Whether your first experience came on a trip to Ensenada or on a lunch run to Ralph Rubio’s namesake eatery, few street foods define our region better than the fish taco. No, we’re not talking about that fancy-pants smoked trout and goat cheese version served by your local pop-up gastro tent; we’re referring to the beer-battered, fried goodness of the Baja-style fish taco. And while the jury is still out on who makes the very best, we think the recipe below is pretty darn good – especially since it calls for Karl Strauss Amber.
Oh, and if you haven’t heard, Karl Strauss Amber has a new look. In honor of the 100th Anniversary of Karl’s birth, we’re celebrating the original “Godfather” of beer with new packaging. You can see the new label below.
Karl Strauss Beer Battered Fish Tacos
1lb firm white meat fish filets- Rockfish, White Seabass, Kelp Bass, Halibut, or even Tilapia will work. Cut filets lengthwise to a width of about 1.5”.
1 12oz bottle Karl Strauss Amber
1 Medium Onion, sliced
2 Red Jalapeno Peppers, sliced
½ cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
Combine marinade ingredients and fish in a large, covered container or zip-lock bag, and refrigerate for 2-3hrs.
Baja Fish Taco Sauce:
½ cup Sour Cream
½ cup Light Mayonnaise
2 tbsp Fresh Lime Juice
2 tsp Sriracha Chili Sauce
While your fish is marinating, make your Baja sauce by mixing the ingredients above in a small bowl. Refrigerate sauce until ready to use.
McCormick’s frying instruction adjusted to fit this recipe:
POUR vegetable oil into a large heavy skillet or saucepan, filling no more than 1/3 full. Heat oil to 375°F on medium heat.
STIR Batter mix, beer, and spices in medium bowl until mixed. Batter will be lumpy.
DIP Fish strips into batter. Shake off excess. Carefully add several pieces at a time to hot oil.
FRY 3-5 minutes or until golden brown, turning once. Drain on paper towels.
SERVE on corn tortillas with shredded cabbage, baja sauce, and fresh lime.
PAIR with Karl Strauss Amber, of course!
Much like coffee beans and wine grapes, oysters and hops owe much of their flavors to terroir: the environments in which they’re cultivated. Mineral rich soil and long summer days in Oregon’s Willamette Valley give Centennial hops a floral aroma and resinous pine-like bitterness, while the cool waters of San Diego’s Agua Hedionda Lagoon gives Carlsbad Luna oysters a clean brininess and melon-like finish. With hundreds of hop cultivars and oyster appellations, there are virtually limitless options for pairing fresh oysters with hoppy beers.
Hoppy Beer and Oyster Pairing
Pairing: Tower 10 IPA – Without any garnish, Tower 10’s caramel malt undertones draw out the oyster’s sweetness. Add a little lemon juice and you’ll boost the zesty grapefruit flavors of T 10’s Cascade and Chinook hops.
Coast Kumamoto – Originally a Japanese appellation, Coast Kumamoto oysters are farm-raised in Humbolt Bay, California. They’re sweeter than the Sweetwater and fruitier than the Carlsbad Luna, making them a natural match with fruity Belgian IPA’s.
Pairing: Blackball Belgian IPA – Warm fermentation with a Belgian yeast strain, combined with Curacao orange and citrusy Pacifica hops gives Blackball the perfect mix of flavors to complement the sweet and fruity Kumamoto oyster.
Carlsbad Luna – Carlsbad Aquafarm has been sustainably raising shellfish in San Diego’s Agua Hedionda Lagoon for the past twenty-five years. Their Luna oysters have a mild salinity and melon-like fruity finish. Look for them in San Diego restaurants or at a number of local farmers’ markets.
Pairing: Big Barrel Double IPA – The tropical fruit flavors of the Nelson Sauvin hops draw out the natural fruitiness of the Carlsbad Luna.
Blue Point Oysters – Cultivated by Blue Island Oyster Co. in New York’s Great South Bay, this world-famous variety has a crisp texture, clean salinity, and hints of celery and pine.
Pairing: Boardwalk Black Rye IPA – Boardwalk’s complex toffee and spicy malt profile balances the salinity, while its bracing Centennial hop bitterness draws out herbaceous undertones.