Those of you who’ve been following me for years, know that tacos are my little hand-held lovers that don’t require batteries. I effing LOVE a good taco, especially a good tempura fish taco. If I could open up a restaurant, I’d serve brunch, burgers, and tacos — I’m so serious. What I love about a taco is that it can literally be filled with anything. You can fill them with just about any protein (animal or plant), any combination of veggies, and you can even fuse together different cuisines — ever heard of the Korean taco? I rest my case.
However, the taco, much like the burger — is nothing without a proper foundation. In the case of the burger, I’m talking about the bun, but in the case of the taco, I’m talking tortilla. Yes, store-bought versions may be handy for some, but NOTHING replaces the clean, authentic taste of a homemade tortilla — corn or flour. They are so damn easy to make, it’s not even funny.
For the corn tortilla, you literally mix together three ingredients, knead for a couple of minutes, and you’re done. Three ingredients! They take absolutely no time at all to make, and the effort is seriously worth it.
Tips for making tempura fish tacos
If you don’t have a tortilla press, you can still make decent tacos — just use a rolling pin. Don’t have a rolling pin? Use a wine bottle. Make sure you wrap your roller or wine bottle in plastic wrap so that the tortillas don’t stick. I prefer to par-cook my fresh tortillas in a skillet just to allow them to quickly set up. Why? Well, fresh corn tortillas are very moist, and throwing them directly over an open flame on a gas stove may cause them to not only stick but fall apart. So a quick mini-sear in a skillet can prevent them from falling apart before you give them a quick toast and char over some actual flames.
Of course, if you don’t have a gas stove or open flame situation, you can continue cooking them in your skillet and they’ll still develop some signature brown spots and color. They’ll be delicious no matter how you choose to cook them. I like to keep my tortillas warm in either a tortilla warmer or a few layers of aluminum foil.
Best fish for fish tacos
As for the fish, you can use any kind of fish you like. I chose cod, for personal reasons. It’s one of my fav meaty, firm white fish. It’s delicious with sea bass, mahi mahi, halibut, or haddock.
I used a store-bought tempura mix, only because my homemade tempura recipe makes entirely too much batter for the small amount of fish I had. I like that I can use a very small amount of batter with an already-made mix, so stop by your local grocery store and pick up a bag (or box). It’s a great go-to to have on hand.
My “peach’o de gallo” is a fun play on a pico de gallo, using peaches as the fruit instead of tomatoes. If you don’t like peaches, you can use whatever fruit you want — even tomatoes.
This “recipe” is really more about the technique, and you utilizing ingredients you have on hand. You don’t have to go out and buy everything here — and for the love of Forrest Gump, please don’t get caught up in “measurements” here. That isn’t what this is about. Cooking is flexible, you can use however much or little of anything you want. Everything is TO TASTE. With that said, I’m going to try my best to give you measurements of the ingredients I used, but again, this will vary from person to person. I want you to make these your own.
- Tempura Mix (should be able to find in stores)
- Tortilla Press
- Tortilla Warmer
- Glass bowls
- Wood cutting board
- Bench scraper/dough cutter