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Ancho Chili Salmon in Lettuce Tacos

  • All Salmon
  • Heart healthy
  • Recipe Contest Winner
  • Active Time:10 min
  • Total Time:30 min
  • Servings:4
  • Difficulty:Easy
Photo by Kelley Jordan

Our recipe contest is an annual thrill at Sitka Seafood Market. Our members gets the chance to showcase their culinary talents and share their home-grown recipes with a broader community of conscientious seafood lovers.

Enjoy this recipe from 2019 finalist, Rebeca Itzkowich. All salmon species work in this recipe! Chef’s secret: If you can’t find dried ancho chilies, try using 3 teaspoons ground ancho chile powder or 3 teaspoons mild paprika and a large pinch of red pepper flakes.


For the Salmon:

  • 2 cedar grilling planks

  • 3 ancho chili peppers,

  • 1/2 cup of raw peanuts

  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds

  • 1/4 of large yellow onion, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice

  • Juice of one lemon

  • 1 teaspoon of salt

  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper

  • ½ cube of vegetable bouillon

  • 1 1/2 pounds salmon

For Serving:

  • 12 large iceberg lettuce leaves, for the tacos

  • 1/2 small pineapple, cut into very small squares

  • 1/2 large red onion, minced

  • Green scallions, thinly sliced

  • Cilantro leaves, chopped



Soak the cedar grilling planks in water at least two hours before grilling.


Soak ancho chiles in warm water for 15 minutes. Carefully remove seeds and inside ribs from the chilies. In a cast iron frying pan over medium-low heat, brown the chili peppers, peanuts, sesame seeds, and onion, stirring constantly. Peppers will become soft and pliable and the ingredients will release a wonderful aroma. When they are beginning to brown, remove from the heat.

Place the browned ingredients in a food processor with the olive oil, orange and lemon juices, bouillon, salt and pepper. Blend together until smooth.


Place the salmon filet skin-side down on the cedar plank. Rub the mixture over the salmon.

Grill over medium heat for 12-15 minutes, checking the salmon for doneness after about 12 minutes. The salmon is done when it flakes gently.


To assemble the tacos, create large flakes of salmon using a fork. Place salmon on lettuce leaves. Add pineapple, red onion, scallions, and cilantro as desired. We love the addition of a cool, creamy sauce to go with these tacos, such as our charred scallion and lime crema.