I grew up in So Cal eating at all the fast food joints. Like Jack In The Box, Mc Donalds and Taco Bell. But recently, the Del Taco fish taco has become one of my favorite grab-and-go fish tacos. Sure, it’s suppose to be a knock off of a Baja fish taco, with the white sauce, cabbage and beer battered fish. And while it comes pretty close, I’ve decided to copy that basic recipe and spice things up just a bit just because I’m a fisherman and I can cook.
The first thing I did to the Del Taco fish taco was to recreate its basic mayonnaise white sauce with a touch of jalapeno pickling juice and sweet relish. Next, for the beer battered fish, I used fresh halibut while I increased the size of the fish portions and I made the beer batter as fluffy as I could. Then, I turned up the volume on the overall eye appeal, by adding some purple cabbage to the mix. That really looks good. And finally, I made a lively pico de gallo full of fresh tomato, cilantro, spicy fresh jalapeno and fresh lime juice. All in all, the spirit of the Del Taco fish taco is still there along with its Baja underpinnings, but get ready for a taste explosion.
This new version takes you right back to the streets of Ensenada!
Yanni’s Del Taco Fish Taco
Makes 6 tacos
- 1/2 pound of halibut fillets cut into 5-in strips
- 1 cup thinly sliced white cabbage
- 1 cup thinly sliced purple cabbage
- 3 Tomatoes diced
- 1/2 Onion diced
- 1 Green jalapeno diced
- 1 Red jalapeno diced
- 1 Bundle cilantro chopped
- 3 Limes juiced
- 1 cup flour for beer batter
- 1 cup ice-cold beer
- 1 cup flour for dredging
- Kosher salt
- Coarse black pepper
- 6 Corn tortillas
- 4 Tbsp. mayo
- 3 Tbsp jalapeno pickling juice
- 1 Tbsp of sweet relish
- 4 cups frying oil (I use grape seed oil)
- Make The Pico De Gallo: Start by adding the tomatoes, jalapenos, and cilantro into a medium sized mixing bowl. Now add the juice of the limes and then mix thoroughly. Set aside and place into your refrigerator.
- Make The Del Taco Fish Taco Secret White Sauce, My Way…Start by adding the mayo into a small mixing bowl and then add the sweet relish and pickling juice. Now mix thoroughly and refrigerate until needed.
- Heat The Corn Tortillas And Then Make the Beer Battered Fish
- Place the corn tortillas over the flame on your cook top stove, while turning them to make them pliable and give them a nice color. Or as an option, you can simply micro wave them. Once warmed, keep them warm until needed. I use a tortilla warmer container, or you can wrap them in tin foil until you need them.
- Start heating at least 3-4 cups of oil in a frying vessel (you can start frying after you’ve achieved 360-370F).
- Before starting on the batter, make sure your beer is ice cold. Add one cup of flour into a dredging pan. And for the batter, add one cup of flour into a large mixing bowl with a pinch of salt, pepper and seasoning salt. Start adding the ice cold beer into the flour while whisking. Keep whisking as you add the beer to break up any flour lumps. Pour enough beer so that you end up with a thin pancake batter consistency. If there’s any beer leftover, you’re allowed to drink it!
- Begin the frying process by first dredging only 3-4 strips of halibut (placing too many halibut strips into the oil will drop its temperature too much), then dipping the halibut strips into the batter. Next, with a pair of tongs, drop the strips into the oil. Cook and turn until the entire strip has achieved a golden brown color. And, that’s how to beer batter fish!
- Start to assemble the tacos by first placing a piece of fish onto the warmed corn tortilla, followed by a dollop of pico de gallo. Now add some cabbage on top of that, and then add a couple of tablespoons of the secret white sauce. I also add a little cracked black pepper over my tacos as a final touch before chowing down!