There’s nothing that transports me back to Baja California quite like some perfectly fried beer battered fish tacos. These are so tasty and so customizable you will never get tired of these delicious fish tacos!
I make lots of tacos, but since I only have access to flour tortillas I really only make Baja California style ones. That means lots and lots of seafood recipes. Of course the most common taco is the simple beer battered fish taco. This recipe will show you how to make the crispiest beer battered fish ever!
If you don’t drink alcohol don’t worry. The alcohol in the beer gets completely cooked out. However if you are still unsure then you can use any 0.0 beer as a perfect substitute. I personally pair these fish tacos with a cold cerveza or delicious mezcal margarita when I enjoy them.
What Is Beer Batter?
Beer batter is, as the name suggests, a batter made with beer. This is the best way to make very crispy fried fish or other seafood. Traditionally you want to use a light beer like a lager or pils because they have a very mild flavor. For these fish tacos, a Mexican lager like Corona works perfectly well.
You will often see beer battered fish in places like the UK or Australia at the iconic fish & chip shops. But you don’t need to relegate this crispy frying method to just fish and chips. It works great for seafood tacos too!
How To Make The Crispiest Beer Battered Fish
There are two components to perfect crispy beer battered fish. The fish, and the batter. It sounds simple enough, and it actually is. Just follow a few simple rules.
When making beer battered fish, you want to use a mild, flaky white fish. Popular choices are cod, hake, pollock, iridescent shark, sole, and more. You will notice different countries use different fish, but they all taste relatively similar when battered and deep fried.
I recommend using something cheaper since you are going to be deep frying it. Any delicate flavors of a more expensive whitefish like halibut will be lost.
When I say beer batter, most people would just assume flour plus beer. And those are two important ingredients. However there is a secret ingredient for making the absolute best beer batter for crispy fish: potato starch!
Potato starch turns your basic beer batter into an extra crispy version that lasts far longer than normal flour batter. This is great for tacos since you will likely have to fry a lot of fish in small batches. No one likes soggy fried fish.
You also have to think of the seasonings. I like to add garlic powder, paprika, and salt to the batter for extra flavor. I also add baking powder which creates and even lighter, crispier batter. All these ingredients together combine to make the best beer battered fish ever!
Best Beer Batter Ingredients
1 cup Flour – AP works well in this recipe
1/2 cup Potato Starch
375 ml Beer – 1.5 cups. A lager or pils works great in beer batter recipes as they are light and mild.
1 tbsp Garlic Powder
1 tbsp Paprika
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
How To Fry Beer Battered Fish
The first thing to do when making beer battered fish is to flour your pieces of fish. I cut my fish into strips so you only need one piece per taco. Dust them well with flour and shake off any excess. This step helps the wet batter stick to the meat.
Make a frying station by setting a deep pot of oil on high heat until it reaches 175C. Quickly whisk your batter together but do not overmix. You don’t want to whisk out the carbonation or the beer batter won’t puff up as much and be super crispy.
Coat a piece of fish with the beer batter and gently lay it in the pot of hot oil. Let the fish fall away from you so there is no splattering if it falls. I suggest using your fingers to do this as you have more control of the release…just make sure to let go of the fish so you don’t fry your fingers!
Remove the fried fish from the oil and place on a paper towel lined plate to dry. Then move over to another dish to make room as you continue to fry more fish. And that’s it! The way to make the absolute best beer battered fish. You can of course just end here and skip the tacos part…but tacos are life so we continue on.
Composing Beer Battered Fish Tacos
The other ingredients for these beer battered fish tacos are quite simple, and easily customizable. Feel free to swap, leave out, or add stuff like guacamole if you want. The perfect taco is the one you enjoy eating so this next step is just a basic guideline and not a set rule.
Another tip for making tacos at home is to warm up the tortillas. Many people skip this step and it is a huge mistake. I love to just toss the tortillas right on an open flame and flip them a few times to make them pliable with a good char. Then, after building these beer battered fish tacos, I drip on a bit of my tasty Carolina Reaper hot sauce because I’m a bit of a fiend when it comes to spicy fish tacos.
More Taco Recipes You Might Enjoy
Beer Battered Fish Tacos
- 1 Pot to fry
- 450 grams Whitefish 1 Pound. Choose a flaky whitefish like Cod or Hake
- 8 small Flour Tortillas sometimes labeled 'street style' tortillas
- 1 cup Flour AP works well in this recipe
- 1/2 cup Potato Starch
- 375 ml Beer 1.5 cups. A lager or pils works great in beer batter recipes as they are light and mild.
- 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tbsp Paprika
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
Taco Toppings (optional)
- 1 Avocado thinly sliced
- 1 cup Pico de Gallo store-bought or homemade
- 3 tbsp Sour Cream
- Cilantro to taste
- Pickled Cabbage to taste
- Hot Sauce to taste
- Begin heating up a pot of oil on the stove. The goal is 175C for the perfect frying temperature.
- Cut your fish into strips and pat dry.
- In a bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients. Slowly trickle in the beer and whisk to combine, but do not overmix.
- Take a piece of fish, dip it in the batter, then gently lay it down into the hot oil. Fry for about 3 minutes, then remove and put on a paper towel lined plate. Continue frying until all the fish is done.
- To make the tacos heat up the tortillas on an open flame and then build the tacos by placing a piece of the beer battered fish right in the middle. Add your toppings (the listed ones above are just suggestions, you can add what you like) and enjoy!
The Best Beer Battered Fish Tacos
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