Blackened Salmon Tacos topped with diced avocados, fresh grilled corn, cotija cheese, and homemade jalapeño lime crema! These are the best salmon tacos you’ll ever have and they are so simple to make!
WOAH there! ??
Blackened Salmon tacos ??????. It’s the meal we’ve all been missing out on. AND it is totally becoming my new favorite for #tacotuesdays. This is my first attempt at making from scratch salmon tacos with my own homemade blackened seasonings and I, here on this day vow never to use store-bought blackened seasoning ever again. Tender, flakey, flavorful salmon perfectly seared with crispy skin and a blackened crust of home mixed spices. This is love at first bite I tell you. I wouldn’t be surprised if like me, you start bellowing out your favorite tune and prancing around the kitchen with a blackened salmon taco in hand. In the the voice of Steve Urkel, did I do that? ?
There’s a lot of flavors going on here. I mean, other than that blackened spices, we’ve got grilled corn, diced avocados, a sprinkling of cotija cheese and wait for it — the most seductive jalapeño lime crema of your life. But here’s the catcher, it takes just a sort 30 minutes to whip up. Homemade food truck style tacos on a weeknight? Don’t mind if I do! Happy bellies make happy families, right?
I have quite a few salmon recipes on my blog, with this one being a bigger hit than I could have ever imagined! But one thing i’ve never made for the blog — blackened salmon. So watch me sizzle up some salmon covered in my homemade blackened seasoning which is just a few staple ingredients like smoked paprika, garlic, and onion powder. Blackened salmon also happens to be the highlight of todays recipe. Before now, I had done a little dabbling in homemade blackened seasoning but really wasn’t happy with the ratio of spices. A little back and forth and batch testing led me to this homemade blackened seasoning that is not only amazing on these salmon tacos but would make shrimp taste great too.
Wondering what’s really in blackened seasoning? It’s 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika with equal parts cumin, chipotle powder, granulated garlic, and sugar. Mixed with a hint of thyme, onion powder, salt and pepper. Most of these if not all are common spices that most of us have in our pantries.
And just look at that! Can you hear that salmon just sizzling in that oil? Warming up your entire kitchen and not to mention how bright and flavorful your dinner is about to be. Yumma-nomma! It’s a flavor explosion just waiting to happen. Can you tell i’m really excited for you to try this recipe? I’m totally unleashing all my dorkiness out on you today.
But i’m gonna be serious here for like, half a second. I know I say this all the time, but make sure you use good quality salmon, it really makes all the difference. The natural flavors of wild-caught salmon simply can’t be mimicked but the farm-raised stuff. Okaydonenowlet’smake –> blackened salmon tacos!
So now I wanna tell you about that creamy, delicious jalapeño lime crema. Folks, this is the stuff my dreams are made of. Literally. Tubing down a lazy river of jalapeño lime crema. Don’t pinch me, I’m not ready to wake up. It’s a ½ cup of sour cream mixed with mayo along with 3 heaping tablespoons of cilantro, 2 tablespoons of lime juice and 1 whole jalapeño with the seeds and ribs removed. And all you need to do is blend it up. I’m not kidding here, you’re gonna wanna drink this through a crazy straw.
Now for the toppings. You could pretty much use just about anything you like on these blackened salmon tacos. My personal favorite though? A little nest of red cabbage, freshly grilled corn, diced avocados, a sprinkle of cotija cheese, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and hint of chopped cilantro. You can call them gourmet tacos or California style fish tacos or whatever you want but these ultra refreshing, fresco style blackened salmon tacos are quickly becoming a favorite around here.
I’m in deep with this one. The hubby is out of town and i’ll probably binge eat fish tacos for all 3 days and all 3 meals while he’s away. Um… on second thought, maybe not for breakfast. ??
It’s light, flavorful, and filling, what else could a girl ask for?
Blackened Salmon Tacos with Jalapeño Lime Crema
CILANTRO LIME CREMA:
- ½ cup sour cream and mayo (I used ¼ cup each)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons cilantro
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed
- pinch of salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon EACH: cumin, chipotle powder, granulated garlic, AND sugar
- ¼ teaspoon EACH: thyme AND onion powder
- salt and pepper
- 1 pound wild-caught salmon (such as sockeye or coho)
- 3 tablespoons oil
- OPTIONAL TOPPINGS: corn or flour tortillas, red cabbage, diced avocados, grilled corn, cotija cheese, lime wedges, chopped cilantro, pickled jalapeños, pickled onions, mexican pickled carrots, black beans, etc.
- CILANTRO LIME CREMA: Combine all the ingredients for the crema in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the crema in a dressing bottle or a bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- BLACKENED SALMON: Combine the smoked paprika, cumin, chipotle powder, garlic, sugar, thyme, onion powder, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl. Place the salmon on a cutting board and pat dry with a paper towel. Cut the salmon into smaller pieces. I made filets that were about 1 ½ inches wide. Sprinkle the flesh of the salmon with the blackened seasoning liberally, you may not need all the seasoning. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Drizzle ½ the oil into the pan and place half the salmon filets flesh side down into the skillet. Cook about 2-5 minutes total, turning half way through. The salmon is done with the thickest part feels firm. Fry the second batch of salmon filets. Allow the salmon to rest for 5 minutes. Remove the skin and flake with fork or just dice it.
- ASSEMBLY: Add the red cabbage, blackened salmon, and your favorite toppings to the taco and top with a spoonful of crema. Serve with additional crema on the side.
- I cut the salmon into smaller filets because it’s easier to control if your piece has varying thicknesses like mine did. You can leave the salmon filet whole if you wish but the cooking time will vary. Leaving the salmon filet whole will take you about 8-12 minutes for cooking time.
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*Please note: the nutritional facts calculated are an estimate based on the ingredients i’ve used. If you’d like a more accurate count, please calculate them using the ingredients/brands you’ve used to prepare the recipe. This is for 1/6th of the recipe, which includes about 2 tablespoons of sauce and salmon and should be enough to stuff 2 tacos. Nutritional facts do not include the toppings/tortillas as calories will vary depending on what you use.