Seth’s favorite.

Mushroom tacos with cilantro red onion salsa

My friend Seth hates cilantro. He also hates Strauss waltzes and anything with a vibraslap (you’ve got to look this up!) However, one morning he came to see me doing a cooking demonstration at Eastern Market here in Washington, DC. I was preparing a cilantro and red onion salsa. It’s one of those dishes you create when you’ve literally done everything you could possible think of with tomatoes, zucchini, green beans and eggplant and you need a new dish for the menu that week.

My friend Seth hates cilantro but loves the cilantro salsa I serve with these mushroom tacos.

The salsa is mostly cilantro and red onion. There’s no pretending that I’m hiding the flavors here. So Seth steps up to table and grabs a sample, a healthy spoonful of salsa atop a tortilla chip. Then he grabs another. And another. Somewhere around the sixth one he steps up and says to, I suppose this is the wrong time to tell you that I hate all of the ingredients in this.

Moral of the story? You should make these. Even if you don’t like cilantro. Just ask Seth.

Portabella Mushroom Tacos with Cilantro Salsa

Serves 4

For Salsa:

ingredients for cilantro red onion salsa
  • 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red onion finely diced
  • 1 tbs Sherry vinegar
  • 1 tbs olive oil – the good stuff
  • 1/2 tsp Ancho chile powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin

For Tacos:

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 portabello mushroom caps
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp Ancho chile powder
  • Sherry vinegar
  • 8 6″ flour tortillas, warmed
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco*


  • Stir together salsa ingredients and let rest while flavors blend.
  • Meanwhile, warm 2 tbs olive oil in a 12” skillet over med-high heat. Add shallot and cook until softened. Add mushrooms and cook until they soften and edges begin to brown.
  • Toss with cumin and ancho chile powder. Season to taste with salt, pepper and a splash of Sherry vinegar.
  • Season cilantro salsa to taste with salt, pepper and more vinegar if needed.
  • Serve mushrooms in warm, flour tortillas with queso fresco and cilantro salsa.

*Queso fresco is a mild crumbly cheese. You can substitute slightly saltier feta and season accordingly.

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