Fish Tacos with Jordan Roots


Fish Tacos with Jordan Roots

Fans of MasterChef know Jordan Roots holds his own in the kitchen. The amicable home cook is a Season Four contestant vying for the title of MC and a cash prize on the hit Fox TV series. This past Wednesday, he once again proved his kitchen prowess by acing out his two opponents in the pressure test. I’ve dubbed Jordan the ‘Pirate of Profiteroles’ when his dessert made the others walk the plank where ultimately fellow contestant Bri was sent home.

A day earlier on Tuesday, I had the pleasure of joining Jordan in his MasterChef Cookalong Hangout broadcast live on Google+. On each one-hour cookalong hosted by Laura Vitale, up to four fans cook and interact with a MC finalist in real time as he or she prepares a favorite summer dish. To further my delight, Jordan shared his recipe for beer battered fish tacos.


Cookalong hangout set-up.


Having conducted a few Google+ Hangouts of my own I was no stranger to them―I knew to have the food prep and technical setup done in advance. I also had an idea the duration for the event would be about an hour. What surprised me, however, was the good clip at which the event moved. Unlike the casual pace of mine, this professional broadcast production followed a clockwork cadence; and it was thrilling!


Slaw, aioli and beer batter.

Jordan and Laura were gracious hosts. Their banter was warm and friendly making me feel at home. Ironic, considering I was in my home. This is the beauty of hangouts: people linked together in the moment on the web. I had a fantastic time and it seemed my fellow kitchen cohorts did too.


View Jordan’s hangout video


The parting gift taking the experience over the top was the fish tacos and Jordan’s recipe hit it out of the park. Each of the three components was thought out to highlight the individual flavor profiles, but together the harmony was delectable. The crispy, seasoned fish against the tangy crunch of the slaw roped in by the first-rate sauce made for a memorable meal. I learned a battered fish recipe doesn’t equate to a huge chunk of time―especially when utilized in a quick-serve taco. The food I made in the hangout was served to my family immediately after. The verdict, you wonder? My 7-year-old daughter exclaimed to me, “I love these tacos. You’re the best chef ever!”

I felt like a rock star.

To Jordan, I wish you the best on MasterChef and your endeavors thereafter. Thank you for sharing this flavorful recipe. My gratitude also goes to Fox Broadcasting, Google+ and Laura for having me as a guest.

MasterChef airs Wednesdays. Check your local listings for times.


Fish Tacos

Recipe adapted from Jordan Roots. July 2013



One bite of these tacos and you’ll instantly be transported to an exclusive resort on the Yucatán Peninsula. Easy, fast and fresh, this recipe is muy delicioso!


  • 1 pound firm white fish
  • Corn or flour tortillas (about 1 dozen)
  • Beer batter:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dredging
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 12 oz. bottle cold beer (one of your favorite lagers)
  • Large jug of Peanut Oil (can use vegetable oil)
  • Slaw:
  • 1/2 head of red cabbage
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced (about ¾ cup)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, rough chopped
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar (or sugar)
  • Lime juice to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Aioli
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup fresh pineapple chunks
  • ½ Serrano pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ medium-sized shallot, rough chopped
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and rough chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional garnish:
  • fresh radish, thin sliced
  • 1 Avocado, sliced


    Preheat: Oil in a deep fryer or other cooking vessel to 375°F.
    For the Beer Batter:
  • Add measured flour, baking powder, salt and cayenne pepper in a large mixing bowl. Whisk dry ingredients together, add beer and whisk until batter is lump-free. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes, up to a half hour.
  • For the Slaw:
  • Cut the half cabbage in half, thin slice each half across the grain; place in a large mixing bowl. Add the carrot, onion, and cilantro and gently toss to mix. In a separate bowl mix the vinegar and agave (or sugar) until well combined; pour over the cabbage mixture and toss. Season with the lime juice, salt and pepper, mix together, then refrigerate for 15 minutes or until ready to use.
  • Make the Aioli:
  • Puree all ingredients together in food processor. If needed, add a small amount of water if sauce isn't coming together. Transfer to a container and refrigerate.
  • For the Fish:
  • Slice fish into finger-sized length and width pieces. Season all sides of fish with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge fish in flour to coat all sides; shake off excess. Using tongs or one dry hand, dip each fish piece into beer batter; coat well. Gently drop fish into hot oil. Avoid overcrowding fryer or cooking vessel—fry in batches if necessary. Fry for 2-3 minutes turning once. When the fish is golden brown, remove from oil and drain on a paper towel-lined pan. Keep warm.
  • Assembly:
  • On a warmed tortilla place a single piece of fish in the center. Top with a good heap of slaw, then a nice dollop or two of aioli. Garnish with thin sliced radish, or sliced avocado, or both. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lime and enjoy.


Pacific cod was the choice as the firm white fish depicted here. Other good options include Halibut and Sea Bass. If frying in a vessel other than a deep fryer, keep tabs on the oil temperature maintaining the 375 degree mark. Lagers are ideal to use for beer batter. I used a shandy which in this case, was a hybrid of lager and lemonade. If you can take the heat, consider adding the whole Serrano to the aioli instead of half. An immersion blender and related mixing cup, or a standard blender may also be used to mix the aioli. Some folks like to double-up the tortilla to help prevent the taco from tearing/falling apart. In the hangout I added the avocado as a garnish which was tasty as ever, but for this round I wanted the radish up top which was equally as delicious.


  1. Wow, you’re a star! congrats and kudos to you. Many thanks, too, for sharing Jordan’s fish taco recipe with us. I’m not much of a fan of them in general, but I think that would change with the beer-batter covering them. Those look delicious.

    • Brooks Walker says

      Thanks, Christiane. I’m confident this recipe will change your position. The aioli has fresh ginger in it and I know how you adore ginger. Why I’d wager you’d find additional terrific uses for the sauce. Let me know if you try the tacos.

  2. Very cool! Fish tacos is part of our regular dinner rotation, I usually broil, grill or pan fry for lower calories, but beer battered ones are tempting!

    • Brooks Walker says

      The beer battered variety are tempting indeed. As long as a beer is being opened for the batter, may as well open one for the cook! It’s nice to have you here, Priscilla. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Brooks, your fish tacos look magnificent! Each component fantastic…so I know I’d be wow’d by the combination 🙂 And congrats at the high profile hangout…what fun!!!

  4. Thrilling indeed, Brooks! I am thrilled just reading about your experience, I can’t imagine what it must have been like to participate in this hangout. What’s more, even at 8:00 in the morning, the title of your post alone is enough to totally wet my whistle. I have never made fish tacos but they are something I love – one of these days I will find the courage and ambition to give these a try. Once again, a very enjoyable post – great work, Brooks!!

  5. Oh Brooks!! What a fun experience!! A rock star indeed.
    Here in San Diego (not sunny though…) you know we love our fish tacos, and these look to be right up there in popularity. I’m loving that beer batter, and I have an idea the slaw could be used for even more recipes. Can’t wait to see the video!

    • Brooks Walker says

      Oh Kim, how I miss the taco stands of SoCal and Baja. And you’re right on two fronts: these tacos are right up there in taste profiles and the slaw has huge versatility potential. You’re just the person to explore the possibilities!

  6. So cool about the hangout!! I usually grill my fish for tacos, but these look fantastic. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  7. This is an AMAZING recipe. The sauce tasted better than the sauce at the restaurants. Slaw was perfect, not too acidic but plenty of flavor. Beer batter was perfect balance of crunch and spices. I and my wife definitely had a foodgasm eating these tacos. We did swap out the radishes for a avocado topping and it complimented the tacos well. Thank you for sharing this great recipe.

    • Brooks Walker says

      You’re most welcome, Kyle. I love a recipe which is stellar in its own right, but also serves as a jumping off point for variable adaptation. Thank you for the terrific comment!


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