed

Steps

Baja Fish Tacos

  1. Cut fish into pieces about the size of your middle finger or about 3 ounces each. Season with salt.
  2. Place cornstarch into a small bowl. Dust the fish in cornstarch until it’s completely coated, and set aside.
  3. Fill a Dutch oven with vegetable oil, about three inches high, and bring to medium-high heat (about 365-375 degrees).
  4. To test the heat, dip an extra tortilla in the oil. If it floats back up the surface, it’s good. If it fries/browns right up, reduce the heat a little.
  5. Piece by piece, submerge the cornstarch-dusted fish in the batter to fully coat them. Let excess batter drip off, and use the side of the bowl to wipe off any excess.
  6. Add the fish to the Dutch oven, piece by piece. Don’t crowd the pan too much or you’ll lower the temperature.
  7. Gently roll the pieces around with tongs and fry until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon to a rack over a hotel pan and season with salt immediately. Let dry.
  8. Add vegetable oil to a skillet over medium-high heat and add the de-stemmed chile japones. Toss the chiles in the oil to coat, and cook until aromatic and changing color from crimson to crimson-brown. Immediately remove from the heat with a slotted spoon and set aside. Place fish on a lined rack over a baking sheet.
  9. Warm all the tortillas, and plate the tacos. First two tortillas, then a tablespoon of chipotle crema, fish, slaw, pico de gallo. Break some toasted chiles over the top to add some flakey, smokey heat. Squeeze lime over top before you eat.

For the Crema

  1. Combine sour cream with chipotle in adobo and one fresh habanero chile in the food processor. Mix until blended completely. Set aside in the refrigerator.

Batter

  1. Mix the wet and dry ingredients for the batter. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet batter bowl while whisking at a medium rate, just enough so the ingredients are incorporated.

For the Slaw

  1. Combine all slaw ingredients in a bowl and stir gently until mixed.

Pico de Gallo Salsa

  1. Combine all ingredients for pico de gallo in a bowl and stir gently until mixed.