I was in Los Angeles recently and the one thing I was dying to try was a fish taco. I ventured down to Hermosa Beach and walked around asking a few of the local shop owners who made the best ones. The consensus was a little shop near the beach. To the best of my recollection, as I devoured them so quickly, this is what I ate. This is a staple recipe in my home; I make it at least once a fortnight and the kids love it.
500g flathead fillets (or any firm, white-fleshed fish), skin removed
60g plain flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
150g cornflake crumbs
Grape seed oil, for deep-frying
20 small flour tortillas (or use large ones and cut out rounds with a 10cm cutter)
2 handfuls of shredded purple
cabbage or any type of lettuce
8 tbsp sour cream or creme fraiche
4 tbsp good-quality Mexican
Lemon wedges, to serve
1 avocado, finely diced
2 tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
1 bird's-eye chilli, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1-2 tbsp finely diced red onion
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
To make the guacamole, mix all ingredients together.
Preheat the oven to 160°C.
Cut the flathead fillets into 20 portions.
Put the flour in one shallow bowl, the egg in another and the cornflake crumbs in a third.
Lightly season the fish with some sea salt, then dust lightly with flour, coat in the egg and then the cornflake crumbs, patting the crumbs on firmly.
Heat the grape seed oil in a wok or deep saucepan to 160°C. Fry the fish in batches for 30 seconds to 45 seconds until golden and crispy, then turn over and cook for a further 30 seconds or until cooked through. Drain on kitchen paper.
Warm the tortillas on a baking tray in the oven for 3-4 minutes. Fill tortillas with the cabbage, guacamole, fish pieces, sour cream and chilli sauce. Squeeze some lemon juice over the top, then put a skewer through the sides to help hold it all together. Serve immediately.