Sour Orange BBQ'd Salmon Taco with Red Cabbage Slaw and Smoked Chile Sauce

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr
  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Inactive: 40 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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2 (10-ounce) salmon fillets

Olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Salt and freshly ground pepper 

Sour Orange BBQ Sauce, recipe follows

8 (6-inch flour) tortillas, cut to size

Smoked Chile Sauce, recipe follows

Red Cabbage Slaw, recipe follows

Cilantro leaves

Sour Orange BBQ Sauce:

2 cups fresh orange juice

 1 cup red wine vinegar

 1 cup white wine vinegar

 3 cups granulated sugar

 1 orange, zest grated

 3 tablespoons canola oil

 1 large Spanish onion, coarsely chopped

 1 head garlic, coarsely chopped

 1 habanero chile, coarsely chopped

3 cups canned plum tomatoes and juices, chopped

 3 cups canned plum tomatoes and juices, chopped

 1/4 cup ketchup

 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

 2 tablespoons honey

 1/4 cup molasses

 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

 3 tablespoons ancho chili powder

 2 canned chipotle chiles, pureed

 Salt and freshly ground pepper

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Smoked Chile Sauce:

 1 cup prepared mayonnaise

 2 tablespoons chipotle puree

 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Red Cabbage Slaw:

 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

 1/2 small red onion, coarsely chopped

 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves

 1 tablespoon honey

 1/2 cup canola oil 

Salt and pepper

 1/2 head red cabbage, finely shredded


  1. Heat grill to high. 
  2. Brush salmon with oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Grill the salmon skin-side down for 3 to 4 minutes or until charred and a crust has formed. Brush with some of the BBQ sauce, flip over and continue grilling for 2 to 3 minutes for medium doneness. Remove from the grill and brush with more of the sauce. Let rest 5 minutes and flake with a fork.
  3. Grill tortillas for 20 seconds per side. Divide the salmon among the tortillas, top with the red cabbage slaw and smoked chile sauce and cilantro leaves; fold and eat.

Sour Orange BBQ Sauce:

  1. Place orange juice, vinegars and sugar in a medium nonreactive saucepan and cook until reduced to approximately 1 cup and thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the zest. Set aside. 
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the onion, garlic and habanero and cook until soft. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until the tomatoes are soft and the sauce has thickened, about 40 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. 
  3. Transfer the sauce to a medium saucepan and whisk in the reduced orange/vinegar mixture and cook for 10 minutes. Let cool.

Smoked Chile Sauce:

  1. Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Red Cabbage Slaw:

  1. Combine all ingredients, except cabbage, in a blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Place cabbage in a large bowl and toss with the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper and let sit 30 minutes in the refrigerator before serving.

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