05 November 2012

Seared Salmon Tacos with Honey-Lime Slaw + Sriracha Ranch

I'm clearly a contender for the longest recipe title of the year award.
I hear the trophy is made of pure chocolate.
must. have. it.

Seared Salmon Tacos with Honey-Lime Slaw and Sriracha Ranch

When I first moved to North Carolina I knew only a handful of people.  Coincidentally, they nearly all hailed from Texas and opened my eyes [and stomach!] to some delicious lone star staples:  Mrs. Renfro's Salsa, Shiner beer, and fish tacos.  Whenever I would visit my favorite Wilmington-dwelling Texans [Hi Elmo!] they would take me a on a culinary adventure downtown,  ranking nearly every restaurant in regards to the quality of their fish tacos.  To this day, whenever I think of fish tacos I think of them.  The fond memories are short-lived, however, because those jerks left me and moved back to Texas.  The nerve!

Wilmington is a few hours away from me so not only have I been abandoned, I'm also quite far from a decent fish taco joint.  Instead I'm stuck in a small town overrun by fast food, chain restaurants, and local establishments hellbent on deep-frying everything from oysters to cheesecake.  When you finally find that perfect pair of jeans that neither exposes your butt crack nor your dreaded muffin top, you tend to do anything in your power to ensure they fit.  So no, I will not be partaking in fried cheesecake [*cough*AGAIN*cough*] or their deep-fried batter-tastic excuse for fish tacos smothered in iceberg lettuce and cheddar cheese.

Instead I'll be face-planting into these:

Seared Salmon Tacos with Honey-Lime Slaw and Sriracha Ranch
Seared Salmon Tacos with Honey-Lime Slaw + Sriracha Ranch
[yields 4-5 fantastically flavorful tacos]
what's in it?
Fresh wild Alaskan salmon [enough to yield several tacos]
1-2 large ripe avocado, sliced
4-5 corn tortillas
1/4 cup crumbled feta or cotija cheese [optional]
chipotle olive oil [or your favorite oil!]
1 lime, wedged

the spices
paprika
ground cayenne pepper
garlic +/or onion powder
dried parsley
salt and pepper
+/or your favorite spice blend

the sauce
3 TBSP homemade or store-bought ranch dressing
1 TBSP Sririacha chili sauce

the slaw
1 heaping cup cabbage, finely chopped/shredded
1/4 small red onion, sliced thin
1-2 TBSP apple cider vinegar [optional]
1 TBSP honey
1/2 tsp dried or fresh cilantro, to taste
1/2 tsp lime juice
1/4 tsp garlic powder
a pinch of salt
created with a few fab tips from my beloved amazon

I rubbed the fish with the most amazing chipotle olive oil.  You can find an infused oil at your favorite grocery store, or even create your own by seasoning the oil with a chipotle spice blend.  Plain old extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil will absolutely work too!

Seasoned Raw Salmon

get cooking!
First make your slaw!  Toss together cabbage [plain, mixed, or purple!] and onion with the above ingredients and adjust to taste. If needed you can always add more cabbage or more onion/vinegar/honey/spices at the end so it's uber easy to customize to perfection.  For the sauce, whisk together ranch and Sriracha, using more Sriracha for a spicy sauce and less for a more mild drizzle.  While you're at it, prep your corn tortillas by wrapping in a slightly moistened paper towel and microwaving for 25-30 seconds to steam.  I like to rub mine with a teeny bit of oil afterwards and toss them onto a heated pan  for a minute or so on each side.  This gives them a teeny bit of crunch/texture while still allowing them to bend soft-taco style.

Next move on to the salmon.  Heat a cast iron pan or skillet with a drizzle of oil and season both sides of your salmon with paprika, cayenne pepper, parsley, salt and freshly ground black pepper, along with any additional seasonings.  The salmon I buy always has the skin left on one side - simply remove it with a knife or sear that side [unseasoned] first, it will peel right off after a minute or two!  Follow up the skin removal by seasoning that side as well.  I adore cooking my salmon with a sear/bake combo, but feel free to simply sear yours if you prefer to skip the extra step.  Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 450F.  Once your pan is  hot, add the salmon and sear on both sides for approx 2 minutes each.  Look for a reddish/golden crust with a rare center.  With a spatula, move the salmon to a foil lined baking sheet and bake for approximately 5-10 minutes depending on thickness.  The result is a crisp, flavorful crust on the outside with a tender flaky inside.

Now all that's left is to assemble your tacos, pile on the toppings, and dig in!  Crushing a fresh lime wedge atop each taco before they hit your face is optional, but oh-so delicious =)  Do it!

Seared Salmon Tacos with Honey-Lime Slaw and Sriracha Ranch
oh. freaking. le.

so... how was it?
I've lost count of how many of these tacos I've eaten in the last month.  So.  Much.  Yum.

Update: I counted. I've made these 500493483853958 times.  I may have rounded.

While we're at it, buy extra salmon so you can make this ridiculously yummy salad the next day:

Salmon Chop Chop Taco Salad

still hungry?
Lentil Veggie TacosBlack Bean and Sweet Potato FlautasSavory Sweet Potato NachosTortellini Pasta SaladPanera Broccoli and Cheese SoupQuinoa Bruschetta Salad


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42 comments:

  1. you had had had me with people hailing from TEXAS.

    and salmon.
    Id eat it morning noon and night if I had someone else to prepare it :-)

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    Replies
    1. I'm with Miz. I'd eat lox, salmon salad, and then these later. Also? When you bury me, can you make my coffin a giant sriracha bottle?

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    2. That can be arranged! I'm going to murder you for teasing me with feta ANYWAYS plus fiery coffin is totally aprop for where you're going! =)

      Love you ladies!

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  2. Um your salmon puts mine to shame! :) and deep fried cheese cake sounds...disgusting...right? :)

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    1. If we keep telling ourselves that maybe we'll believe it someday. Um your salmon rocks! I want to come steal you and make you experiment with me in the kitchen.

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  3. Anything with salmon has my vote!

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    Replies
    1. Yes! Vote for salmon! And I guess the election too =)

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  4. Oh wow, these looking amazing!! I am marking it down to try!!
    I also live in NC, in Cary! Where are u?!
    Ana

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    Replies
    1. By the air station at Cherry! eek! Must visit! =)

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  5. my mouth is watering, like really watering. oh my goodness. these look delicious. i've made fish tacos before but never have they looked this yummy and the sririacha sauce? yes please!!

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    Replies
    1. Oh the sauce... Sriracha makes the world go round! Thanks LeahJo!

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  6. I am obsessed with tacos so I cannot wait to make these!! And sririacha... yum!

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  7. These are really unique and sound awesome! Definitely pinning to my "recipes I will make" board!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Ericka! Hope you love them as much as I do! <3

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  8. I'm a very recent convert of fish tacos. LOVE them. And was sort of disappointed last week's date plans after the comedy show we went to switched to a different bar than originally planned. I browse menus like crazy and went from getting some serious fish tacos to a place that didn't offer them. Boo!

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  9. I have been waiting for a fish taco recipe worth attempting and as you make everything look amazing and competlely doable, I will be making yours as soon as possible! Thank you thank you thank you!!

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  10. Holy yum!!! These look amazing! :D And, I hate to break it to you my friend, but you've got some stiff competition for the trophy for the longest recipe title of the year award ;). (Especially since I now know it's made out of pure chocolate.) There's definitely one or two (or ALL) of my titles that rival this one ;) lol. Seriously, though, these look absolutely incredible. I can't wait to try them out!! I've had tuna fish tacos and shrimp tacos, but never salmon tacos.

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  11. I may not eat fish but that honey-lime slaw has my name allllll over it. I can always count on you for awesome Mexican recipes!

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  12. My husband would go nuts if I made him this. His favorite thing is fish tacos. Just pinned it for the future! :) Thanks Jenn!

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  13. Since the very first time I tried fish tacos, I've been addicted...shrimp tacos too! But I've never had them with salmon! This looks amazing girlie! And I love the tip about the corn tortillas...I'll definitely have to try that sometime!

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  14. I don't eat fish nut I'm ready to dive into a vat of that honey-lime slaw. Down with iceberg lettuce too.

    In other news, I selected you for an Inspiring Blogger Award because you recipes are amazing, your photos are fabulous, and you make me laugh...all the time. Thanks.

    http://cleaneatsfastfeets.com/?p=2695

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  15. I'm drooling over here.. I may have to make some for dinner tonight!

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  16. There is a place near us with AMAZING fish tacos & bangin' shrimp tacos. You should come try them. Then we'll cook & watch FSU football.

    Or you could just make this sauce and put it on shrimp over a bed of spinach (or your slaw, or greens of your choice) and wrap it in a tortilla. You can thank me later.

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  17. Made these tonight with halibut and they were absolutely amazing. We eat fish tacos 2-3 times/month and these were hands down the best we have ever had. So quick for a weeknight dinner and the toddlers gobbled them up! Great job and thank you!

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  18. My husband and I made these last week; delicious!

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  19. Where in the world did you find Chipotle oil? I NEED IT!

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    Replies
    1. http://www.tastetheolive.com/ and then stores like Whole Foods, Harris Teeter, and other big stores have it too! I see it a lot lately! Its so good! Smoky and flavorful!

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  20. These were AMAZING!!! I followed the recipe exactly except I used jalapeno olive oil to marinate the salmon in and it was DELICIOUS! The sweet and spicy flavors are a nice compliment to each other. My husband loved them too. Thank you!!!

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  21. De. Lish. Ous! Making these again and again! The slaw was so good! Thanks!

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  22. OMG these were so good! I loved them! Posted about it on my blog: http://www.peasandcrayons.com/2012/11/seared-salmon-tacos-with-honey-lime.html

    Thanks for an awesome recipe!

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  23. Yum, made these again tonight. Ran out of cabbage so made it with purple kale and it was awesome!

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  24. Um, I made these for company on Friday. Holy-delicious!!! We are having people over tomorrow and I think I might make them again. Even though my husband and I have been eating leftovers for 2 days. Yum yum yum.

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  25. This recipe is great and the sriracha ranch is amazing! The fish had so much flavor and I thought the sweet slaw with the spicy fish/sriracha ranch was very refreshing. Will definitely keep this recipe handy. Thanks for sharing!

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  26. Holy amazing! These were great! I loved the sweet slaw contrast with the spicy sauce. Delicious!

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  27. This was delicious! My husband was so quiet during the meal that I didn't think he liked it- turns out he loved it!

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