A tasty chili rub gives this blackened salmon a wonderful flavor, and cooking it in a hot pan keeps it extra juicy.
In this delicious salmon recipe, a cajun style rub gives the fish wonderful warmth and depth of flavor, with just the right amount of heat.
I like making this recipe because it’s quick and easy, and I always have the ingredients on hand – I always have frozen salmon fillets in the freezer and a selection of spices in the pantry.
A tasty way to prepare salmon
I really like salmon and make it quite often for my family. I love making baked salmon because it’s so easy and tasty. But this blackened salmon recipe is even better because it’s so flavorful.
The spice combination is amazing. And when it gets charred in a hot skillet, the flavor is wonderful. Blackening also keeps the salmon extra juicy.
Salmon is fatty and flavorful enough to withstand bold seasonings, and the chili rub is just fabulous. I also like how quick this recipe is. And not heating an oven is definitely an added bonus!
The ingredients you’ll need
You’ll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need:
Dry rub: Chili powder, garlic powder, and kosher salt. If using fine salt, you might want to reduce the amount you use.
Salmon fillets: Try to use sustainable salmon if you can. It’s better for you and it’s also better for the environment.
Avocado oil for frying: This oil has a neutral flavor and high smoke point, making it very suitable for high-heat cooking.
How to make blackened salmon
It’s so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Mix the dry rub ingredients and rub them all over the salmon.
Cook the salmon in avocado oil over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes per side.
Remove the skillet from the heat, cover, and let the salmon finish cooking in the skillet for 5 more minutes.
What pan to use for blackening
Many cooks prefer using a cast-iron skillet when making blackened food. But I find that fish sometimes sticks to cast iron, even well-seasoned. So I prefer to use a nonstick skillet when making this recipe.
Is blackening safe?
Blackening walks a fine line between “done” and “burned.” This article from Harvard Medical School says that people should avoid eating burned or charred foods frequently or in large quantities.
Since I don’t serve blackened food to my family more than once a month (I simply have so many more recipes that I like to make!), I don’t worry about it too much. But if you do, then there are gentler ways to cook salmon. The gentlest? Poached salmon.
How to serve blackened salmon?
What about leftovers?
You can keep leftovers in the fridge, in a sealed container, for up to 3 days. Reheat them very gently, covered, in the microwave on 50% power. I sometimes crumble them cold over a salad the next day for my lunch.
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- 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 4 (6 oz) fillets of wild-caught salmon (I used king salmon)
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- In a small bowl, mix together the chili powder, garlic powder and kosher salt. Rub all over the fish.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes. Brush with the oil.
- Place the fish in the skillet. Cook until blackened and crisp, 3 minutes per side.
- Remove the skillet from heat and cover it tightly with foil. Allow the salmon to finish cooking from the residual heat, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.