Meals with Midgi: Perfecting Southeast Salmon Tacos

on July 8, 2016

Is it me, or is there an abundance of places in town with extraordinarily delicious fish tacos? There’s the Hangar, with its seared halibut fish tacos. V’s Cellar Door restaurant and food truck have killer fish tacos. Then there’s the Taqueria. Let’s not forget the Baranof’s Capital Café, which has amazing fish tacos. So good in fact, they were one of the top tastings on my tour last summer.

New on the scene this year is Deckhand Dave’s. Dave McCasland is cooking up some of the best fish tacos I’ve ever tasted. His salmon tacos are stuff of legend. Recently, I met Dave and had the opportunity to chat with him for a few minutes. What a great guy! He’s so personable and passionate about his food. He speaks my language. His tartar sauce has to have a very specific pickle so that it has the perfect crunch and acidity. No other pickle will do. He prides himself on using the best of ingredients and it shows. I’ll definitely be a regular at this food truck.

I’ve made lots of rockfish and halibut fish tacos and have published a few recipes. But I haven’t done a salmon taco. I suppose it just never occurred to me that salmon would make a good fish taco. No idea why I would have that assumption, but there you go. Dave changed that mindset for me. After dining at Dave’s my head kept swirling with the idea of making salmon tacos.

The thing about Alaska and fish tacos is that typically the fish is beer battered and then deep fried. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love me some beer battered fish, but for salmon I wanted to do something a little bit different. And fast. As noted in previous columns, it’s summer. I’m busy. Not a whole lot of time to spend in the kitchen.

It all gets down to the chopping. I actually find chopping and prepping relaxing on most days. There’s something almost therapeutic about the act of dicing and the smells of the fresh produce or herbs as I slice, dice, or mince. It puts me in my happy place. A good rule is chop once, use twice. This means if you need something for two recipes or additional garnish, chop it all at the same time. No sense in going back to the cutting board. See what I did there?

For this recipe, I prepared the fish two different ways to see which I preferred. I was looking for something lighter, yet full of flavor. I came up with blackened and herb crusted. Both had the same toppings, but with distinct flavors.

The best part of this recipe is that there are two versions of the tacos and two different sauces. You can make all of them for a taco party of your own, or just one, whichever you prefer. Who doesn’t love variety?

After the chopping and prep work, I set to cooking and the fish was ready in about five minutes. The total cooking/prep time was about 30 minutes. Enlist some help and you’ll have dinner on the table in no time. A small filet, about 4 ounces, fits perfectly into a small tortilla. These recipes will work with any fish, even chicken if you like.

This week I present a taste of summer that was inspired by Juneau’s delicious dining scene: Salmon Fish Tacos. I am now on a personal mission to try every place that has fish tacos, so please send in your suggestions. I’m on the hunt.

Until next time…

Eat and enjoy,

Midgi

BLACKENED SALMON TACOS

6 ounces salmon filets, deboned and skin removed

2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning, (Konriko or Old Bay work great)

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 corn or flour tortillas

Heat skillet or grill pan to medium high. Add oil. Season both sides of the fish well with Cajun seasoning blend. The more spice you use, the hotter the flavor will be. Place in skillet and sear about 2 minutes, turn and sear until cooked through. Depending on the thickness of your fish, allow 5 – 7 minutes for fish to cook thoroughly.

Top with avocado cream, cucumber sauce, and other garnishes.

HERB CRUSTED SALMON TACOS

6 ounces salmon filets, deboned and skin removed

½ cup fresh Italian parsley

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

½ cup olive oil

Juice from ½ lime

6 corn or flour tortillas

In small food processor, combine parsley, thyme, olive oil and lime juice. Blend well, until it makes a paste.

Preheat skillet to medium. Coat fish with mixture and place in skillet. Cook about 2 minutes, turn and sear until cooked through. Depending in the thickness of your fish, allow 5 – 7 minutes for fish to cook thoroughly.

Top with avocado cream, cucumber sauce, and other garnishes

AVOCADO CREAM

1 ripe avocado

¼ cup mayonnaise

½ cup sour cream

½ cup cilantro

Juice from 1 lime

Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender and mix until smooth. Use as desired.

CUCUMBER SAUCE

½ English cucumber, diced

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced

½ cup sour cream

¼ cup mayo

½ cup fresh parsley, chopped

Juice from 1 lime

Combine all ingredients in bowl and mix well. Use as desired.

GARNISHES

Fresh cilantro, chopped

Shredded cheese

Pico de gallo

Whatever you enjoy

Join Our Mailing List

Monthly updates about discounts on upcoming tours, gift certificates and more.

Sign Up