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Grilled Wild Salmon Tacos by Sara Forte

Grilled Wild Salmon Tacos by Sara Forte

Sara Forte is the writer behind the award-winning blog Sprouted Kitchen, and a cookbook author based in Southern California. She is known for her healthful and seasonal recipes, her passion for easygoing gatherings, and her witty reflections on cooking and family life.

Here Forte shares her recipe for grilled wild salmon tacos, her family's favourite way to eat the fish during wild salmon season (usually May to September), and excerpted from the cookbook Why We Cook by Lindsay Gardner.



30 April, 2021
Average: 4 (4 votes)

serves for



Avocado oil
Neutral oil, such as avocado, for oiling the grill grate, if grilling
Extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
Red chili powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
Cayenne pepper
Dash of cayenne
Maple syrup
1 tablespoon maple syrup
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¾ teaspoon sea salt
1½-pound fillet of wild salmon or fish of your choice
Lime juice
Juice of one large lime, to finish
Avocado Sauce
2 cloves garlic, peeled
½ bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
1 jalapeño, mostly seeded, roughly chopped
¼ cup roasted pepitas
Lime juice
Juice of one large lime
Extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt, plus extra to taste
2 medium avocados, pitted
For Serving
3 to 4 cups finely shredded cabbage
½ bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
Corn tortillas
6 scallions, roughly chopped
Toasted pepitas, for garnish
Hot sauce
Pickled onion

Excerpted from Why We Cook: Women on Food, Identity, and Connection by Lindsay Gardner. Copyright © 2021 by Lindsay Gardner. Art by Lindsay Gardner. Recipe © 2021 by Sara Forte. Used by permission of Workman Publishing Co., Inc., New York. All rights reserved.

Why We Cook_Book Cover

Step 01

Make the salmon: Clean and oil the grates. Heat your grill to medium-low. If the grill sounds like a hassle, preheat the oven to 375°F

Step 02

In a small bowl, make a paste by mixing the 2 tablespoons olive oil, chili powder, cayenne, maple syrup, cumin, and salt. Rub it onto the flesh of the fish and let it sit for about 15 minutes.

Step 03

While you wait, make the avocado sauce: In a food processor or blender, combine the garlic, ½ bunch cilantro, jalapeño, ¼ cup pepitas, lime juice, 3 tablespoons olive oil, and salt, plus ½ cup water, and pulse a few times. Add the flesh of the avocados and pulse again until combined, but not completely pureed. (You’re going for a consistency that’s thinner than guacamole but thicker than salad dressing.) If it looks too thick, add lime juice or water to thin. Taste for seasoning and set aside. Store covered in the fridge if making the sauce in advance.

Step 04

Grill the fillet (with the lid closed) to medium doneness, about 8 minutes. I don’t like flipping the fish on the grill—it’s a mess—so I just cook on one side until it’s done. If you’re using the oven, roast the salmon for 10 to 15 minutes (you can assume about 10 minutes per inch of thickness). Transfer the fish to a platter and let it rest for a few minutes. Squeeze the lime juice over the top of the fish and gently flake it apart to create the taco filling.

Step 05

In a small bowl, toss the cabbage and ½ bunch cilantro with a bit of avocado sauce to coat. Warm the tortillas in a pan or over a flame. Assemble your tacos: Add a spoonful of sauce, a portion of fish, and generous topping of cabbage on top. Garnish with scallions, toasted pepitas, hot sauce, and pickled onions, if you’ve got them.


Note: The avocado sauce will keep in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.

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