Put some more crunch into the popular fish taco — and stir up the flavors a bit, too. But make this recipe when you have an hour or more to work in the kitchen — great tastes are your reward.
What’s different? You’re going from soft corn tortilla wrappers to crisp. Then, for even more crunch, the fish is rolled in corn flour and deep-fried. All of this heat and crunch gets topped with a cool garnish made with matchstick-cut radishes and jicama (see photo below), halved green grapes, arugula sprouts, fresh lime juice, mint and cilantro. Spoon creamy chipotle sauce on top at the end.
(Note: the salad below is good as side salad to serve with spicy Mexican food, smoky barbecue, or tender, oven-roasted pork. Or, leave out the lettuce in your sandwich and use this mix instead.
Crispy Fish Tacos with Radish-Jicama Garnish and Creamy Chipotle Sauce
5-6 red globe radishes, cut in matchstick slices with red-tip ends
1 quarter large jicama, peeled and cut into matchstick slices
Large handful green grapes, washed and sliced in half
1/2 carton of arugula sprouts (microgreens, not baby arugula salad greens) or radish sprouts
6-8 sprigs fresh cilantro
6-8 sprigs fresh mint
1 medium lime (divided use)
More fresh cilantro for garnish
2 cups grapeseed oil, for frying
6 corn tortillas
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 cup seasoned corn flour (Zatarain’s Fish Fry Cajun Style is good, a little spicy)
10-ounces firm white fish, such as cod or flounder, cut into 1-2-inch-wide strips, about 4-6 inches long
CREAMY CHIPOTLE SAUCE:
1/2 dried chipotle (softened in hot water and minced) or 1/2 canned chipotle, minced
1/3 cup sour cream or Mexican crema
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Pinch of salt
For the salad: Because it takes awhile to cut up the radishes, jicama and grapes for this salad, start slicing the radishes (see photo) so the red peel is on both tips, jicama into strips, then slice grapes in half. Add arugula, cilantro and mint, gently toss then cover up and keep cold in the refrigerator. You’ll squeeze the juice of half a lime on, and toss, when ready to dish up tacos.
Pour the grapeseed oil into a pan deep enough to fry them. If you have a rack that makes deep-fried tortilla shells, use those, of course. Or, just fry them in the oil, manipulating them with a spoon to fold over and leave a pocket for the fish. Or, just use boxed crispy taco shells! There’s always an easy way. Drain on paper towels, then set in the oven on a cookie sheet to stay crisp.
Set up a bowl big enough to dip fish strips in and mix together the egg and milk. Put the corn flour in a mound on the dinner plate. Pat the fish slices dry, then dip in the milk and egg mixture, let excess moisture drip off. Then, roll in corn flour. When all of the strips are ready (you can line them up on a cookie sheet, just don’t let them touch each other) start frying. The oil is hot enough when a bit of the flour drop in sizzles. Fry the fish strips just until golden brown, turn with tongs and when they are done, set them on paper towels so they keep their crunch. Put in the oven to stay hot and crisp.
For creamy chipotle sauce, stir together all of the ingredients. Set into the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. Spoon it onto the tacos.
To assemble: Divide the fish among the taco shells, pushing it in so that it leaves room for the garnish. Add salad garnish (after tossing with the lime juice) and a few more sprigs of cilantro, if you like. Spoon on the creamy chipotle sauce and take some to the table with you, too. We found that dipping jicama sticks into the sauce was really good!
Makes 2-3 servings.
From Bonnie Walker