By Rick Stein
I've never been to Baja California in Mexico, but I got the idea for this recipe from the television presenter and food journalist, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who lent me a book on Baja because I'm very keen on surfing and the waves there are fantastic. He told me about this great dish consisting of a tortilla filled with deep-fried fish, cilantro, chili, tomato, a little sour cream and some salad. I knocked it all up according to how it sounded to me and it's brilliant. One day I'll make the trip to Ensenada with my big old Malibu and ride the odd small wave that may just happen down there.
2 sea bream or sea bass, weighing
about 2-3/4 pounds each, filleted
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 flour tortillas
1/2 pound iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
1-1/4 cups sour cream
Sunflower oil for deep-frying
For the Batter
1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
7/8 cup water
For the Salsa
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
5 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
3 or 4 red chilies, seeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
Juice of 1 lime
4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
First make the salsa by mixing together all the ingredients with a pinch of salt. Set aside.
Cut the fish fillets across into strips 1/2 inch wide and season with plenty of salt and pepper. For the batter, put the flour, eggs, water and a pinch of salt into a blender and blend until smooth.
Pour the sunflower oil into a pan until it is about one-third full and heat to 375 degrees F, or until a small piece of white bread dropped into the oil browns and rises to the surface in 1 minute. Warm the tortillas in a low oven or a microwave.
Dip the strips of fish into the batter and then drop them into the hot oil and fry for 4 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain briefly on paper towels.
To serve, put some lettuce down the center of each tortilla, top with the fried fish, then spoon over some salsa and sour cream. Fold in the sides roll up as tightly as you can and serve straight away with some cold Mexican beer.
An American Feast
A Celebration of Cooking on Public Television
Foreword by Julia Child
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created July 2000
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