This has been a week of fish tacos! Are you sick of it? Hopefully not yet. Here are two more fish tacos to send you into the Cinco de Mayo weekend. Make sure the cerveza is cold, and slice up the limes. We know just how you should spend the weekend, and maybe it will include Alaska Seafood. Over the last few months, we have created fish taco recipes that have become part of Alaska Seafood’s fish taco promotion. As we wrap up the promotion, here are the final two recipes we’ll share with you that will hopefully find their way on your plates.
Social media have proven to be helpful in so many ways. A question went out to our followers about the type of taco combinations they would like to see, and we received a few great suggestions. Grilled squid and fruit, crab and mango, shrimp and orange marmalade, shrimp and a dill and vinegar-based coleslaw, scallops with salsa verde, white fish with avocado sauce. The list goes on and on. When it comes to the wide world of seafood, you have so many ways to go, but limited our focus to species found in Alaska–Sockeye Salmon and Spot Prawn.
The salmon tacos are a slight diversion from the usual. First of all, it’s not chunk pieces of seafood in a shell. We decided to cook the salmon and mix it with ingredients to create something similar to tuna salad. It has a mix of creamy crunch with a mix of spices used to season the fish. Secondly, salmon salad deserved a different serving method, so we decided to go with taco shells. They are homemade of course, and if you’ve never done it, give it a try. Flour tortillas are the best choice as they can be molded without the fear of experiencing a tear. You can make them in abundance and store the shells in airtight containers for a couple of days before using them. We made shells that are a great size for individual salads, but if you wanted to make appetizers, you could cut the tortillas to fit mini muffin tins. The key to shaping these is just using any oven-safe dish, ramekin, muffin tin, etc. that will create the shape you want. Or, you can get all fancy, and invest in taco shell makers of all shapes and sizes. At the end of the day, they’re just another gadget that may end up at the back of your kitchen equipment cabinet.
The salmon salad tacos are our entry in the Best Grilled Fish Taco category. To be honest, these tacos were made at my apartment, and Amir is the only one with a grill. But you know what I have? A grill pan! And it works just as well to give you those beautiful lines down the surface of the protein that you want with a standard gas or charcoal grill. I say we worked within the confines of our circumstances on this one.
The shrimp tacos were inspired by a friend’s suggestion. She said one of her favorite dishes to make was coconut shrimp with her own green Tabasco and orange marmalade sauce. That set off a few ticks in the brain. In an effort to avoid frying and keep the recipe healthy, the prawns were dipped in egg white before rolling them in the dry coating. They were then baked. Here’s the smallest secret that won’t be included in the recipe. Because both tacos were made on the same day, these shrimp were baked on the same grill pan that was used to cook the fish. Call it genius, or call it lazy. No matter what you call it, the remnants of spiced oil that remained in the pan did add an extra edge of flavor.
This second set of tacos find themselves in the Best Fish Taco Recipe category. The shrimp are sweet, delicate and very plump. The addition of sweet coconut, nutty almond meal and crunchy panko crumbs add another level of sweet flavor and texture to the meat. Baking the shrimp rather than frying them allows them to slowly rise to a level of prime intensity while keeping the recipe on the healthier side. When it comes to the topping, the sauce’s sleepy hint of spice is accentuated by the bright orange zest, orange juice and of course the silky apricot preserves. Mayonnaise and sour cream give the sauce a heft that makes you feel like you’re eating naughty. Lettuce and avocado are the two characters who add crisp bite and buttery essence, respectively, to the taco. How can you go wrong?
Living in Southern California has afforded us the opportunity to experience what would have normally been a strange combination in our eyes before moving here. Fish on a taco was an odd thing…before we actually had one. We’ve made our way through various Alaska seafood–King crab, Sockeye salmon, spot prawns, and cod. Our recipes have been written, so that you can hopefully recreate them with Alaska Seafood or your next best choice. Our five recipe entries have put us in the running to win a trip to Alaska sponsored by Alaska Seafood. Send us good vibes!
Grilled Salmon Salad Tacos with Mango Pico de Gallo – Serves 2
4 small flour tortillas
Non-stick cooking spray
1/2 pound salmon, skin on
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon chipotle powder
1/8 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more for seasoning
1 medium shallot, halved
1 medium celery stalk, finely diced
2 tablespoons sour cream
Pico de Gallo
1 medium mango, peeled and diced
2 vine tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 scallion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro
Zest of 1/2 small lime
1/4 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1. To make the tortilla shells, lay four small bowls or ramekins, upside down, on a large baking sheet. Spray the rounded outside of the bowls well with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Wrap the flour tortillas in lightly dampened paper towels and microwave until they just begin to soften, approximately 20-30 seconds. Do this in 5-10 second increments. Once warm, quickly lay them on top of the bowls, pressing the edges down to help them stick. Spray the tortillas again.
3. Slide the baking sheet into an oven preheated to 350 degrees. Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway through, until the shells brown evenly. Remove from the oven and cool for 5-10 minutes. Carefully lift the shells off the bowls and set on a cooling rack to cool completely.
4. As the shells cool, mix the paprika, mustard powder, garlic powder, chipotle powder, oregano, cumin and salt together until well incorporated. Using all of the spice mix, coat the entire fish, not including the skin side. Press the spice mix into the fish to help it adhere.
5. Coat the grill pan with vegetable oil and set over a medium high flame. Once the pan has heated, place the fish, skin side up, into the middle of the pan. Cook for 5 minutes without moving the fish. Flip over and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from the pan, or continue cooking to your preferred level of doneness.
6. While the fish cools, finely dice one of the shallot halves. Place the diced shallot and celery into a bowl with the sour cream. Flake the fish away from the salmon skin and add the meat to the bowl. Mix well.
7. For the pico de gallo, mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Season to taste with salt.
8. Layer lettuce in the bottom of each taco shell, then add a scoop of the salmon salad. Top with a bit of the mango pico de gallo and serve.
Baked Coconut Shrimp Tacos with Apricot Orange Sauce – Serves 2
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons apricot preserves, warm
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/2 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1/8 teaspoon hot sauce, or more to taste
1 tablespoon water
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
1/4 cup panko crumbs
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2 egg whites, beaten until frothy
12 large shrimp, peeled and cleaned
Non-stick cooking spray
Small flour tortillas
Quartered cherry tomatoes, optional
Chopped avocado, optional
1. Make the sauce first by mixing the mayonnaise, sour cream, apricot preserves, orange zest, orange juice, hot sauce and water until smooth. Season with half of the salt. Cover and chill.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the panko crumbs, almond meal, coconut, cayenne powder and remaining salt until incorporated. Dip the shrimp into the beaten egg whites, then into the coconut mixture, coating both sides. Lay on a baking sheet, cast iron pan or any other oven-safe dish, then repeat with all of the shrimp.
3. Spray the shrimp with cooking spray to help them brown, then slide into an oven preheated to 350 degrees. Bake them for 13-15 minutes or until they are all bright pink.
4. Assemble the tacos. Sprinkle lettuce over the tortillas and place three shrimp in the middle. Drizzle the apricot orange sauce on top and add other toppings, as desired. Serve immediately.
Click HERE for printable recipes.
Disclaimer: In exchange for participating in this contest, Alaska Seafood provided us with an initial $25 gift certificate to a local grocer and $25 to Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill. No further compensation has been received for participation.