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Sesame-Battered Fish Tacos with Seared Cabbage and Avocado Cream


  • 1 1/2 pounds firm white fish, such as mahi-mahi or halibut, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

  • Salt and pepper

  • 2 teaspoons (2/3 palmful), ground chipotle powder

  • 2 teaspoons (2/3 palmful), ground coriander

  • 1 bottle Mexican beer (1 1/2 cups), such as Dos Equis

  • 1 cup flour

  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds

  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce (eyeball it)

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • Vegetable oil or other light oil, for frying, plus 2 tablespoons, divided

  • 1 small head of Savoy cabbage, quartered, cored and shredded

  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 lime

  • 2 Hass avocados

  • 1 clove garlic, grated with a Microplane or pasted by mashing with salt

  • 1/2 cup sour cream or heavy cream

  • 12 soft 6-inch flour tortillas, wrapped in a slightly damp towel in a warm oven or microwaved until heated through


Pat the fish dry and season with salt and pepper, chipotle powder and coriander.

In a mixing bowl, mix batter of beer, flour, sesame seeds, hot sauce, sugar, about 1 teaspoon salt and baking powder.

Pour about 1 inch of oil into a large, deep skillet and heat it over medium to medium-high heat.

Pour and heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a second nonstick skillet over high heat.

Pass fish cubes through the batter, using forks to help you coat the fish, then remove excess batter and drop into frying oil.

Add the cabbage and onion to the other skillet and sear the cabbage, wilting it down. Season with salt and toss and sear, 3-4 minutes.

Fry the fish until deeply golden. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Douse the cabbage with the juice of one lime. Turn off the heat.

Add the avocado, garlic and sour cream or cream to a food processor. If you grate the garlic, add some salt, to taste. If you paste the garlic, the salt is already in your mash. Process the avocado cream into a thick sauce.

Divide the fish among four plates and pass the cabbage and sauce at the table. Use three warm tortillas per serving for wrapping.