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Horizontal image of several salmon tacos in corn tortillas on a tan and brown ceramic serving platter, topped with homemade tomatillo guacamole and red cabbage slaw, on a striped blue, gray, and white cloth with scattered sprigs of cilantro, with small dishes of slaw, sauce, and sour cream in the background, on a brown wood surface.

Salmon Tacos with Tomatillo Guacamole and Red Cabbage Slaw

  • Author: Meghan Yager
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8-12 tacos 1x


Whether you grill up this fish or prepare it in the broiler, this dish offers a delicious new twist on taco night. And it’s insanely easy to make.



For the Guacamole:

  • 2 medium tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed (approx. 56 oz)
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and diced
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, divided
  • Juice of 1 lime, divided
  • 1 ripe Haas avocado
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided, plus more to taste

For the Slaw:

  • 2 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 5 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (approx. 1 ¼ lbs)

For the Tacos:

  • 2 pounds salmon fillet, skin on, center cut, about 1 inch thick
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely ground coffee
  • 1 teaspoon packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 812 small corn or flour tortillas
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Hot sauce (optional)
  • Freshly chopped cilantro, for garnish


To Make the Guacamole and Slaw:

  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and add the tomatillos. Simmer for about 3 minutes – they’ll turn sort of olive green. Remove from water and submerge in an ice bath or set aside to cool for a few minutes, until you can handle them without burning your fingers.
  2. Peel the tomatillos if desired, then give them a rough chop.
  3. In a food processor, process together the tomatillo, onion, jalapeno, 1 tablespoon cilantro, and half of the lime juice, until fairly smooth. Then, pulse in the avocado. Season with salt to taste. Set aside.
  4. Toss together the sliced red cabbage with the remaining lime juice from the guacamole and remaining cilantro. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt. Set aside for at least 10 minutes before serving.

To Make the Salmon and Assemble:

  1. Pat fillets dry with a paper towel. In a small bowl, stir together the coffee, brown sugar, cumin, coriander, chili powder, ½ teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon olive oil. Use a brush to coat the tops of the salmon fillets with the spice mixture.
  2. Oil and preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Grill the salmon, skin side down, just until it flakes easily with a fork, about 8-10 minutes. Alternatively, you can broil the salmon on an aluminum-lined rimmed baking sheet, just until it flakes easily with a fork, for about 10-12 minutes on High.
  3. Remove from the heat. Use a spatula to lift the salmon pieces off of their skins and onto a serving platter. Break the flesh up into chunks.
  4. Quickly warm your tortillas. Then, serve the salmon in tortillas topped with the tomatillo guacamole and cabbage. If desired, you can also add some sour cream and your favorite hot sauce.


Nutritional information below does not include optional toppings.

  • Category: Tacos
  • Method: Grilling, Broiling
  • Cuisine: Fish and Seafood

Keywords: fish tacos, salmon, cabbage slaw, tomatillo, guacamole