Beer Battered Fried Trout Tacos with Spicy Horseradish Coleslaw
I’ve always been intrigued by beer batter, especially because I never really understood how foods that are fried in this batter have such a light and fluffy crisp to it. But after some research, I learned that since alcohol evaporates much faster than water, a beer batter doesn’t have to cook as long as one made only with water or milk, which lowers the risk of overcooking the food.
So I thought I would put this to the test and try making fried fish tacos in a beer batter but I had absolutely no idea what kind of beer to get. I did some research beforehand and everyone pretty much said the same thing, that the cheapest beer is as good as the expensive ones. So I went to Trader Joe’s and got their generic brand (Trader Jose, Premium Lager) which tasted just like Corona. This worried me a bit because I hate the taste Corona and I just couldn’t imagine eating something dunked in this kind of beer. But surprisingly enough, the flavor of the beer was completely masked and instead, it created the classic beer-batter crunch. It was beautifully complemented by the fresh, crisp slaw and the Sriracha just put it over the top.
Spicy Horseradish Coleslaw (adapted from Emeril Lagasse):
Yields 2-3 servings
- 1 1/4 cups shredded green cabbage
- 1 1/4 cups shredded red cabbage
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1 tablespoon finely sliced green onions
- 3/4 cups peeled, seeded and diced cucumber
- 1 jalapeno, stem and seeds removed, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon plus 3/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon sour cream
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated horseradish or 2 1/4 teaspoons prepared horseradish
- 3/4 teaspoons Creole mustard or other coarse-grained mustard
Combine the green and red cabbages, carrots, green onions and jalapeno in a large mixing bowl.
In a small bowl, toss the cucumbers with lemon juice and add to the cabbage mixture.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and whisk until the sugar is dissolved.
Pour the seasoned vinegar mixture over the cabbage mixture and toss to thoroughly combine.
Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, horseradish and mustard and stir to combine. Add the mayonnaise mixture to the coleslaw and toss to thoroughly combine.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight before serving.
Essence: Emeril’s Creole Seasoning (adapted from Emeril Lagasse):
Yields 2/3 cup
- 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Beer Battered Fried Trout Tacos (adapted from Emeril Lagasse):
Yields 6 servings
- Oil for frying
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup beer
- 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
- 4 trout fillets, about 6 ounces each (I used halibut)
- 2 tablespoons Essence
- 6 large soft flour tortillas
- Spicy horseradish coleslaw
- Hot sauce, such as Sriracha, if desired for serving
Heat the oil in a deep fryer or in a large saucepan to 350 degrees F.
Sift 1 cup of the flour, baking powder, salt and cayenne pepper together into a mixing bowl.
Make a well in the center and add the oil, beer, and hot sauce. Stir until thoroughly incorporated and smooth.
Season each trout fillet with 1 teaspoon of the Essence and cut into 1/2-inch strips.
Combine remaining 1/2 cup flour with remaining 2 teaspoons of Essence. Dredge fish strips in seasoned flour, then shake to release any excess flour.
Transfer to a plate.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Wrap the flour tortillas in aluminum foil and place in the oven to warm.
Dredge each piece of fish in the beer batter, making sure the fish is completely coated. Allow any excess batter to drip into the bowl, then slowly lower the fish into the hot oil. Repeat with the remaining fish, working in batches if necessary. Fry the fish until it is puffed, golden brown and crispy, 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove the fish with a slotted spoon or tongs and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
Place the fish in a warm oven, while you cook the remaining fish, until you are ready to assemble the tacos.
Divide the fish strips between the warmed flour tortillas and top with some of the spicy horseradish coleslaw. Drizzle with hot sauce, if desired. Serve immediately.