Recipe // Sweet & Spicy Salmon Teriyaki Tacos with Cucumber Salad

“Spicy, sweet, protein packed, plenty of textures. It’s absolutely a must try.”

I’ve been having some fun with the Plated meals and learning a lot about their process – as well as my own tastes and inspirations as a cook (and blooming chef!). I’m learning a lot about textures, flavors, seasoning, spice, and the untold importance of appropriate side dishes. 

This is the first Plated meal we tried – Salmon Teriyaki Tacos with Seaweed Salad. I really liked the idea of the teriyaki with the salmon, finished with my favorite fish delivery system – tacos. So I made some notes when I was making the recipe the first time, and this is my take on it. I’ve balanced some of the flavors out, scrapped the seaweed salad, and switched up the side dishes. Enjoy!


Recipe // Salmon Teriyaki Tacos

Warning: I am not a professional chef. I do not use exact measurements. I provide guidelines. Season everything to your own taste. Leave out what you want to eat. Add what you enjoy. Take your time. Make with care. Assemble. Prep. Cook!

Makes: Enough Salmon for 6 tacos – depending on how big you like your tacos
Time: 20 min Prep Time, 10 min Cook Time
Survives: 2 days in the fridge
Bang for your Buck:  $$$ // We only buy wild salmon. And wild salmon can get a little pricy, bumps this recipe up a little in cost.

// Ingredients

– 2 fillets of skin-on sockeye salmon
– a pack of taco-sized flour tortillas
– 1 cucumber // English or Tea-Dunking-Colonial Cucumber, whatever you like. I find that the English cucumber is a little stiffer and holds up well to the marinade. But the regular cucumbers are a little sweeter and tender.
– 1 head of cabbage // for filler – or for coleslaw
– 2 green onions 
– 1 clove of garlic
– mayonnaise
– Sriracha
– crushed red pepper flake
– soy sauce
– sugar

// Preparation

1 // Prepare the cucumber salad

– Chop cucumber into fourths
– Chop green onions into fine bits
– Chop garlic very fine
– Mix cucumber, green onions, and garlic in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
– Rest in fridge while you are cooking the rest of the meal

2 // Prepare the marinade

– Combine 1/4 cup of soy sauce with 1/4 cup of mirin. Add in a gentle splash of white wine vinegar. // Traditional teriyaki calls for another 1/4 cup of sake, but we don’t keep sake in the house, so you can use a small splash of white wine vinegar.
– Add 1/2 teaspoon sugar (I use Sugar in the Raw), mix well, taste. Repeat until the teriyaki sauce is sweet enough. // We did about 1 tablespoon.
– Grab your salmon (make sure it’s fully thawed!)
– Pat it dry – on a fish-yuck-resistant surface  like a plastic cutting board (don’t use wood!) – with some paper towels until no longer shiny.
– Add to the marinade, making sure to dip both sides (skin and no-skin). Set aside, leaving the fish skin-side-up in the marinade while you finish cooking // There will be a desire to leave this in the marinade for a long time – but don’t let it sit for more than 30 minutes. There’s something fishy that happens when you leave fish out to sea in marinade for too long.

3 // Preparing the filling

– Heat a sauté pan over medium heat.
– When you can feel the heat above the pan, toast the tortillas for 30 seconds each side. You don’t want to actually toast them, just get them warm.
– Repeat for all 6 tortillas
– While tortillas are toasting, combine 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise (of your choosing, I use Hellman’s) with 3 – 6  squirts of Sriracha // I like 6 squirts of Sriracha, Foots usually goes for closer to 4. You can taste a little of it after each squirt to make sure it’s too your liking.
– Add a pinch of red pepper flakes. // This is my super-secret to spicy mayo. I find that the Sriracha spice dissipates too quickly. So I add a bit of red pepper just to give the tacos that long-lasting spice that sticks to your lips.
– Take the head of cabbage, chop off one “side” of the cabbage and chop that to bits. You’ll be tempted to just take off a few leaves and chop that up – but you’ll miss a lot of the good crunch! // You’re probably wondering what you’ll do with all that leftover cabbage? No worries, I’ve got you covered.     

4 // Cook the salmon. Finally! The good bit!

– Heat a pan over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Make sure that the oil is dispersed quite well. // Use your most non-stick pan. The teriyaki can get quite messy with the sugar in it. So use something that will be easy to clean.
– Once the oil is hot, add the salmon skin-side down. Then pour the remaining teriyaki marinade over top of the fish. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes on each side – until fish is fully opaque and the internal temperature reaches 145°

5 // The assembly line

– Place tortilla down on plate.
– Add sprinkle of cabbage // or maybe some coleslaw?
– Add sprinkle of salmon
– Drizzle with Sriracha mayo
– Wrap up. Repeat for all 6 tacos.
– Remove cucumber salad from fridge and serve beside it.

Eating Now // Serve immediately beside cucumber salad

Eating Later // Last time I did this recipe, I said there was no way to eat leftovers. But I spent a lot of time thinking about it, and I’ve come up with this.
– Use a fresh tortilla, put in pan over medium heat for 30 seconds. Flip and add salmon into the tortilla. Cook another 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
– Fill with Sriracha mayo, and extra cabbage – or if you made coleslaw, it works great inside of this recipe.
– If you had leftover cucumber, drain excess soy sauce before refrigerating. This helps the cucumbers not get too soft over night. Serve alongside.

And the Oscar for Best Supporting Side-Dish goes to…. Cucumber Salad!

Scorecard // Justice for Salmon

EASE TO MAKE ★★★★☆ – These are pretty easy. It might seem like a lot of steps, but it really is just chop, cut, cook, assemble!

TIME TO MAKE ★★★★★ – Under 30 minutes for a meal for two. You can’t go wrong!

LEFTOVER-ABILITY ★★★☆☆ – Better than the original recipe, but I would eat these within two days (we did 1 dinner, and then lunch the next day). It’s also a little expense (salmon, of course) for just two meals.

TASTINESS ★★★★ – MUCH IMPROVED over the original. I think this way the flavors are much more balanced and blend much better. This recipe is also VERY filling!

The thing we were most surprised by is the coleslaw in this recipe. In the future, we will forego the cabbage – and just insert coleslaw!

REDO-ABILITY ★★★ – Absolutely. This won’t be something we do all the time – just because we like cooking that gives a little more pow in the punch. But we love it as a Friday-night, week-ender kind of meal.


Still 4 out of 5. But it is an EARNED 4 out of 5. Not a potential. I love this recipe. It is fun. It is different. It is REALLY flavorful. Spicy, sweet, protein packed, plenty of textures. It’s wonderful. Absolutely a must try.

Do you know a recipe I should try?
Or do you know a restaurant that does this recipe really well?
Let me know! In the Contact Tab!


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