These blackened salmon tacos are topped with quick pickled radishes and red onion, an avocado cilantro cream and served on blue corn tortillas for one amazing bite!
I’ve literally been dreaming about tacos + guac for the last 90 days with my trip to Mexico coinciding with the end of my 3 month diet cut.
Like legit, side of the road taco stand kinda thing with freshly made tortillas and all.
Luckily, someone told me about an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives that aired in Cabo with exactly that kind of place and if all goes according to plan, that’s where I will be at some point this week getting my taco fix.
So if you’d like to pretend you’re in Mexico with me, these blackened salmon tacos are for you.
What Kind Of Salmon Should I Use?
Remember my trip to Cordova, Alaska I talked about in this sriracha honey salmon post?
Different salmon species swim up-river to spawn at different times throughout the year and September is the coho’s time to shine.
You can use any species of salmon you like or that’s “in-season” for the time of year you’re making these blackened salmon tacos but I definitely encourage wild caught salmon over farm raised.
Seafood sustainability has been near and dear to me for some time but my trip to Alaska really solidified that.
Buying wild caught is not only a much better environmental decision, it’s one that supports small local fisherman and their families.
With its firmer flesh, coho salmon is great for grilling, which…would’ve been perfect in September.
But, it’s January and it was about 8 degrees outside when I made these salmon tacos (the filets came fresh overnight so I just cut them up and stuck them in the freezer to store).
Our grill cover was iced to the deck (oops, probably should’ve covered it after the last use) and I wasn’t walking the 5 feet from the door to the grill to get hypothermia while making dinner.
That’s when a nice cast iron skillet and some cajun inspired blackening seasonings come into play. You get the taste of the char on the fish from the grill without the need to actually grill.
January = stove top cooking, not grilling!
What’s In These Blackened Salmon Tacos?
The blackened salmon is pretty much the star of the show in these tacos but I have to say, the whole thing together with all the elements is what makes these fish tacos epic.
Quick pickled radishes and red onions (or swap out with these quick pickled shallots instead) along with an avocado cilantro cream sauce are what turn these blackened salmon tacos into the perfect Mexican inspired bite.
If you like pickled veggies, don’t miss this post on How To Ferment Vegetables!
You’ve got smoky char, tangy vinegar and creamy brightness all at the same time wrapped up in a blue corn tortilla for some crazy good taco eating!
If you’ve ever been to Cordova, Alaska you know of Baja Taco.
Not that they need any advice or anything (because their food is already crazy ass delicious) but they might want to consider this one for the menu.
Love these Blackened Salmon Tacos?
Try some other tacos recipes like Blackened Shrimp Tacos with Grilled Corn Cherry Salsa, Soy Tuna Tacos with Lime and Spicy Avocado Cream or, Chocolate Chile Tacos.
Blackened Salmon Tacos
For the Blackened Salmon Tacos
- 8 ounces wild salmon filet skin on
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme
- generous pinch of kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 tablespoon high heat oil avocado oil is great
- blue corn tortillas
- red cabbage thinly sliced
- fresh cilantro leaves
For the Pickled Radishes and Red Onion
- 2/3 cup white wine vinegar
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 1/2 small red onion thinly sliced
- 4-5 radishes thinly sliced
- black peppercorns cumin seed (*optional)
For the Avocado Cilantro Cream
- 1/2 avocado
- 4 ounces Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- juice of 1 lime
- salt and pepper to taste
- Make the quick pickled radishes and onions by combining the vinegar, water, honey, salt and red pepper flakes in a small sauce pot. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally for 1-2 minutes then remove from heat. Place the radishes, red onions, peppercorns and cumin seeds (if using) in a mason jar. Pour the vinegar mixture over and let come to room temperature. Use immediately or cover with a lid and store in the refrigerator. These will last a few weeks.
- Next, make the avocado cilantro cream sauce by combining all ingredients in a food processor and processing until smooth. Set aside.
- For the salmon, combine all the spices in a small bowl. Coat the flesh with the mixture.
- Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the salmon flesh side down and cook for 2-3 minutes until nicely blackened. Flip the fish and cook skin side down for another 5-6 minutes until cooked to desired temperature (this will depend on thickness of filet).
- To assemble, lay out the tortillas, place some red cabbage and cilantro leaves on bottom. Break the salmon into pieces and place on top. Dollop some of the avocado cilantro cream on top of that and finish with a spoonful of the pickled radishes and onions. Enjoy your fish taco feast!
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.