These healthy salmon tacos with pineapple and salsa verde are easy and quick to prepare, making them a great weekday dinner option or a perfect take-away lunch.
The anatomy of a real taco
No, tacos don’t only mean greasy fast food in a deep fried hard corn shell, with chipotle mayo and cream dripping out of them. Unfortunately Mexican food is often confused with its Americanised half-brother, Tex-Mex. In reality, Mexican tacos can make a splendid meal as they contain everything you need in a nutritious meal: a soft shell corn tortilla, some meat (or beans/rice for vegetarians), some good quality salsa, which is traditionally homemade, fresh coriander, lime juice and some other veggies as topping, such as onions, for example.
So, in case I haven’t convinced you yet, here’s an infographic that draws the full anatomy of real Mexican tacos:
My Mexican food experience
My very limited Mexican food experience, here in Europe, includes some very Tex-Mex burritos and hard shell tacos full of melted cheese, nachos with cheese dip (yikes) and Hard Rock Café quesadillas. I have, however, tried some delicious Mexican in Costa Rica. One of the reasons why I love Central American food is their use of limes and cilantro/coriander. They’re both really healthy and full of vitamin C, not to add that they give the food such nice flavours and make it refreshing and light.
Healthy Salmon Tacos
Of course, when I built this recipe I never intended for it to be traditional Mexican, as I cannot claim that without diving deeper into their cuisine and discovering its core in its motherland.
I had fish tacos in a pretty average place in San Diego, and that was enough to give me the idea. Plus, my friend Anne, who lives in Costa Rica, just recently gave me her recipe for the pineapple salsa that sounded really tasty, so I couldn’t wait to try it out. I also really love salmon, so somehow, every thread came together and that’s how I put together this recipe. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as my boyfriend and I do!
- 750g salmon fillet, skin off and cubed
- 1 tbsp ancho chilli flakes
- Juice from 1 lime
- 1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- a pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp black mustard seeds
- 1 medium pineapple, cubed
- 1 large handful of coriander
- Juice from ½ lime
- 8 medium sized corn tortillas
- 300g good quality salsa verde
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
- Juice from 1 lime
- 1 handful of coriander (for topping)
- First, start by preparing the salmon. Marinate the cubed salmon with the chilli, nutmeg, cumin powder, salt and lime juice and refrigerate it until you’re done preparing the rest.
- For the pineapple, heat sesame oil in a pan on high heat and add black mustard seeds. As soon as they start popping and the pineapple cubes and stir well. Keep the heat high for the water to evaporate and stir for five minutes. Add the coriander and mix well. Remove from the stove and set aside.
- Mix the onion, bell pepper and juice from one lime in a small bowl.
- Now it’s time to prepare the salmon. Add it to a pan and cook until done through (for about 5 minutes). I don’t normally add any fat, since the salmon is quite fatty itself.
- Time to start putting together the tacos. Start with the corn tortilla, then add two-three tbsp. of salsa verde (depending on how spicy you want it to be). On tos of the salsa verde add some pineapple pieces, salmon and then some of the onion and bell pepper mix. Finally sprinkle some fresh coriander and enjoy!
- If you don’t mind putting an extra 5 minutes into the recipe, I strongly recommend making the salsa verde yourself! It’s super easy, I promise, and here’s the my usual recipe: http://bit.ly/bs-salsa-verde
Love, happyholism and nom-nom,