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Recipe: 10-Minute Blackened Salmon

It’s all about the spices.

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Photo by Joe Lingeman

I’m always looking for new ways to reinvent salmon fillets. They’re a staple on our dinner table, but after rotating through the same few recipes for years, they’ve grown stale. Enter: this recipe. In just 10 minutes, you’ll be rewarded with mouthwatering pan-seared salmon that boasts a ridiculously crispy skin and spicy, smoky flavor.

DIY Blackened Seasoning Straight from Your Spice Cabinet

You’ve likely had blackened fish at a restaurant before, but maybe you never really knew what it was (other than being delicious). “Blackened” is a cooking technique associated with Cajun cuisine. The specifics of the spice blend vary from recipe to recipe, but it usually includes paprika, garlic power, dried oregano, cayenne, and salt. Proteins such as fish or chicken are coated in the seasoning, then cooked in a hot skillet to achieve a very deep brown (almost black) crust on the outside that’s ridiculously flavorful.

The good news is you don’t need to run out to a restaurant to enjoy it. Since blackened seasoning is a mix of common spices, you probably already have all the ingredients you need. Here, the seasoning adds flair to salmon fillets in just 10 minutes. Finish them off with a big squeeze of lemon for brightness and serve with any of your favorite sides — rice, orzo, roasted vegetables, or even just a simple salad.

Blackened Salmon

Yield: Serves 4

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes to 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 (6-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets
  • 1 medium lemon, cut into wedges

Instructions

  1. Place the paprika, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and cayenne in a shallow bowl or plate and stir to combine. Press the flesh side of each salmon fillet into the seasoning to evenly coat it. Alternatively, you can pat the seasoning mixture evenly onto the flesh side of each salmon fillet.

  2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium until shimmering. Add the fillets, skin-side up, and cook until blackened, about 3 minutes. Flip the fillets and continue to cook until cooked through to your liking, 5 to 7 minutes depending on the thickness of your fillets. If the skin is starting to burn before the fillets are cooked, turn the heat down to medium-low. If the fillets are extra thick (1 1/2 to 2-inches thick in the middle), you may need to turn the fillets on their sides for a minute on each side to cook them through. An instant-read thermometer into the middle of the thickest fillet should register 120°F to 130°F for medium-rare or 135°F to 145°F for more well-done. Transfer the fillets to individual plates and serve with lemon wedges.

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Sheela Prakash received her master's degree from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy and is also a Registered Dietitian. She is the author of “Mediterranean Every Day.”

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This post originally appeared on The Kitchn and was published February 3, 2020. This article is republished here with permission.

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