My blackened salmon fish tacos with tomatillo salsa and watermelon radishes hit just the right spot for culinary happiness this time of year. I’ve been thinking about cooking salmon for a while now. Salmon is one of those foods that only I eat in our household. Clay is convinced that salmon is just too fishy – I, on the other hand, am a fan. In the past year, I’ve been playing around with salmon recipes that are lunch friendly. In other words, they either don’t need to be heated up in the microwave or they can be heated up very quickly so that I don’t leave the break room smelling like fish.
I decided the way to go with the salmon this time was to spice it up, blacken it, and serve it with tangy tomatillo salsa. My original plan was to serve these with a bit of shredded red cabbage. However, as we were wandering the produce section of Whole Foods, I remembered that Whole Foods has a variety of spicy radishes that are in season right now, including watermelon radishes. Watermelon radishes are about the size of a small turnip, have a pale green skin and are intensely pink (like a watermelon) on the inside.
They are a type of daikon radish, so can tend toward spicy, though not overwhelmingly so. I happened to have extra lime on hand, so sliced half of the radish into sticks and doused it in half a lime and a bit of salt. The result was divine – the lime brings out the sweetness in the radish and the spicy compliments the salsa. If you can’t track down watermelon radishes, red cabbage would definitely do to add the crunchy note to these fish tacos.
Just for fun this week, I also took some photos of how I packaged the components for these for my lunch. I wanted to get everything into one dish, but the corn tortillas were just a bit too big, so they ended up in a plastic bag. Here’s the sequence of how everything got stacked, as well as what assembly at my desk looked like:
And the final product looking pretty:
Blackened Salmon Fish Tacos with Tomatillo Salsa and Watermelon Radishes
Makes 6 Tacos
1 pound salmon
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon coriander
Preheat the broiler. Place the salmon skin-side down on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. Combine all spices in a small bowl and stir well. Spoon the spice mixture evenly over the salmon and pat into the skin. Broil the salmon for 15-20 minutes or until the fish is flaky throughout.
6 tomatillos, skins removed
1 small pepper (jalapeno or similar)
Juice from 1 lime
½ red onion
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped finely
½ teaspoon salt
Dice the tomatillos, pepper, and red onion into small pieces. Add the lime, cilantro and salt and combine. Set aside.
Assembling the Tacos
Blackened Salmon, flaked into small pieces and pin bones and skin removed
1 watermelon radish or ½ head of red cabbage
Juice from ½ lime
½ teaspoon salt
6 corn tortillas
Chop the watermelon radish into matchstick size pieces or chop up the red cabbage. Combine either vegetable with the juice from the lime and the salt.
Warm up the corn tortillas for a few seconds in a microwave or for a few minutes in an oven set to the lowest temperature.
Divide the blackened salmon among the six tortillas. Place the watermelon radish or cabbage over the salmon and then spoon tomatillo salsa over both. Enjoy!