Salmon Po' Boy Tacos
Today, we’re making Salmon Po’ Boy Tacos!
These tacos are bursting with flavor from every little nook and cranny. We’re going raid the spice cabinet to make some blackened salmon. Then, we’ll whip up a quick slaw dressed in a remoulade sauce. And, we’ll stuff it all into some perfectly charred tortilla shells. It really is sooooo simple, and it’s a meal that we can get on the table in 30 mins or less.
So, let’s get to it!
Let’s start with the blackening seasoning. This is a seasoning blend that is very similar to a Cajun or Creole seasoning. It packs some mild heat, but it is uber flavorful thanks to the addition of chili, herb, and aromatic spices. Once the spices are mixed together and rubbed into the flesh of your protein (usually seafood or poultry), the meat is typically cooked in a cast iron skillet; and the cooking process gives the exterior of the meat a dark, blackish hue. We’re going to broil our salmon instead of pan searing it today, but the impact of the flavors are still 100% present!
For our blackening seasoning, we need some chili and cayenne pepper for heat, some garlic and onion powder flavor, some paprika for color, some cumin and thyme for depth, and good ol’ salt and pepper for basic seasoning. We’re going to mix all the spices together, and we’re going to reserve a ½ tsp of the mix to stir into our slaw dressing. Then, we’re going to rub the seasoning blend all over the top, sides, and bottom of our salmon. Now, this is going to look like a lot a seasoning for this slab of fish. But trust me, we need it. Just gently massage it all over until the salmon is completely coated, let it sit for about 15 mins while the broiler preheats, then to the oven the salmon goes to become juicy and crisp for about 15 mins.
While the salmon is broiling, we can make our slaw. We’ll start by making a basic remoulade sauce…with a secret. Traditional remoulade starts with a mayonnaise base. But, we’re going to cut the mayo in half and lighten our dressing up a bit by using nonfat plain Greek yogurt, as well. Then, we’ll add in some stone ground mustard, some relish, some capers, a little splash of vinegar, a minced scallion, and the reserved blackening seasoning. Stir it together until it’s smooth, then toss in some shredded cabbage. I like to cheat and use a store bought slaw mix, because you get two colors of cabbage plus some carrot for no prep work at all. But, if you have some cabbage already on hand that you need to use up, totally feel free to shred some up yourself.
To hold our delicious salmon, we’re going to use small flour tortillas. This isn’t a necessary step, but it’s surely recommended. You have to char your taco shells! But if there’s anything I’ve learned throughout this pandemic, it’s that us electric stovetop users don’t have to have mediocre tacos just because we don’t have real fire to char our shells. A cast iron or non stick skillet can do the same trick, and the results are epic. (Check my Instagram post from Tuesday of this week for a quick tutorial on how to use a cast iron skillet to char tortillas!)
When it’s time to assemble, we’ll pile on our creamy slaw, our warm salmon, and some fresh tomatoes all into that perfectly charred shell. The salmon has a subtle heat to it that’s not overly spicy but it’s just enough to wake up your tastebuds. The slaw has an element of heat to it too thanks to the spice mix we stirred in, but the cool creaminess and the sharp tanginess helps to tame that heat. The fresh bite of tomato helps to add a pop of fresh acidity which breaks through the fattiness of the fish and slaw. Then, that fresh fire taste from the char on the tortillas brings it all home. And if you like you mouth to breathe more fire, give these tacos an extra shake of hot sauce to finish them off. You can’t go wrong there.
The flavor bursting from these tacos in unbelievable given the short amount of time and effort we put into the preparation. And, aren’t those the most rewarding kind of meals?
I know you guys are gonna love this one! So enjoy!
And, let’s eat!
Salmon Po' Boy Tacos
For the Salmon Tacos
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp pepper
- ¼ chili powder
- 1 lb salmon filet, skin removed
- 8 6-inch flour tortillas
- ½ cup grape tomatoes, halved
- cooking spray
For the Remoulade Slaw
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp nonfat plain greek yogurt
- ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ tsp sweet relish
- ¾ tsp stone ground mustard
- ¾ tsp capers, chopped
- 1 green onion (green parts only), finely chopped
- 4 cups coleslaw mix
- Prepare the blackening spice mix: To a small bowl, add paprika, salt, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, thyme, pepper, and chili powder. Mix well to combine. Reserve ½ tsp spice mix, and set aside.
- Prepare the salmon: Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spray with cooking spray. Place salmon on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle remaining spice mix over the top, sides, and bottom of the salmon. Use your fingers to gently rub the spice into the flesh of the salmon until the filet is completely coated. Preheat broiler, and allow the salmon to rest with the dry rub while the oven preheats, about 15 mins. Broil the salmon for 13-15 mins until the internal temp of the salmon reaches 145 degrees.
- Meanwhile, prepare the remoulade slaw: To a mixing bowl, add mayonnaise, yogurt, vinegar, relish, mustard, capers, green onion, and reserved ½ tsp of the spice mix. Stir well to combine. Add in slaw mix, and toss to coat completely.
- Char the tortilla shells: Heat a dry cast iron grill pan over high heat until you see white smoke. One at a time, place a tortilla in the skillet for 4-5 seconds, flip, and cook 4-5 more seconds until you see dark char marks on the shell. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
- Assemble the tacos: Use a fork to break salmon into chunks. Divide slaw and salmon evenly between taco shells. Top with tomatoes. Serve, and enjoy!
- *You could use skin on salmon for this recipe, as well. You'll just have extra spice mix to rub into the top and sides of the flesh, and that's A ok. After broiling, the salmon will easily separate from the skin when you break it into chunks with a fork. Discard the skin from there!
- *If you don't have a cast iron grill pan to char the tortilla shells, that's ok! You could use a regular cast iron pan or even a dry non stick pan. For a non stick pan, it will take closer to 10 seconds per side to char the shell. Or, if you're lucky enough to have a gas stove top, skip the pan and char the tortilla directly over the fire by resting it on the grate for 2-3 seconds per side.
- *If you like things spicy, add a couple dashes of hot sauce on top of these tacos.
- *If you're not serving all of these tacos at once, store the salmon and slaw in separate containers in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Wait to char the tortillas until you're ready to serve.