Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fish Tacos with Indonesian Sriracha

 So, I'm on a quest to find uses for 20+ bottles of sriracha from the Sriracha Smackdown, and I'm always curious if the srirachas taste better in food than on a plain cracker. Most folks feel pretty safe and secure with a fish taco served with something remotely Mexican, like Valentino, Tapatio, or Cholula. Well, sorry, ain't nobody got time for new hot sauces, let's look into the existing inventory!

ABC Extra Pedas, an Indonesian brand, only scored a 12 out of 19 on our original list. And in looking at the raw score, it was me that brought it down! Take away my taste score and discard the bottle art as criteria...and it was number 2 (and HT Traders wins). Well, there is a reason for that. This sauce has a time and place. And it is on a fish taco.

Before you cook this, you should learn up on some history. Sunset has a great article on the origins, and there has been some controversy, but everyone can agree that the original is from Baja.  One theory goes is that Rubio's (a popular fast food chain) carries the incarnation of the authentic invention. This recipe was obtained from a mystical local hero named Carlos who gave then-college student Ralph Rubio the real deal on his trip to San Felipe Mexico. Carlos was too humble to go big-time, but Rubio decided to make some cash through snatching the recipe. And what is the recipe? Keeping it simple, it's lightly battered cod on a corn tortilla (or two) with shredded cabbage, thin creamy mayo-like sauce, a bit of salsa, and lime.

We never keep things simple, or authentic, here at SFB. So let me present to you this recipe that uses ABC Extra Pedas chili sauce (and Lee Kum Kee sriracha too, gotta get rid of that stuff...). Our version is baked, and we baked lime into the fish, mixed the cabbage with the mayo-sauce to make a slaw, and topped this with the hot stuff. Why ABC extra pedas? It has the perfect blend of sweet heat that will send a sometimes mild fish taco into the stratosphere of awesome.

Kudos to the hubby for actually making this, while I sat back, enjoyed a glass of wine, and snapped some photos.

Serves 4 (2 tacos each)

1 head Savoy or Napa Cabbage, thinly sliced
1.5 cups mayo (ours is homemade, which I recommend, but if you're lazy, that's cool too)
1/4 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
2 tbsp Lee Kum Kee sriracha (or Rooster sriracha and 1 tsp soy sauce)
1 tbsp chipotle oil (or canola oil and 1 tsp chipotle seasoning)
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp balsamic glaze
4 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tsp maple syrup
2 tbsp kosher salt, plus additional salt and pepper to taste

1.5 lbs white semi-firm fish, such as cod
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 lime, thinly sliced
8 corn tortillas
2 tbsp canola oil

Other Topping
1 avocado, sliced thin
ABC Extra Pedas chili sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. For coleslaw, mix all of the non-cabbage ingredients in a bowl until smooth, and then add the cabbage and mix well. Let stand for 2 hours. Wrap a baking dish in tin foil and place fish, peppers, onions, and lime inside, sealing the tin foil above the fish to create a "packet". Bake for 30 minutes. Just before done, heat oil in a cast iron skill and fry corn tortillas for 1 minute per side or until golden and bubbly (the tortillas shouldn't be pliant or soggy with oil). Place pieces of fish on corn tortillas, and top with coleslaw, avocado, and a healthy dose of ABC sauce. 

Pair with a cool lager such as New Belgium Shift, or a crisp Sauvignon Blanc such as St. Supery from Napa Valley (no, they don't pay me for these, but this is what we were drinking and it was awesome!).


  1. Wow! What an endeavor you two. Kudos.

    Fish Tacos are such a California thing... here in Maryland we just chomp on live crabs for fun.

    Yea, we just bite their little mustard laden faces off while their pinchers are grabbing our earlobes. They make nice earrings once we pull their little legs off.

    Seriously, these fish tacos look amazing. I have to say, this recipe would be my first attempt.

    Now to find a top to match these red earrings...

    1. While these weren't Maryland crabs... As a kid, I used to catch blue claw crabs in the river. We would steam them up and eat them on nice summer days.

    2. Thanks Brian! Let us know how it goes. I was super psyched at how well ABC sauce went as a topping, so if you still have some lying around (and you might, it has preservatives) I definitely think it makes them special. I'm sure I'll be exiled, as Californians take their fish tacos very seriously and I upended them with this recipe...

  2. I think this was my favorite attempt at fish tacos yet. Really tasty.

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