Beer Battered Fish Tacos with Cilantro Crema

December 10, 2012
0 Ratings
  • Serves 6-8
Author Notes

Being from San Diego, I've eaten a lot of fish tacos in my day! If frying them, this is the way I go: beer battered and garnished with a myriad of toppings.
Use any ale you enjoy drinking for this recipe. I chose New Belgium's Trippel because it's tasty, affordable, and brewed with coriander!
This is kind of an open-ended recipe as far as amounts go. It makes more than enough batter for 6-8 people to walk away stuffed, and even more of the crema. So buy as much fish, tortillas, cheese etc. as you think you need for the size of your crowd and go to town! —Kitchenette

What You'll Need
  • Beer Battered Fish Tacos
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 12-ounce bottle ale
  • white fish fillets (cod, halibut, tilapia, etc.), cut into thick strips
  • fine grain sea salt
  • corn tortillas
  • red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • lime wedges
  • queso fresco or cotija cheese
  • Cilantro Crema
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  1. Beer Battered Fish Tacos
  2. Start warming 1 to 1 1/2 inches of oil in a pan over medium heat to 375 degrees. Make the batter: whisk together the flour, baking powder, coriander, smoked paprika, cumin, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Whisk in the beer and set the batter in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  3. While the oil is warming and batter is resting, prepare the crema (recipe follows). Season the strips of fish with salt and pepper on both sides. Dip the fish in the batter, shaking off any excess, and lower into the oil to fry in small batches. Be sure not to overcrowd the pan, and keep an eye on the temperature, letting it return to 375 degrees between batches.
  4. Fry the fish until golden brown on both sides, 2-4 minutes depending on the size of the pieces. Transfer the fish to a paper towel-lined plate and season immediately with the fine grain salt. Keep finished pieces warm in a 200 degree oven on a cooling rack set over a sheet pan.
  5. Serve the tacos with cilantro crema, red cabbage, queso fresco and lime wedges for garnishing.
  1. Cilantro Crema
  2. Mix all ingredients in a blender until well combined. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kerry
  • Nicole
  • J
  • Uyen Phillips
    Uyen Phillips

6 Reviews

Kerry July 14, 2019
Ugh! What did I do wrong? The batter kept sticking to the bottom of the pan!?!
Nicole May 11, 2018
These were the best fish tacos my family ever had. The salt seems heavy but it was accurate. Skipped the cheese because I forgot to buy it but didn’t miss it. The fish batter was perfect, the sauce was perfect, overall it was really awesome.
J November 2, 2014
Tried the recipe. The spices were a good combo. I didn't like the texture. More fluffy than crunchy. Must be the baking soda. Myself, i'd leave out the baking soda. Solid recipe otherwise.
Uyen P. November 17, 2014
I'm making this again tonight, and I just saw your comment. The recipe calls for baking powder instead of baking soda. I'd recommend trying the recipe again with the baking powder. The batter will definitely be more crunchy.
Uyen P. September 21, 2014
I've tried many fish tacos recipes at restaurants and at home, and this recipe is by far my favorite. I made my own crema and added pickled red onion to the tacos. The added condiments enhanced rather than masked the flavor of the fish. The batter is a perfect combination of spices and crispiness that doesn't compromise the taste of the fish. This recipe will be my go to from now on. Thank you for sharing this recipe!
Morgan B. March 24, 2013
This was delicious. I cut the recipe in half because I was only trying to feed two people! We had plenty of fish leftover, even after we kept walking by the oven and snacking on bits. I did a quick pickle with the red cabbage and some onions with lime and red wine vinegar. I cut the salt in the crema way down because it seemed a little much for my taste. Otherwise, this was great, especially the batter! I plan on battering anything that will sit still long enough to be battered.