Grilled Salmon Tacos with a Fiery Chile Pesto
When thinking about Mexican cuisine, it’s likely that “tacos” are the first food to pop to your mind. Simple and delicious, tacos are extremely personal but equally recognizable. Unlike tamales which are a millennia old tradition, tacos are a relatively new food that are thought to originate from Mexican silver miners.
To make our tacos we skipped the usual ground beef and went with wild-caught sockeye salmon from a local specialty supplier. If you’re using frozen salmon, make sure you read package directions from the distributer to thaw it. We seasoned the salmon with our Grilled Salmon Seasoning, which is sweetened with brown sugar, but has interesting spice notes from pepper, anise, and orange zest.
Taking advantage of the brown sugar in our Grilled Salmon blend, Chef Jeff went with a method that used high heat that would caramelize and create a succulent texture with the salmon. Whether you grill your fish or decide to use a skillet, make sure you oil your surface properly. Salmon is firm enough to place directly on the grill, especially if you’re leaving the skin on, but when it’s cold outside it’s still just as good using a skillet or pan.
We placed our salmon skin side down so it could get crispy and develop a nice sear. Once you notice the flesh up the side of your salmon start to turn color from the heat, you can flip your fillet over to finish cooking on the other side. Wild Salmon, especially sockeye salmon, has a deep red color that doesn’t change too dramatically when it is cooked because its color comes its rich diet. When it comes to knowing when your salmon is finished cooking you should go by the texture and how easily it flakes.
We served our tacos with house-made tortillas, cilantro, and quick pickled onions we made using our Pickling Spice and some Red Pepper Flakes. Our onions added nice crunch and the chile pesto we made earlier gave the tacos a little bit of heat that was complemented by the fresh taste of the cilantro. Our tacos were finished with a squeeze of lime that helped tie the citrus flavors in the Grilled Salmon Seasoning in with the rest of the dish.
- Place onions in a glass bowl.
- In a saucepan, add the vinegar and sugar. Heat until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add Pickling Spice and Red Pepper Flakes and cook another 5 minutes.
- Carefully pour the liquid through a strainer over the onions and set aside.
- Heat flat top or grill to medium high. Season salmon filets with 1 Tbsp Grilled Salmon Seasoning.
- Brush flat top or grill with oil if necessary. Place filets skin side down and cook 5-7 minutes. Turn salmon over and cook an additional 3-4 minutes.
- With a fork, flake the salmon. Serve with warm corn tortillas, cilantro, pickled onions, and Fiery Chile Pesto.