Roasted salmon tacos baja–med style with fragrant cucumber salsa

Roasted salmon tacos baja–med style with fragrant cucumber salsa

Chris Middleton

Baja–med is a delicious fusion of Mexican and Mediterranean cookery found in the border town of Tijuana and elsewhere in Mexico’s Baja California. These tacos are fresh, colourful and abundant, like the region. Cooking the salmon in two pieces is a simple technique that will ensure the fish will be moist, luscious and evenly cooked.


Quantity Ingredient
12 Tortilla dough, homemade masa flour tortillas
or 12 store-bought tortillas
Tamarind chilli mole


Quantity Ingredient
1 x 400g pin-boned atlantic salmon fillet, skin on
olive oil, for frying
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 large salad onion, sliced
1/2 small dried chipotle chilli, finely sliced, (see Latin Larder)
1 yellow bullhorn chilli, sliced into rounds, (see Latin Larder)
200g mixed red and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
75g kalamata olives, halved
75ml sherry vinegar
1 orange, juiced
75ml agave syrup
1 bunch basil leaves, shredded

Cucumber salsa

Quantity Ingredient
2 peeled lebanese cucumbers, finely diced
1/2 bunch dill
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds, toasted
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 limes, juiced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. To prepare the salmon, using a sharp knife, cut the salmon fillet along the seam of flesh that separates the belly from the loin. Cut into two pieces, separating the belly from the loin.
  3. Heat a splash of olive oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over high heat. Season the salmon pieces with salt, then place them in the hot pan, skin side down, and cook for 2 minutes, pressing the pieces down with your hands to ensure they cook flat. Cook for a further 1 minute, then transfer to the oven, skin side down, and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Remove the salmon from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack, then cut into 2.5 cm thick slices using a sharp knife.
  5. Add another splash of olive oil to the pan together with the garlic, onion, chipotle, bullhorn chilli, tomatoes and olives and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the vinegar and orange juice, bring to a simmer and cook until the liquid has almost evaporated, then add the agave syrup and simmer until reduced to a thick, sticky coating.
  6. Transfer the vegetable mixture to a small bowl, add the basil leaves and season to taste. Set aside to cool.
  7. Heat a medium non-stick pan over high heat. Lightly spray with oil and briefly fry the tortillas to warm them. Stack the tortillas, wrap in a warm damp tea towel and set aside to keep warm.
  8. To make the salsa, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  9. To serve, divide the tortillas among serving plates. Spoon over a little tamarind chilli mole, if using, and top with the salmon slices, vegetable mix and a pile of the salsa. Serve immediately with more tamarind chilli mole on the side for dipping.
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