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The long standing hashtag of #TacoTuesday is proof that tacos never gets old — *especially* fish tacos. They do, however, tend to be on the predictable side which is exactly why I wanted to put a seasonal spin on these bad boys: to demonstrate that fish tacos can in fact be versatile. With fall coming, I thought this was the perfect opportunity.

The inspiration for this recipe comes from good ol’ North Carolina BBQ and my husband, who is the pit master in our group of friends. His pulled pork is mind-blowingly delicious, and despite his modesty, he could easily compete with the big guns in the Raleigh area. His dry rub and mop for it are lip-smackingly delicious and, now that I’m pescetarian, I’ve been missing out.

Until now…

If that, right up there ^, isn’t flaky perfection, then I don’t know what is. With a piquant dry rub made up of brown sugar, cayenne pepper, and crushed chilies, and smoked paprika, not to mention a mop that’s made up of the same ingredients with a splash of tangy apple cider vinegar, this salmon can be eaten just as is!

But the tacos are damn good, so let’s stay focused.

Salmon Taco + Apple Almond Slaw | Killing Thyme

Trust Orca Bay for Sustainable Seafood

Anyone who’s new to shopping for sustainable seafood can vouch for the fact that it can be puzzling; there are so many labels and so many fishing methods! A lot of people are under the belief that a failsafe way to getting sustainable seafood is at the fish counter — but that’s not always the case, and frozen seafood has come a long way in a short period of time as far as quality and sustainability goes. 

Making this recipe? Snap a pic and tag me on Instagram: @Killing__Thyme /#killingthyme. For more delish eats, follow me on INSTAGRAM + PINTEREST.

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Sweet and Spicy Salmon Tacos With Apple Almond Slaw

These fall-inspired Sweet and Spicy Salmon Tacos With Apple Almond Slaw have the perfect balance of sweet, smoky, tangy, tender, and crunchy.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
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  • 1 lb Orca Bay Alaska Sockeye Salmon
  • 4-6 soft flour tortillas

Apple Almond Slaw

  • 2 oz red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 apple, skin on, julienned, I like to use honeycrisp or gala
  • 1 oz red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 TBSP pomegranate arils, you can also use dried cranberries for a sweeter bite
  • 1/2-1 cup shaved almonds, toasted* (see notes), I like to use 1 full cup since I'm a sucker for a lot of crunch

Apple Cider Mop (You will end up with extra, but that's okay! It keeps in the fridge for months and use it again on other meats or with other slaws!)

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper

Sweet and Spicy Dry Rub

  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika

Optional toppings

  • Microgreens


Apple Cider Mop

  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix all of the ingredients for the cider mop until well blended. Taste. If you want more heat, simply add more crushed red pepper. Set aside.

Apple Almond Slaw

  • Prepare all of the slaw ingredients and toss into a large bowl. ( *See notes for toasting almonds.) Add 1/4 cup of the mop to the slaw and toss to coat. If you feel you need a bit more, add some more of the liquid bit by bit until you reach desired coverage. 

Sweet and Spicy Dry Rub

  • In a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients for the dry rub until well blended. Set aside.


  • Remove salmon from fridge, unpack it, and set it on a baking sheet. Pat it dry with paper towels and let it come to room temp, approx. 15 minutes. In the meantime, pre heat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Once the salmon has come to room temp, evenly distribute the dry rub over the salmon and, with clean hands, massage it into the fillet until evenly coated.
  • Bake salmon at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes, or until it flakes perfectly and has an internal temp of 140-145 degrees F.
  • Remove from oven and, with a fork, flake the entire fillet of salmon into nice bite-sized flakes.
  • With basting brush, baste approx. 1/4 - 1/2 cup of the mop onto the flaked salmon fillet to moisten it up.
  • Transfer flaked salmon to tortillas, add desired amount of slaw, and top with microgreens if desired.


To toast almonds: heat the almonds in a dry, heavy skillet over medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes or until they're golden brown and fragrant. Keep a close eye on them so they don't burn. They take a while to warm up, but once they start to brown, they brown quickly.
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Salmon Tacos + Apple Almond Slaw | Killing Thyme

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  1. Looks Delicious! We don’t really eat that much salmon(why? I’m not really sure haha) but this recipe almost makes me want to go to the store and get some so I can make these tacos right now! I’ll be trying them next week, i’m trying to simplify meals now that I have a 1 year old hanging of me as I cook!