You've had fish tacos before but never like this. L.A.'s Ludo Lefebvre shares his family recipe, which uses beer-battered halibut, fried to perfection and topped with chipotle mayo and crushed tortilla chips. Wrapped in a warm flour tortilla, this taco has the perfect level of heat and combination of textures.
Now, the fried halibut is the star of this taco, so mise en place is key. Make sure your tortillas are warm and your toppings ready before you start frying. That way, as soon as the fish drains, you can build the tacos and serve your guests.
To learn more, read "Just for the Halibut."
Beer-Battered Fish Tacos
Recipe adapted from Ludo Lefebvre
Yield: 12 tacos
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
For the Chipotle Mayo:
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice
One 7-ounce can chipotle chiles in adobo
Kosher salt, to taste
For the Halibut:
Grapeseed or vegetable oil, for frying
1½ cups flour, divided
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
One 12-ounce Mexican beer (such as Negra Modelo)
2 pounds halibut fillets, cut into 4-by-1-inch strips
12 small flour tortillas, warmed
¾ cup shredded red cabbage
½ red onion, minced
½ cup corn tortilla chips, crushed
¼ cup salsa or pico de gallo
Hot sauce, for serving
Lime wedges, for serving
1. Make the chipotle mayo: In a blender, combine all the chipotle mayo ingredients and blend until smooth. Makes 2½ cups.
2. Fry the halibut: In a medium Dutch oven, heat 2 inches of oil to 375° and line a plate with paper towels. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup of the flour with the salt and beer until a smooth batter forms.
3. Sprinkle the remaining flour over the halibut strips and toss to coat. One at a time, shake off the excess flour, dip the strips into the batter, and then drop them into the fryer. Fry, 4 pieces at a time, until golden brown and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Transfer each piece of halibut to the prepared plate to drain, seasoning with salt as soon as it's out of the fryer. Repeat the frying process in batches until all the halibut is fried.
5. Assemble the tacos: Lay out the tortillas on a cutting board and top each with 1 to 2 pieces of halibut, depending on the size. Drizzle each piece with some chipotle mayo and top with red cabbage, red onion, crushed tortilla chips and salsa. Serve with hot sauce (if you need more heat) and lime wedges.