Grilled Salmon with Tabbouleh and Fresh Green Harissa

Grilled Salmon with Tabbouleh and Fresh Green Harissa
Photo by Grace Parisi

Harissa, North Africa’s most recognized hot sauce, is usually brick red from the dried red chiles that get pulverized along with spices and oil into a rich and complex paste. Spices include caraway, coriander, cumin, and occasionally rose petals. This variation is bright green thanks to the fresh coriander (cilantro) and green chiles and gets a creamy boost from sour cream for balance.

Grilled Salmon with Tabbouleh and Fresh Green Harissa | Sitka Salmon Shares

Active time: 20 min
Total time: 40 min
Serves: 2


  • ½ cup bulgur wheat
  • Boiling water
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 persian cucumber, diced
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup tightly packed cilantro leaves and stems
  • ½ to 1 serrano chile, depending on heat preference, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 10 to 12 ounces king or coho salmon, cut into 2 pieces, pin bones removed
  • 2 naan breads


Make the Tabbouleh

In a medium bowl, cover the bulgur with 1 cup boiling water. Cover and let sit until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Stir in the tomato, cucumber, parsley, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of the oil and season with salt and pepper. 

Make the Harissa

In a blender or food processor, purée the cilantro, serrano chile, garlic, caraway, cumin, and ¼ cup of the oil until smooth. Add the sour cream and pulse to combine. Transfer to a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Grill the Salmon and Naan

Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat and oil the grates. Pat the salmon dry with paper towels, rub all over with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Brush the naan with oil.

Add the salmon to the grill, skin-side up and cook, turning once until lightly charred and the skin is crisp, 8 to 10 minutes depending on thickness of the fillet. Avoid turning the fish until it easily releases from the grates and is lightly charred. Add the naan to the grill and cook, turning occasionally, until lightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes. 


Spoon some of the harissa over the fish and serve the tabbouleh and naan alongside. Enjoy!

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Pro Tips

Spice it Up (or Down)

Spice it Up (or Down)

Serrano and jalapeño chiles can be pretty spicy. For a less fiery harissa, substitute some or all of them with mild banana chiles or cubanelles. 

Change it Up

Change it Up

This sauce is great on fish, but you’ll find many other delicious ways to enjoy it — chicken, lamb burgers, grilled crusty bread, fried halloumi cheese, or even a super deluxe BLT.  

Lighten it Up

Lighten it Up

Fat-free yogurt lacks the creamy mouthfeel of its full-fat counterpart, so opt for whole milk yogurt for a slightly reduced-fat alternative to sour cream.

Pair it Up

Pair it Up

Grapes like Assyrtiko in Greek white wines are bright and crisp and have a refreshing minerality, perfect for pairing with the Mediterranean flavors of this dish. 


*The information displayed is our analysis of the recipe based on its ingredients and preparation, and should not be considered a substitute for professional nutrition advice.

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