Beer-Battered Tacos

To make a vegetarian version, Kilcoyne suggests substituting avocado slices for the fish. This recipe has a lot of components, but don’t let that scare you: The components come together quickly.
Photography By Kristin Teig | February 27, 2017


Beer-Battered Fish

Whisk flour, baking powder, amber ale, salt and Old Bay Seasoning together in a large bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes.

Heat canola or peanut oil in a heavy-bottomed pan to 375°. If fish is thick, cut in half crosswise so it’s thinner and cooks through more easily. Dip fish (or avocado slices) in beer batter to coat and add to pan. Fry until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from oil and place on paper towel to drain.

Avocado Crema

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and purée until smooth.

Refrigerate leftover crema to enjoy later and as a salad dressing.

Pico de Gallo

Combine all ingredients in a bowl

Pickled Onions

Peel and cut the red onion in half lengthwise. Slice onion using a mandoline, or use a sharp knife and cut as thinly as possible. Put in a bowl.

Bring water to a boil and pour over onions to cover. Let sit for 10 minutes. Drain and cool.

Mix salt and lime juice into onions.

Can be stored for up to 1 week.

To Assemble

In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of Avocado Crema and cabbage together just to coat. (You want to keep cabbage crisp.)

Warm tortillas in a dry pan over medium heat. Remove to a plate and drizzle a little bit of Avocado Crema on tortillas. Place fried fish in center of tortillas.

Top fish with seasoned cabbage, Pico de Gallo and Pickled Onions. Serve with bowls of the extra components, in case diners want to add more of anything.

About this recipe

Recipe courtesy of Chef Tim Kilcoyne.

Ventura County’s signature dish: “I started doing this fish taco back in the Sidecar [restaurant] days when we had Telegraph Brewing Company [in Santa Barbara] and Island Brewing Company [in Carpinteria] as our only local beers. Much has changed since then, with a lot more options! The other components of the Ortega chili, the local white fish, citrus and avocado have fish taco written all over it.”

Chef Tim Kilcoyne of Scratch food truck and upcoming Scratch Sandwich Counter at The Collection RiverPark in Oxnard. He also will be the executive chef of the upcoming Peirano’s Market & Delicatessen in Ventura.

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  • 1 cup green or red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 8 corn tortillas
Beer-Battered Fish
  • 1½ pounds local halibut, cut into 3-ounce pieces
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup your favorite local amber ale
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • Canola or peanut oil
Avocado Crema
  • 1 medium avocado
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 8 ounces canned Ortega chilies, drained
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
Pico de Gallo
  • 1 cup tomatoes, diced
  • ½ cup yellow onions, diced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, minced
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • Kosher salt
Pickled Onions
  • ½ medium red onion
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
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