Holy Frijoles Week

Crunch Into These Cured Salmon Tostadas!

Chef Ben Poremba of St. Louis Mexican mecca Nixta loaned us this tostada recipe for Holy Frijoles Week. Tired of tacos? We don’t really believe you; however if you’re simply looking to switch things up and get a little crunchy, salmon tostadas may just be the thing to shatter you out of your rut. 

This recipe is a collaboration between myself and Executive Chef Tello Carreon. We like to take a familiar item and give an unexpected angle of refinement and ingredients. Tacos are just a couple of quick bites, but tostadas can give you a bit more, with more of a crunch. The salmon tostada was inspired by both of our heritages — Tello’s Mexican background and my Israeli heritage. It’s cured salmon, which we pair with more of a Mediterranean flavor profile: blood oranges, fennel, lime, mandarins. It’s a prefect marriage of our backgrounds into one bite.

Tostada tip: using a tostada basket, line up (homemade or artisan quality) tortillas, and deep fry until crispy, for about 6-8 minutes. We use blue corn and yellow corn tortillas. This step can be done up to a day prior serving.

Crunch Into These Cured Salmon Tostadas!

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Serving Size: 2


Citrus-Fennel Salad
  • 1 fennel, shaved thinly using a mandolin
  • 1 blood orange, segmented
  • 1 large lime, segmented
  • 1 sour orange, segmented
  • 2 radishes, shaved thinly using a mandolin
  • 10 fresh picked mint leaves, rough chopped
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Chile-Lime Mayo
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • Juice and zest of 1 large lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
  • 1/2 garlic clove, microplaned
  • 4 yellow corn tostada shells, each 6-8 inch diameter
  • 1/2 pound fresh sliced sushi-quality salmon, or gravlax (cured salmon) or smoked salmon, homemade or bought from a high-quality producer like Russ and Daughters


For the salad
  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Season with salt. Mix this salad just prior to serving to help maintain crispness.

For the mayo
  1. In a large bowl, whisk all the ingredient together. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the tostadas
  1. Smear chile lime mayo on tostada shells. Top with a couple of slices of salmon. Mound with a fistful of fennel-citrus salad. Season with sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately.