Review of Home Chef's Baja Fish Tacos Sriracha Slaw and Pickled Shallot
Home Chef's Baja fish tacos were actually quite easy to review. The short summary is: Wow!
I had really low expectations for fish sent to me via the mail. But the quality of the tilapia that arrived on my door step was at least as good as I'd typically get in a specialty fish store. It was firm, had good color, and smelled fresh.
The rest of the ingredients where equally fresh. And came together very nicely in the finished dish. The one flaw on the ingredient side, was some oil had leaked out of the small bottle they provided. There was still plenty to cook with; but the bags holding all the other ingredients got a bit greasy.
While battering & frying the fish can be a little bit intimidating, I think most home cooks will be comfortable do it; and the directions are clear.
The recipe came with plenty of sriracha to dial in the spiciness to your liking, and the limes provided a great tangy counter to the creamy slaw and fried, crunchy fish.
I really liked this dish, and would happily order it again.
The Home Chef box arrived one afternoon, and after a few hours on the door step, i put the entire box in the fridge. When I opened it up the next day, i found the cold packs still frozen, and the ingredients still cold and fresh.
Everything was packed up individually, and grouped together by recipe, so it as easy to pull everything together for the Baja fish tacos. Everything was really good quality, including the fish. I had low expectations for mailed fish, but it was fresh, didn't smell, and ultimately tasted great.
My only complaint was the container of oil was not closed properly. Some oil leaked out and coated most of the other bags (but not the ingredients themselves) with a thin layer of oil.
The recipes ingredients include:
- 1 Shallot
- 2 Limes
- 1/4 ounce Cilantro
- 2 Tilapia filets
- 4 oz Slaw Mix
- 1 1/2 oz mayonnaise
- 2 tsp. Sriracha
- Tempura mix
- 6 Small flour tortillas
- 6 fl. oz canola oil
Making the dish
The directions on the Home Chef recipe card where very clear and well written. There are five steps to follow:
- Prepping the ingredients - Nothing to complicated here, just a bit of cutting and chopping
- Quick pickle the shallot and make the slaw - Make sure to taste the slaw and get the right amount of spice and dressing
- Make the tempura batter - simple as can be
- Warm tortillas & heat oil - I'd actually hold off on heating the tortillas until the very end, but no biggie either way
- Cook the fish - Really the only "complicated" part of this recipe, I've added a couple more tips below
Making these tacos should take you about 30 - 45 minutes, which is in line with what the recipe card suggests. I didn't find anything confusing. I would suggest you season a bit more liberally with salt and pepper than the card suggests.
Battering and frying the fish is part most folks with have the hardest time with. The real key there is to make sure the oil is no higher than half the height of the pan to prevent spillage (a very bad thing). But you do want it a least 1/4 inch deep. You also want to make sure the oil is hot enough. When you drop a bit of batter in, it should immediate start to bubble in the oil - about 375 degrees. If it doesn't let the oil heat up more.
And as you add the fish pieces you're cooling off the oil, so for a minute or so, you may need to turn up the heat, before turning it back down. After 2 - 3 minutes the batter should be brown and the fish ready to turn over.
After taking the fish out, hit them with a bit of salt - thats the best time to get it to "melt" into the fish.
For me, there was plenty of everything for six tacos...and enough to get heavy/light on certain ingredients like the slaw and pickled shallots.
I really liked this dish. Most importantly the fish was fresh tasting and had a great texture. It created a great base for the taco, and the crispy tempura batter a nice texture.
Equally fresh was the slaw, which provided yet another texture contrast with the crunchy cabbage. I went "medium" on the amount of sriracha which gave a bit of heat but not too much. And I had one whole package left over for those who want to spice it up.
The tacos needed both the pickled shallot and a little squeeze of lime for the acid/tangy flavor as a counter to the rich fried fish. It all worked together to create a really nice, well balanced dish.
I really liked it, and would happily eat it again.
Home Chef's Baja Fish Tacos Sriracha Slaw and Pickled Shallot
Home Chef scored some points with me on the Baja Fish Tacos. The dish was easy to make. All the ingredients were high quality. And the flavors all worked together.
As mentioned about, some may find that frying the fish is a bit challenging. But with a bit of practice and care, that can be mastered pretty quickly.
So, make sure to give it a try. And if you do, please let me know how it goes.