Blackened Fish Tacos with Charred Corn Salsa and Cilantro Aioli

One of my favorite Vancouver outings is a late weekend lunch in an adorable little restaurant aptly named Fish. It is a small place so close to the ocean that you can smell the salinity when you dine on their quaint, cramped patio, and the fish is cooked to such perfection that it melts on your tongue like butter. Adarsh and I have become predictable to the staff there – they don’t have to ask before lavishing us with our favorites – cajun-spiced blackened salmon burgers, baby green salad with corn and red onions, and a couple of Coronas.

It’s nice to be predictable sometimes. I find comfort in repetition. I like to read my favorite books over and over again, watch my most-loved movies till I have the lines memorized, visit the same ice cream shop with my sister every time I go home in the summer, etc. And I really love to order blackened salmon when I go for lunch with my sweetheart on an breezy Saturday afternoon.

Blackened Fish Tacos with Charred Corn Salsa and Cilantro Aioli

Tonight I was really looking for that weekend-by-the-beach feeling, and decided to bring it to my own kitchen. That, plus Adarsh’s solicitation for Mexican, and blackened salmon tacos were born. The smoky salsa is simply diced tomatoes, red onion, jalapeno, and corn tossed in olive oil and charred under the broiler. Brought together with a cool cilantro aioli and creamy avocado, a squeeze of bright citrus and a crunchy radish salad, this meal was a perfect complement of spicy and fresh.

 

Spicy Blackened Salmon Tacos

Serves 2

  • 2 portions of salmon, or other firm-fleshed fish (I used salmon steaks)
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 large flour tortillas
  • avocado, cilantro, green onions, and radishes for topping
  • lemon or lime wedges, optional
  • Charred Corn Salsa
  • Cilantro Aioli

1. Heat oil in heavy-bottomed skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium high heat until smoking.
2. Meanwhile, mix chili powder, cayenne, sugar and salt with the flour in a shallow bowl. Dredge salmon in flour mixture and transfer to hot skillet. Cook until very brown, then flip. Continue cooking till flesh is just opaque. Set aside.
3. Wipe oil from skillet, and throw in tortillas to warm. Arrange the fish, flaked into chunks, Charred Corn Salsa, and desired toppings on one half of a warmed tortilla and drizzle with aioli. Fold in half to serve.

Charred Corn Salsa

  • 1 cup corn kernels (I used frozen)
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt, to taste

1. Preheat broiler and put oven rack in highest position. Toss corn, tomatoes, onion and jalapeno with olive oil. Salt to taste.
2. Transfer corn mixture to a shallow baking pan. Broil until tomatoes are soft and corn is charred, 5-8 minutes.

Cilantro Aioli

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (lime or orange juice would be equally tasty)
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, minced

1. Stir together all ingredients in a small bowl. Adjust lemon juice and add salt to taste.

 

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33 Comments

  1. nicola

    February 21, 2009 2:30 am - Reply

    i don’t even like fish but i’d eat this if you made it!! it looks unbelievable!

  2. nicola

    February 20, 2009 6:30 pm - Reply

    i don’t even like fish but i’d eat this if you made it!! it looks unbelievable!

  3. mikky

    February 21, 2009 9:00 am - Reply

    this is truly a great idea… :)

  4. mikky

    February 21, 2009 1:00 am - Reply

    this is truly a great idea… :)

  5. pigpigscorner

    February 21, 2009 1:36 pm - Reply

    Love the smoky salsa…what a great way to enjoy fish!

  6. pigpigscorner

    February 21, 2009 5:36 am - Reply

    Love the smoky salsa…what a great way to enjoy fish!

  7. Tartelette

    February 24, 2009 7:22 am - Reply

    I think, no I know, this will be dinner tomorrow. Love anything with aioli!

  8. Tartelette

    February 23, 2009 11:22 pm - Reply

    I think, no I know, this will be dinner tomorrow. Love anything with aioli!

  9. Sophie

    February 26, 2009 11:00 am - Reply

    I adore fish tacos!! your version looks so appetizing!!! MMMMM….

  10. Sophie

    February 26, 2009 3:00 am - Reply

    I adore fish tacos!! your version looks so appetizing!!! MMMMM….

  11. Karen

    June 8, 2009 2:05 am - Reply

    I tried this last night for a dinner party! FABULOUS!! I did make some changes though: For a lighter version of the Cilantro Aioli I used yogurt instead of mayo and I used halibut instead of salmon…WOW! I cannot imagine it with salmon now. The halibut was to die for!

    Also, I added crumbled feta as a topping. And the Charred Corn Salsa is so good on just a simple green salad!

    All my friends want the recipe. So amazingly good and EASY!!!

  12. Karen

    June 7, 2009 6:05 pm - Reply

    I tried this last night for a dinner party! FABULOUS!! I did make some changes though: For a lighter version of the Cilantro Aioli I used yogurt instead of mayo and I used halibut instead of salmon…WOW! I cannot imagine it with salmon now. The halibut was to die for!

    Also, I added crumbled feta as a topping. And the Charred Corn Salsa is so good on just a simple green salad!

    All my friends want the recipe. So amazingly good and EASY!!!

  13. Miss Em

    May 27, 2010 4:28 pm - Reply

    My boyfriend and I made this recipe two nights in a row — the first night with tilapia, the second night with salmon. Both turned out amazing! The different fishes gave the dish distinctly different flavors so it didn’t seem repetitive.

    Despite what looks like a lot of prep work, the recipe is very quick and easy, especially if two are cooking. I do recommend using a LOT more cilantro and lemon juice than called for in the recipe for the aioli, otherwise it is just too “mayonnaisey” and adds nothing to the dish (keep adding those ingredients to taste); we also minced fresh garlic and added it to the aioli for an extra yummy kick.

  14. Miss Em

    May 27, 2010 8:28 am - Reply

    My boyfriend and I made this recipe two nights in a row — the first night with tilapia, the second night with salmon. Both turned out amazing! The different fishes gave the dish distinctly different flavors so it didn’t seem repetitive.

    Despite what looks like a lot of prep work, the recipe is very quick and easy, especially if two are cooking. I do recommend using a LOT more cilantro and lemon juice than called for in the recipe for the aioli, otherwise it is just too “mayonnaisey” and adds nothing to the dish (keep adding those ingredients to taste); we also minced fresh garlic and added it to the aioli for an extra yummy kick.

  15. Jamie Schmid

    March 4, 2011 9:58 pm - Reply

    can you specify how big is a ‘portion’ as in weight, size etc. i’m not sure how much to use for this recipe but i’d love to try it!

  16. Rose Mary

    October 20, 2011 9:14 pm - Reply

    I have this sizzling away, preparing for dinner tonight!

    • Anonymous

      October 24, 2011 2:31 am - Reply

      Let me know how they turn out! :-)

  17. Carl T Spackler

    November 29, 2011 5:15 pm - Reply

    These turned out great last night. I am going to use the corn salsa for other dishes as well.  Thanks for sharing!

    • Anonymous

      November 29, 2011 6:52 pm - Reply

      You’re most welcome!

  18. Carl T Spackler

    November 29, 2011 5:15 pm - Reply

    These turned out great last night. I am going to use the corn salsa for other dishes as well.  Thanks for sharing!

  19. Carl T Spackler

    November 29, 2011 5:15 pm - Reply

    These turned out great last night. I am going to use the corn salsa for other dishes as well.  Thanks for sharing!

  20. Katharine Coldiron

    January 2, 2012 6:45 pm - Reply

    I keep making this and it keeps being unbelievably delicious. I don’t follow your blog regularly, I found this recipe via a Google search, but after my husband and I gobbled these tacos for the third incredible time, I just wanted to let you know how wonderful this recipe is.  

    • Anonymous

      January 2, 2012 7:36 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the message, Katharine! Come back again soon! :-)

  21. RJ

    July 8, 2012 6:53 pm - Reply

    Just made this tonight… phenomenal!

  22. SheilaAtwood

    July 28, 2012 10:57 am - Reply

    Okay, this looks so good, I am thawing out salmon right now. My sweetie pie will think I am a gourmet.

  23. Susan Bradford

    September 20, 2012 12:49 pm - Reply

    Making this tonight for dinner!

  24. Irene

    November 4, 2012 3:00 am - Reply

    Hi Jen! I made this last night with your guacamole and home made tortillas and it was to die for! The flavours were so fresh and delicious and it was so quick to put together. Thanks for another great recipe!

  25. Ashley

    February 24, 2013 9:44 am - Reply

    This was SO yummy! I’ve made this twice; this last time I used shrimp because it was on sale, perfect! I added a little cumin and onion and garlic powder to the spice mix, so good :) I also quadrupled the spice mix and I use it on EVERYTHING – thanks!

    • foodess

      February 25, 2013 9:21 am - Reply

      Glad you like!! :)