Blackened Salmon Tacos with Avocado Corn Salsa & Cilantro Ranch Dressing

May 14, 2013 • Alaska Eats, Fish & Seafood, Main Dishes, Recipes, Seasons, Summer

Weather: 43 degrees, overcast
What I’m listening to: the rumbling of my tummy

It’s that time of year again when we’re trying to use up our frozen salmon from last summer’s catch to make room for what this summer has in store. The snow is almost completely gone here on our property and we are waiting for everything to turn green and lush.


These tacos are a fantastic way to enjoy salmon. The blackened crust on the exterior of the salmon makes it flavorful and spicy. Then, top it with a cool and refreshing Avocado & Corn Salsa and a tangy Cilantro Lime Dressing made with Greek yogurt. In addition to warm corn tortillas, I also served these with cabbage leaves as an alternative taco shell. This is a trick I learned from my friend, Kim Sunee, and it’s simply brilliant. Try it.

IMG_6005Photo bomb alert! My sweet and sassy 5-year-old daughter very strategically popped up from under the table just as I was snapping this shot. Gotta love it.

Blackened Salmon Tacos with Avocado Corn Salsa & Cilantro Ranch Dressing

Flavorful blackened salmon tacos with avocado corn salsa and cilantro ranch dressing made with Greek yogurt. Adapted from [Cooking Classy|].

Yields: Serves 4

  • For the Blackened Salmon:
  • 1 pound salmon (I used wild-caught local Alaska sockeye), pin bones and skin removed, patted dry
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • For the Avocado Corn Salsa:
  • 1 ripe avocado, finely chopped
  • 1 large ear of corn, kernels cut off (I used fresh white corn)
  • 1 tomato, seeds removed and diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • zest and juice of half a lime
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • For the Cilantro Ranch Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • juice of half a lime
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • For Serving Tacos:
  • Corn tortillas, steamed or warm
  • Green Cabbage leaves and/or shredded cabbage
  • Lime wedges

!For the Salmon:

Heat the oil in a skillet (I used cast iron) over medium-high heat. In a bowl, stir together the flour, chili powder, paprika, brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper. Coat the flesh of the salmon liberally with the blackening spice. Place salmon in hot skillet. Cook 3-4 minutes per side, or until coating is blackened and forms a nice crust and salmon is cooked through (we like ours medium-well for tacos, just slightly pink in the center). Allow salmon to rest for 5 minutes, then flake with a fork. [I seasoned my salmon with a pinch of kosher salt just prior to serving].

!For the Salsa:

In a bowl, gently stir together the avocado, corn, tomato, red onion, cilantro, lime, salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

!For the Dressing:

Add yogurt, mayo, buttermilk, lime, garlic, green onions, cilantro, salt and pepper to a food processor. Process until smooth. Add more buttermilk as needed until desired consistency is reached (you'll want it to be thin enough to drizzle, but not so thin that it slides off the tacos). Refrigerate until ready to serve.

!To Assemble Tacos:

Choose a warm corn tortilla or cabbage leaf as your taco shell. Place flaked salmon in the shell, followed by Avocado Corn Salsa. Drizzle with Cilantro Ranch Dressing. [If using a corn tortilla, sprinkle some shredded cabbage on top]. Serve with lime wedges.