Wow! Talk about a recipe that screams “delicious” and has vibrant colors. These Salmon Tacos are not just a treat to your taste buds, but also a feast for the eyes.
Picture this: succulent, slightly spicy, perfectly blackened salmon chunks that melt in your mouth, contrasted with the cool and refreshing burst of sweet mango and creamy avocado salsa. Mmm!
The best part? They are yours in about 20 minutes. If you’re after a dish that’s going to impress at your next gathering, or just a tasty quick fix for your weeknight meal, this is the one…
The fish taco, as we know it today, is thought to have originated in the Mexico’s Baja California peninsula in the 1950’s. The area has a rich fishing tradition, so it’s natural that they would utilize their bountiful fish resources in their local cuisine.
Fish tacos made their way north to the U.S., particularly California, in the latter half of the 20th century. Today, fish tacos are a staple in many Southern Californian eateries, and their popularity has spread across the country.
Buttery, flaky salmon gets all the smoky, savory, sweet and slightly spicy flavors from an easy homemade blackened seasoning. No frying oil, no grease, but just a quick sear on both sides and you are done.
You Will Love our Salmon Tacos for Many Reasons
- Bold Flavors: The blackened seasoning on the salmon brings a smoky and spicy edge, which contrasts beautifully with the sweet and creamy mango-avocado salsa.
- Quick and Easy: They are straightforward to make, perfect for those seeking gourmet flavors without spending hours in the kitchen. Easy 20 minute meal for busy week nights.
- Nutritional Benefits: Salmon is a powerhouse of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and essential vitamins. Combined with the wholesome goodness of mangoes, avocados, and tomatoes, these tacos offer a balance of taste and health.
- Variety: Breaking away from traditional beef or chicken fillings, salmon offers a unique, refreshing twist to taco nights.
- Aesthetic Appeal: Their vibrant colors from the pink salmon, golden mangoes, and green avocados make for an Instagram-worthy plate that’s as pleasing to the eyes as it is to the palate.
- Versatility: They’re perfect for various occasions, be it a summer barbecue, a family dinner, or even a fancy get-together. The recipe can also be tweaked easily based on individual preferences by adding different topping or sauces.
Salmon Tacos Ingredients
- Salmon – We prefer using fresh salmon fillets, but you can also use frozen. Just make sure the fillets are completely thawed and patted dry before cooking. Wild Caught salmon is great for salmon, and today we are going with Sockeye salmon, which is in season now.
- For Salmon Blackened Seasoning – Homemade is always easy and quick to make with ingredients already in your pantry. Its a blend of smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, basil, oregano, cayenne, salt and pepper.
- For Mango Avocado Salsa – Diced mangoes, diced avocados, diced cherry tomatoes, chopped jalapeño, lime juice, cilantro, salt.
Tortillas – We love corn tortillas for our salmon tacos, but feel free to use flour tortillas if that’s what you like or is available.
- Olive Oil: For searing salmon.
- Garnishing: Chopped cilantro and jalapeños, lime wedges.
Blackened Salmon Tacos Recipe
1. Make Mango-avocado Salsa: We like to start with making the salsa first, as this will allow the flavors to meld together by the time you serve your tacos. Simply mix all the salsa ingredients together in bowl. Taste and adjust according to your taste. Cover with cling wrap and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
2. Make homemade Blackened Seasoning: In a small bowl, combine smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, basil, oregano, cayenne, salt and pepper.
3. Blacken the Salmon: Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel. Season the flesh side of the salmon only with the above blackened seasoning.
Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet or cast iron skillet over medium-heat. Add the salmon flesh side down and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the salmon blackens up nicely.
Flip and cook skin side down for another 4-6 minutes, depending on the thickness, until the internal temperature reaches 145°F. Transfer salmon to a plate and let it rest for a couple of minutes.
Flake the salmon into large, chunky pieces using a fork, discarding the skin.
4. Assemble Tacos: To make tacos, simply char a few tortillas on the stovetop on a very hot skillet until they are slightly burnt on the edges (this gives it the authentic Mexican street style taste). Load them up with chunky salmon pieces.
Top with mango avocado salsa. Garnish with chopped cilantro and diced jalapeños, and serve with lime wedges.
Other Salmon Taco Toppings Ideas
- Pico de Gallo
- Pineapple Salsa
- Chipotle Mayo
- Peruvian Green Sauce
- They’re great with Classic Coleslaw or even Creole Coleslaw.
- Load them up with our Mexican Street Corn Salad.
- Hot Sauces and Salsas: Use our zesty Salsa Verde or Salsa Taqueria for a spicy kick.
- Cilantro Lime Crema: Blend sour cream (or Greek yogurt), cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, and a touch of salt.
- Sprinkle some cheese like queso fresco, cotija, or Monterey Jack.
Tips and Tricks for BEST Salmon Tacos
- Quality of Salmon: Opt for fresh, wild-caught salmon when possible. If you’re using frozen, make sure it’s fully thawed and patted dry before seasoning.
- Season Well: Be generous with your seasoning to ensure every bite is flavorful.
- Use Cast Iron or Stainless Steel: Blackening salmon requires a skillet that can handle high heat to sear the fish quickly and create that characteristic dark, flavorful crust. Cast iron is best, but heavy-duty stainless steel pans can also work.
- Bring the Salmon to Room Temperature: This helps it cook more evenly.
- Use a Hot Skillet: Ensure your skillet or pan is hot before adding the salmon to get a nice sear.
- Use a Food Thermometer: Check the internal temperature while cooking. The target is 145°F. This ensures the salmon is cooked through while still retaining its moist and flaky texture.
- For Best Salsa: Always use ripe but firm mangoes and avocados. Overripe fruits can make the salsa mushy.
- Tortilla Tips: Warm the tortillas on a hot skillet for a few seconds on each side. This makes them pliable and enhances their flavor. You can also use a gas flame to char them slightly for an added smoky flavor.
Possible Salmon Taco Variations
We especially love blackened salmon, but sometimes we like to mix up the flavors!
- Firecracker Salmon Tacos: Follow our Firecracker Salmon recipe, and garnish the tacos with an Asian themed slaw.
- Chili & Lime: Mix chili powder, lime zest, cumin, and a touch of smoked paprika.
- Ancho Chili Rub: Use ancho chili powder in place of some other spices for a sweeter, smoky flavor.
- Adobo & Chipotle: Use adobo sauce, ground chipotle pepper, and a dash of oregano.
- Soy & Ginger: Blend soy sauce, minced ginger, garlic, and a touch of sesame oil.
- Jerk Seasoning: If you like it spicy and aromatic, jerk seasoning with its blend of allspice, thyme, and hot peppers is a great choice.
- Flour Tortillas: Some might prefer the softer texture and flavor of flour tortillas over corn.
- Lettuce Wraps: For a low-carb option, use large lettuce leaves as wraps.
Leftover and Storage Tips
To Store: Refrigerate leftover salmon in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days. Refrigerate leftover salsa separately in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days for best quality.
To Reheat: Reheat the salmon in a microwave until warm throughout.
So guys, these Blackened Salmon Tacos are a total game-changer. The spiced-up salmon combined with the fresh mango-avocado salsa creates a balance of bold and refreshing flavors.
They’re easy to make, perfect for any meal, and guaranteed to impress. A true win in the world of tacos. Give them a try, and you’ll see why they’re our go to salmon meal!
Salmon Tacos, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
For the Salmon
- 1-1.5 pounds salmon, cut into 3 filets
- 1/2 Tbsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp basil
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 2.5 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 mangoes, cubed
- 2 avocados, cubed
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
- 1/2-1 jalapeño, finely chopped
- 1 lime, juiced
- 3 Tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
- salt to taste
- corn tortillas
- lime to serve
- cilantro for garnish
- jalapeños for garnish
- In a small bowl, combine smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, basil, oregano, cayenne, salt and pepper.
- Make mango avocado salsa by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl.
- Pat the salmon dry with pepper towel. Season the flesh side of the salmon only with the above seasoning.
- Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet or cast iron skillet over medium-heat. Add the salmon flesh side down and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the salmon blackens up nicely. Flip and cook skin side down for another 4-6 minutes, depending on the thickness, until the internal temperature reaches 145°F.
- Transfer salmon to a plate and let it rest for a couple of minutes. Flake the salmon into large pieces using a fork, discarding the skin.
- Warm up the tortillas over a hot skillet and load them up with salmon pieces. Top with mango avocado salsa. Garnish with chopped cilantro and diced jalapeños, and serve with lime wedges.
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