For Whovians who are squeamish about eating actual fish fingers and custard, the internet is full of recipes for fake fish fingers. You can mock them up with pound cake, brownies, cookies, or pretty much any tube shaped sweet that will hold a graham cracker crust.
I, on the other hand, like to come at the problem from the opposite direction. Instead of faking the fish fingers, I prefer to serve real fish fingers with an assortment of fake custards.
This tactic offers you two significant advantages. First, it’s a heck of a lot easier. Second, you now have a main course to offer your guests. Don’t worry. They’ll bring plenty of desserts.
You could just bake a box of fish fingers, flank it with a bowl of honey mustard dressing on one side and yellow dyed tartar sauce on the other, and call it a day.
However, you can easily schmancy up your shindig by stealthily laying out the ingredients for fish tacos. Once your guests have oohed and aahed over the presence of something that looks like fish fingers and custard, they can actually tuck into a pretty tasty and filling main course that requires next to no effort on your part.
If you want to go the easy route, here’s your super simple Fish Custard Taco shopping list:
2 large boxes of fish fingers/fish sticks
1 package soft taco sized flour tortillas
1 bottle honey-mustard dressing
1 bottle tartar sauce
Yellow food coloring (mix 1 tsp into the tartar sauce to make it look custardy)
1 bag prepared coleslaw
1 container mango salsa
I prefer to make my coleslaw and mango salsa from scratch. They’re both quick, easy recipes. The fresh veggies do wonders for dressing up the flavors of the boxed fish fingers.
Wibbly Wobbly Mango Salsa
2 mangoes, peeled and diced
1/2 cucumber, seeded and chopped
2 tbsp red onion, diced
1/3 cup pineapple juice
2 tbsp honey
juice of 1 lime
½ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp corn starch
Fish tacos are incredibly popular in Texas, California, and the American border states in between. The rest of the world finds the whole concept a bit iffy – until that first bite.
To make fresh mango salsa for your fish tacos, start by mixing your pineapple juice, lime juice, honey, pepper, and salt in a bowl. Carefully sprinkle in your corn starch. Spread the corn starch out as much as you can to avoid lumps. Once the corn starch is sprinkled over the liquids, whisk it in until everything is completely blended and free from lumps.
Now all you have to do is add in your diced mangoes, cucumbers, and onions. Give it all a good stir so the solids are all coated in your sauce then set it all aside to thicken slightly.
Fish Taco Coleslaw
1 head cabbage (or 1 bag pre-cut “Coleslaw Mix” cabbage)
6 tbsp rice wine vinegar
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp Hosin sauce (optional)
1 tsp ginger powder (or ½ inch fresh ginger, grated)
1 tsp kosher salt
While your mango salsa thickens, make your coleslaw.
Mix everything but the cabbage in a large bowl. It’ll look pretty lonely down there. Don’t worry. It’ll have vegetables to keep it company soon.
If you grabbed a fresh head of cabbage, attack it with your largest, butchest knife. I use a chef’s knife the length of my forearm. Chop it into small pieces, then just keep chopping until you’ve turned something the size of a human head into a pile of raggedy scraps. It’s incredible cathartic when you’ve had a bad day.
Now mix your cabbage into your vinegar blend. Go ahead and use your hands. Really knead it in there so every scrap is covered.
Once you’re satisfied with the saturation levels, put the fresh coleslaw in the fridge and let it sit for at least half an hour before serving.
Fish Taco Assembly
While the salsa thickens and the coleslaw chills, follow The Doctor’s example by making the boxed fish fingers of your choice.
If you’re an extra nice host, you’ll lightly toast your tortillas while the fish fingers are cooking.
Arrange your fish fingers and fake custards on display at the center of your table. Sneak the bowls of coleslaw and mango salsa off into a corner and tuck the toasted flour tortillas nearby.
When you’re ready to eat, simply spread a little honey mustard dressing or yellow dyed tartar sauce on the tortilla. Add your crunchy fish fingers. Spoon some mango salsa and coleslaw on top. You’re now holding a fish custard taco! Congratulations on leveling up in practical Whovian cuisine. Now you can finally find out what everybody in the Southwest is gushing about.
You can find plenty more recipes for your Doctor Who viewing party in Dining With The Doctor: The Unauthorized Whovian Cookbook.