Can something fried ever tastes worse than something grilled?
Well . . . maybe, but in this case the fried fish tacos won hands down against the grilled fish tacos I made a few days earlier. Granted, I did use a less-than-ideal fish when making the grilled fish tacos. But still, there's something about that spicy, crunchy salty coating in a fried fish taco that is just so satisfying.
The fish in these fish tacos are dredged in a mixture of flour, chili powder, salt, and pepper before being quickly pan fried for a few minutes. What results is a golden brown, crunchy piece of fish with a kick that tastes fantastic in a taco.
For the fish
1 tablespoon canned chipotle pepper, finely chopped (optional)
½ cup flour
1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
½ cup milk
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 pound firm white-fleshed fish, cut across the grain of the flesh into strips about ½ inch wide by 3 inches long (I used cod, which worked great!)
Preparing the Fish
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, chili powder and 1 ½ teaspoons each of kosher salt and black pepper. Pour the milk into another medium bowl, and place the fish into it.
Pour ¼ cup of the peanut oil into a 12-inch frying pan and place over medium-high heat until it shimmers and is about to smoke. Remove the fish pieces from the milk bath and dredge them lightly through the flour mixture, shaking to remove excess. Place some fish pieces in the oil, without crowding them, and cook until deep golden brown on one side, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn carefully and cook for 1 minute more. Remove to a warmed, paper-towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the remaining fish.
Preparing the Tortillas
Meanwhile, heat the tortillas, one or two at a time, in a nonstick pan (or lightly oiled pan) on medium heat until they are soft and hot. Keep them warm, wrapped in a dish towel.
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