Salmon Tempura Sushi Taco – crispy tempura seaweed taco shell filled with crispy tempura salmon cubes, sticky rice, avocado, cucumber, green onion, sesame seeds, and sriracha mayo. It’s incredibly flavorful, combining so many different textures and tastes, and best of all, it’s so easy to make!
This recipe was made in partnership with the Boise Co-op. The Boise Co-op has been providing fresh, local and organic products since 1973. Learn more about the Boise Co-op here.
Sushi Tacos are such a fun twist on traditional Japanese sushi! Or are they a twist on traditional Mexican tacos?!
Truth be told, this is definitely a sushi recipe because the only thing about them that resembles a classic taco is their shape!
My entire family devoured these taco sushi shells loaded with all of the usual items we would normally have in our sushi rolls. The extra light and airy crisp texture from the tempura was a bonus that everyone loved!
So, the next time you want to make something a little different and extra special for sushi night, these sushi tacos are a must-try!
What is Tempura?
Tempura is a word that refers to something that has been lightly battered and deep-fried. Meat, seafood, and vegetables can all be made into tempura.
It’s made without breadcrumbs and it is traditionally made without seasoning. The flavor comes from whatever is on the inside.
Ingredients for Sushi Tacos
- For the Tempura Batter: Flour, potato starch, egg, cold vodka, and cold carbonated water. The carbonated water helps create air bubbles and the vodka helps the batter set nicely. Both work together to create an airy crispy coating.
- Salmon: Fresh salmon filets (no fishy smell), skin removed and cut into bite-sized cubes. Using a sharp knife makes this much easier.
- Seaweed: These are dry sheets that usually come in a square shape. Otherwise known as nori sheets, these sheets are thin as paper and dried pressed seaweed that provides a ton of nutrients. They also make a great snack! Cut them into circles to turn them into taco shells. Keep any scraps for toppings.
- Fillings: Cooked sushi rice, sliced avocado, julienned cucumber, chopped green onions
- Garnish: Sesame seeds, sriracha mayo, and soy sauce for serving.
- Avocado oil: I use this a lot for cooking, it has a high heat point and a neutral flavor.
How to Make Tempura Batter
Step 1: In a mixing bowl mix the flour with potato starch and set it aside.
Step 2: In a different bowl whisk the egg with vodka and then add carbonated water and mix to combine. You should see it start to bubble and fizz.
Step 3: Whisk the egg mixture into the flour mixture until combined and bubbly. Do not overmix. You’ve trapped the air, you don’t want to lose it!
How to Make Sushi Tacos
Step 1: Add 2 inches of oil to the pot over medium heat. Allow it to preheat.
Step 2: In the meantime, add potato starch to a small bowl on its own. You’ll use this to dip the salmon cubes in before coating them in tempura. It helps it to stick.
Step 3: Once the pieces of salmon are dipped in the batter, add it to the pot to fry. Do not overcrowd the pot, only drop a few pieces at a time.
Step 4: Fry the salmon until it is cooked through and the tempura is lightly golden.
Step 5: Use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb the excess grease. Repeat with remaining salmon.
Step 6: To fry the seaweed, carefully coat the nori circles with tempura batter and fry them until golden on both sides. While still hot, fold them into a taco shape (even better if you have a taco stand), and repeat with the rest of the seaweed.
Assembling Sushi Tacos
Fill the taco shells with sushi rice, crispy salmon bites, cucumbers, and avocado. Top with spicy mayo, green onion, and sesame seeds. Serve with soy sauce for dipping ;).
Enjoy immediately before it gets cold and soggy!
Have everything ready to go. Heat the oil, set up the potato starch, and have the salmon cubes ready to dip as soon as the tempura is made. Once the seaweed tempura is fried be sure to shape it before it cools and sets.
The oil must be hot enough. Use a candy thermometer to test. It should be between 335-350F for optimal frying temperature. Make sure to only add salmon or seaweed once the oil is hot enough.
Do not overcrowd the pot. This will drop the temperature of the oil and possibly have things stick to one another.
Swap the salmon with another type of fish or seafood. Tuna, shrimp, or crab are all great options.
How to avoid soggy tempura?
The main culprit of soggy tempura is adding anything to the oil before it is hot enough. When this happens, the salmon (or whatever it is) absorbs too much oil waiting for it to get hot enough.
When there is too much oil collected it ends up mushy and soggy.
What is the difference between sushi rice and regular white rice?
Regular white rice is just rice that is cooked, it’s not sticky like sushi rice. Sushi rice is a short-grain white rice, when it cooks it turns sticky.
I like to cook my sushi rice inside instant pot 1 cup sushi rice with 1 cup of water, cook for 10 minutes on “Rice” setting, then quick release the pressure and voila!
Check Out More DELICIOUS Recipes
Tempura Salmon Sushi Taco
- strainer spoon
For Tempura Batter
- 3/4 cup flour
- 3/4 cup potato starch 1/4 cup for the batter & 1/2 cup for dipping salmon
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup vodka cold
- 3/4 cup carbonated water cold
For Sushi Tacos
- 1 lb salmon skin removed & cut into bite size cubes
- 8 sheets seaweed cut into circles
- 1 cup sushi rice cooked
- 1 avocado peeled & sliced
- 1/2 english cucumber cut into tiny strips
- 3 tablespoons green onion chopped
- 4 tablespoons mayo mixed with sriracha, to taste
- 1 teaspoon sriracha or to taste
- sesame seeds for garnish, 100% optional
- soy sauce for serving
- avocado oil or any oil of your choice for frying
How to Make Tempura Batter
- In a mixing bowl, mix flour with potato starch and set aside. In a different bowl whisk egg with vodka, then add carbonated water. Whisk until combined.
- Pour egg mixture into flour mixture and whisk until everything is combined, whisk up to a minute (be careful not to over-mix).
How to Make Sushi Tacos
- Pour oil into the pot filling it up to 2 inch from the bottom. Preheat over medium heat. Coat each salmon piece inside the potato starch, then dip it into the tempura batter, after add it to the pot to fry.
- Fry until salmon is cooked thru, about few minutes stirring few times, transfer onto a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat with the rest of the salmon.
- To fry seaweed, carefully coat seaweed circles into the tempura batter, then fry it until golden color on both sides, transfer onto a plate lined with paper towel and fold it into a taco shape. Repeat with the rest of the seaweed.
- Assemble tacos with sushi rice, spicy Mayo, cucumbers, avocado, crispy salmon bites, more sauce, green onion and sesame seeds. Serve with soy sauce. Enjoy!
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