Mr Wilson’s fish tacos with slaw & two sauces

Mr Wilson’s fish tacos with slaw & two sauces

Chris Middleton

When I visited Ensenada and the Baja coast of Mexico I learnt the fundamentals of this memorable dish and, trust me, there is nothing like it! The secret is choosing the right fish, great crunchy batter, zingy slaw and flavour-packed sauce. But, for the health-conscious, remember they don’t have to be fried; grilled fish tacos are great too.


Quantity Ingredient
sunflower oil, for deep-frying
or rice bran oil, for deep-frying
400g firm white fish, such as snapper, blue-eye trevalla, monkfish, grouper, wahoo, black bass or lemon sole, cut into approximately 40 g strips
12 Tortilla dough, small homemade masa flour tortillas
or 12 store-bought tortillas
Adobo sauce


Quantity Ingredient
10g fresh yeast
250ml pale ale
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
150g plain flour, plus extra for coating
pinch sea salt
pinch sugar
pinch saffron powder

Chipotle mayo

Quantity Ingredient
175g chipotle in adobo sauce, finely chopped, (see Latin Larder)
1 lime, juiced
sea salt, to taste

The slaw

Quantity Ingredient
150g very finely shredded savoy or napa cabbage
75g finely shredded red cabbage
1 small fennel bulb, thinly shaved
4 breakfast radishes, thinly sliced
1 large handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly shredded
150ml Zesty lime dressing
sea salt, to taste


  1. To make the batter, crumble the yeast into a bowl, add the ale and vinegar and stir to dissolve. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, salt, sugar and saffron powder together. Make a well in the centre, pour in the yeast mixture and whisk well to combine, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Cover with a clean tea towel and set aside in a warm place for 10 minutes until the batter is aerated and increased in size.
  2. To make the chipotle mayo, whisk the aïoli, chipotle in adobo sauce and lime juice together in a medium bowl. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Season with salt and refrigerate until required.
  3. To prepare the slaw, combine the cabbage, fennel and radish in a medium bowl, cover with damp paper towel and refrigerate until required. Keep the onion and parsley in separate bowls until ready to serve.
  4. Half-fill a large heavy-based saucepan with oil, set over medium heat and heat the oil to 180°C.
  5. Dredge the fish in flour, coat in the batter and fry in batches, for 2–3 minutes, until golden. Remove using a slotted spoon or tongs and place on paper towel to drain.
  6. Heat a medium non-stick frying pan over high heat. Lightly spray with oil and briefly fry the tortillas to warm them. Stack the tortillas, wrap them in a warm damp tea towel and set aside to keep warm.
  7. Combine the slaw ingredients, add the lime dressing and toss. Season with salt.
  8. Re-fry the fish for 1–2 minutes, until crisp, golden and cooked through.
  9. To serve, place the tortillas onto serving plates, drizzle with the chipotle mayo and adobo sauce and top with a little of the slaw and a piece of crispy fish. Drizzle with a little more of the sauces. Serve with napkins, ice cold beer or chilled riesling.
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