Sunday, April 17, 2011

Gluten-Free Beer-Battered Fish Tacos

When I moved to San Diego for school, the locals set out to quickly indoctrinate me show me around and share all of their unique Southern CA favorites. The site-seeing was fun, but the food? was...different. I mean, seriously, they put french fries in burritos here. Strange people! Enter the fish taco.

I sat at an outdoor table at the local Rubio's staring at my first fish taco while a small crew of miscreants cheered me on. They instructed me in the proper preparation (lime, salsa), and eagerly awaited my first taste because they knew what would happen. I honestly can't remember if I liked it. What I can tell you is (as they expected) it became a pretty serious addiction - or at very least a dietary staple that I craved multiple times per week. Since then, I've eaten hundreds of these warm crisp battered fish stuffed into soft corn tortillas dressed with cool cabbage, sauces, and a splash of lime.

It was definitely one of the foods (along with Cheerios and pot stickers) that I would truly mourn the loss of.

So, last time my parents visited, we (mom, dad, myself and Brad) rolled up our sleeves and set off to create the perfect gluten-free beer battered fish taco. They turned out wonderfully! I'm sure you'll know exactly what I mean when I said the first bite was so good I cried.

Amazing Gluten-Free Beer Battered Fish Tacos


Oil for deep frying (we used sunflower oil)
2 lbs fish fillet (any white fish, but cod is best), cut to approx 1"x1"x5"
1 cup rice flour (plus about 3/4 cups for dredging)
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup cold gluten-free beer (or carbonated water)
2 eggs
1 tsp seasoning (choose from the following *recommended always)
*salt and pepper
*garlic powder
onion powder
mexican oregano


I recommend preparing condiments and side dishes first, since once the fish frying process is started, it is hard to multi-task.

Optional: Preheat oven to 250° to keep fish warm after it is fried
1. Gently wash fish in cold water. Pat dry with paper towels.
2. Preheat oil for deep frying (350°)
3. Spread approx 3/4 cup rice flour on plate or pie tin for dredging fish
4. Mix remaining dry ingredients in a large bowl
5. Whisk together eggs and beer, then add to dry ingredients and mix until smooth
(Beer will result in a much tastier fish taco than soda water will. We've used both New Planet and Redbridge successfully.)
6. Roll fish pieces in rice flour, then drop in batter. Coat thoroughly.
7. Carefully drop fish into the hot oil. Cook in small batches (2-3 pieces), turning frequently. Cook for 6-8 minutes until the batter is golden brown and the fish is cooked thoroughly.
8. Drain on paper towel, then transfer to oven to keep warm.

Assemble and enjoy!

Dredging the fish


This particular day, we had many hands to do the work, so we created a true feast. White sauce, lime, and cabbage are the most important ingredients, but for the ultimate meal, I recommend serving with:

-white sauce: sour cream thinned with lime
-chopped cabbage (for an extra kick, squeeze lime on the chopped cabbage before returning it to the refrigerator)
-Salsa Fresca
-more lime (squeeze over finished taco)
-seasoned pinto beans (powdered spices: onion, garlic, cumin, salt)
-tortilla of choice (warmed)

Since I can't tolerate corn, we cut up some rice tortillas into a more usable size for a taco

And turned the trimmings into chips (coated with oil/salt and baked at 450° for 5 minutes)

Happy Eating!


  1. fantasic! I just reposted this recipe on the O'Brien Gluten Free Beer FB page