So, I was inspired….my friend was coming in from Philadelphia and he wanted me to teach him how to make salmon without drying it out. He struggled with that…and wasn’t sure if it was a temperature issue or a “length of cooking time”. At first, I thought I’d do something simple…like wrap it up in some foil with a little salt and pepper….white wine and garlic…but then…I was inspired. I was reading through some Chinese recipes..and stumbled across some chicken thigh recipes where you dipped the cubed chicken in corn starch and spices…then magically, it became this fantastic dish from the orient. I thought…why can’t I do that with cubed salmon? Here’s the trick….I am not a fish filleting expert. I have 4 fillet knives in my kitchen and I use them to cut tomatoes…never once have I mastered the art of filleting. So, I took some fresh cuts of salmon (skin on), carefully sliced and cubed it while still attached to the skin…and firmly..rubbed my thumb up the skin…and the cubes came right off! It’s genius…and I had perfect salmon cubes. I popped them into a light coating of corn starch, salt and pepper…then right into my heated wok. I gently fried them until the fish had a brown crust on two sides…sprinkled in soy sauce instead of salt..tested one to make sure it was perfectly opaque in the middle…and it was ready to go.
The other fun part about tacos are the toppings. They say when you are eating animal protein..it is healthy for our bodies to add something fermented to our meal. Let’s make it simple, shall we? I ran to my “store that has everything” grocery store and found a bag of Chinese veggies for a salad. If you wanted to get your own…just pick up some regular cabbage or red cabbage and carrots, etc. I placed it in a small bowl, poured rice wine vinegar over it and added the salt and pepper. Leave it for 15 min and BAM!!! You have pickled veggies…no canning necessary. However…it tasted too vinegary…so I added some dark sesame oil to give it that Asian…toasted flavor! The vinegar and salt added quite a bit of liquid, so after a bit, I drained it and it was easier to add the topping to the taco. Of course, I wanted something on the side that was fruity…fresh…but savory.
Years ago, I met this man who worked behind a deli in my hometown. He made mango salsa for me…with simple ingredients..and let it sit for a day to let the flavors mingle. He gave me a sample…and it was phenomenal!! All he did was chop mango, red onions, green onions, add salt and pepper…then some vinegar and a little olive oil. I’ll never forget it and it became my favorite salsa.
I served these tacos…and they disappeared. They were a huge success and I will definitely make them again!
Asian Fusion Salmon Tacos w/Mango Salsa & Rice
4 five ounce fillets of fresh salmon
3/4 cup corn starch
10 corn tortillas
1/2 cup peanut oil (substitute olive oil in case of allergies) (use more if desired for frying)
salt & pepper
1/4 light soy sauce
1 package of Chinese cabbage and sliced cabbage (or 1/2 a head of green cabbage with julienned carrots)
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup pure sesame oil
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
2 tsp raw sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 chipote pepper in adobo sauce
2 mangoes (cubed)
3 green onions (sliced)
1/4 cup red onion (diced)
1/8 cup cilantro (chopped) (extra for garnish)
2 tbsp red win vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup of rice
1 packet of Goya’s Sazon Con Azafran (found in the Spanish section of your grocery store) – colors the rice to yellow (optional)
salt & pepper
Place a cup of rice in the rice cooker and add water, the Goya packet (to color the rice to yellow) and salt & pepper. Let the rice cook for 20 minutes.
Place the wok on high heat and pour in the peanut oil. Wait until the oil is heated. Cube the fresh salmon and remove it from the skin. Place the corn starch on a plate and add salt and pepper and gently mix. Roll the cubes in the corn starch mixture and place them in the wok of hot oil. Fry about 2-3 min on each side until brown on two sides..and opaque in the middle. Toward the end of the cooking process, add the soy sauce and cover. Remove after a few minutes, place in a bowl and cover in foil to keep it warm.
Take 2 cups of Chinese cabbage salad mix and place in a bowl. Add rice wine vinegar, pure sesame oil, salt, pepper and raw sugar. Give it a mix and let it pickle. After 10 minutes…mix again and leave for another 15 minutes. Drain and put aside. This will be used as a topping for the taco.
Place sour cream in a small bowl and add chipotle pepper and a tsp of the adobo sauce. Mix in the sour cream, set aside. This will top the pickled veggies in the taco.
Get another small bowl and add cubed mangoes, green onions, red onions, cilantro, vinegar, olive oil and salt & pepper.
Warm the corn tortillas by putting them in the microwave for 40 seconds. Add the cubed salmon, top it with the pickled veggies and put a tablespoon of the spicy sour cream on top and add some cilantro on top of it. Fold the soft taco in half and enjoy! Spoon the rice on the side (make sure to season with salt and pepper to taste), and also take a taste of the mango salsa after each bite of the taco for a cooling factor! Enjoy!!