If you’re a foodie you may have heard of harissa, but if you haven’t, keep reading because I have you covered. Harissa has been around for centuries in Northern African and Middle Eastern cuisine and has gained mainstream popularity in the last several years. For those of us living in parts of the world where it is not more common, the popularity in recent years means that it is now widely available in your local grocery store! It’s usually found in the “ethnic” section of the grocery or if you’re lucky enough to have a middle eastern or African section all to itself, you may find it there as well.
The flavor of harissa is complex, and if you enjoy the bold flavors of Mexican or Indian cuisines, this should be on your to-try list. Harissa is usually made from roasted red peppers, chilies, salt, garlic, olive oil and varying spices such as cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, and others depending on what location and region the harissa is from. It’s sweet, smokey, and a tad acidic. The heat can range from mild to spicy, but I love a little kick as it balances out the sweetness from the red peppers and compliments the smokiness of the cumin. It’s an extremely versatile condiment, and I eat it on everything from eggs to any kind of meat or seafood! I started putting it on salmon quite a while ago and it’s currently my favorite way to prepare it. This salmon could be eaten as prepared in the recipe without the taco part, but I love the idea of eating them as tacos as it makes the salmon go further and everyone I know seems to love fish tacos!
Shop this recipe:
Cumin – widely available spice, but I use this so much in taco seasonings and spice blends that I love buying this big bottle
Red Pepper Flake – I love red pepper flake for adding a little extra heat to my dishes. It loses its spice over time so if yours has been hanging around for more than 6 months, it may be time for a new jar.
Harissa Roasted Salmon Tacos with Red Cabbage Carrot Slaw
Makes 10-12 tacos
- 20-24 oz fresh salmon fillets ( about 2 normal sized fillets or one large one)
- 4 tablespoons harissa paste* (Mina harissa is my favorite widely available brand)
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Red pepper flake (optional if you’d like a little more heat)
- 12 soft corn tortillas
*If you can’t find harissa paste, you can use a mixture of 2 teaspoons powdered harissa spice + 2 teaspoons olive oil +1/8 teaspoon kosher salt.
For the slaw:
- 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
- 3/4 cup shredded carrots
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (my favorite is Fage brand) or dairy free plain yogurt
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon coriander
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 425 Fahrenheit
- In a medium sized bowl, place 1 cup shredded cabbage and 3/4 cup shredded carrots. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon honey, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1/8 teaspoon coriander, and a pinch of salt. Add the yogurt mixture to the cabbage and carrots and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate.
- In a small bowl mix 4 tablespoons harissa paste and 1/4 teaspoon cumin (or see ingredients list for making a paste from harissa spice powder instead)
- Place your salmon fillets skin side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicon baking mat. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and cover evenly with the harissa paste mixture.
- Roast for 20-23 minutes or until the salmon flakes off easily with a fork.
- Meanwhile, char the tortillas over an open burner set to low-medium on a gas stove or heat them in a skillet or griddle medium-high heat 30 seconds per side.
- When the salmon has finished cooking, flake with a fork and build tacos. Top with slaw, extra harissa, and a squeeze of lime if you’d like.
Salmon Skin: Don’t worry about removing the skin from the salmon. After it roasts, you will be able to remove the fillets from the skin very easily.