Tacos, tacos, tacos. One of my favourite foods, pure joy on a plate. I genuinely believe they make the world a better place. Traditionally a street food of humble origins, the official rule is, you should not put your taco down once you have taken your first bite, expect to get messy!
What you need :
For the tacos - traditionally you would use Masa flour to make your taco shells and if you can find it (available online & at specialist stores) I would defo urge you to do so as it really adds to the authenticity of the dish and the flavour is unparalleled. If you do use it, follow the recipe as below but leave out the oil and baking powder. When it comes to press (roll) the shells, the masa makes them a lot more delicate so just be careful when working with it.
- 225g plain flour
- ½ tsp fine salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 40ml corn oil
- 125ml warm water
- Greaseproof paper
For the salsa -
- 1 mango
- ½ red pepper
- 1 fresh jalapeno - just use as much as you like heat wise. I go whole hog but not judgement if you can’t take it… much.
- 1 lime
- Bunch of fresh coriander
For the prawns -
- 9 raw king prawns
- 30g desiccated coconut
- 30g panko breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 1l corn oil for frying
- 125g plain flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- 1tsp fine salt
- 150ml ice water
To serve -
- Fresh lime wedges
- Coriander leaves
- Hot sauce such as Cholula
How you do it :
- First up - to make the tortilla dough you can use a stand mixer with a dough hook or skip arm day on your virtual HIIT class and do it by hand. Put your flour, salt & baking powder in the bowl of your stand mixer (or large bowl) and create a small well in the middle. Pour your oil and then slowly start to add in your warm water. Do this gradually so you can assess how the dough is coming, adding more water or flour if needed. Once everything is combined let the dough hook (or your arms) do the thing until the dough is smooth and elastic - 3 to 4 minutes with a machine, 7 to 10 without. If using Masa flour then you do not need to knead for as long, just a minute will do the trick.
- Portion out the dough by making golf ball size balls.
- Cut your greaseproof paper into squares, 2 squares per ball, each square about 15cm wide.
- Place a ball of dough in between 2 sheets of your squares of paper, lightly press down with your fingers to give him a little squidge. Either using a taco press or a rolling pin, roll your balls into discs about 12-15cm diameter.
- Keeping the tacos in the greaseproof sheets (this is important so they don’t stick together), stack them and place to the side till ready to cook.
- Salsa time - dice your mango, red pepper & jalapeno as small as possible. Pick your coriander leaves. Put it all into a bowl, with the salt & lime juice. Combine & taste, adjusting if needed - put to the side.
- Put your corn oil in a pan and bring to 180. (If you have a deep fryer, even better) - we all know the drill here, make sure there is a good couple of inches clearance between the surface of the oil and the top of the pan. Do not leave unattended. Clear the kids out etc.
- Whilst your oil is coming up to temp, combine your panko & coconut in a shallow bowl and mix well.
- In another bowl sift your flour, baking powder & salt. Make a well in the centre and crack in your egg, using a fork bring in your flour to combine.
- Whisk in your cold water.
- Working quickly (you want to keep that batter as cool as possible) dip your prawns in the wet batter and then dredge in the panko, coconut mix.
- Carefully lower your coated prawns into the hot oil and fry for 2 minutes.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
- Whilst the prawns are cooling down get on with your tacos.
- Heat a frying pan over a medium heat, you cook these dry so no oil needed.
- Carefully remove the greaseproof paper and pop your taco into the pan. If using masa flour, be careful, they are very delicate. I find it easiest to remove one piece of paper, flip them into the pan and then when the heat ‘grabs’ the taco you can carefully peel off the other sheet.
- When the tacos start to puff and brown on the bottom, carefully flip and cook the other side. Repeat till all tacos are cooked.
- To plate, spoon the mango salsa on the taco & top with 3 prawns.
- Serve with fresh coriander leaves, lime wedges & lashings of hot sauce.