This Blackened Salmon packs incredible flavor, and couldn’t be easier to make! Cajun seasoning with hints of citrus coat the salmon then it is seared creating the perfect crust!
Flavor is key! As a connoisseur of great flavor, I believe the flavor of food can leave such an imprint on us that we can recall the best of any dish we’ve ever eaten, who was sitting across from us, who cooked it.
Flavor means memories and it’s much more than a fusion of bold herbs and spices, but rather a gift someone has given us that makes our day a little bit brighter and we all deserve great tasting food! I started Chef Curl Ardee, a seasoning and spice company, to chase after those feelings and memories. By fusing together some of my favorite flavors, I’ve worked to make it easy for the chef at any level to curate and master dishes through bold flavors, low sodium, and salt free options.
Enter Blackened Citrus Salmon!
The beauty of salmon is all about its versatility. Adding Cajun Seasoning with citrus means flavor on flavor and with a dish that soaks up just about anything you add to it, Chef Curl Ardee’s Blackened Citrus is an easy and clear winner.
Perks and Highlights of the Best Blackened Salmon Recipe
Cuisine Inspiration: Southern with a Twist Ah, the Deep South meets the open sea! This recipe takes inspiration from traditional Southern cuisine, known for its rich flavors and, in this case, a love for well-seasoned, blackened delights. Dive into a dish that’s both comforting and a little bit adventurous.
Primary Cooking Method: Searing Get that skillet sizzlin’! This method crisps the exterior of the salmon to a flavorful blackened crust, sealing all the juicy tenderness inside. Remember, it’s not burnt; it’s just got soul!
Dietary Info: High Protein, Gluten-Free Calling all carnivores and gluten-free foodies! This salmon’s not just mouthwatering; it’s also packed with protein and totally devoid of gluten. It’s like a gym session at the dinner table, minus the sweat!
Key Flavor: Bold and Spicy This dish brings the heat, y’all! With a medley of spices, each bite offers a kick, a punch, and a high-five to your taste buds. It’s a flavor fiesta and everyone’s invited!
Skill Level: Easy Peasy No culinary degree? No problem! Whether you’re a kitchen novice or a seasoned pro, this recipe is straightforward and forgiving, like a good Southern host. If you can heat a skillet, you’re more than qualified.
- Speedy Supper: Short on time? No worries! This dish comes together faster than you can say, “More please!”
- Versatile Vittles: Serve it with veggies, grains, or a zesty salad. This salmon plays nice with all the sides.
- Impress the Guests: Who says fancy can’t be simple? It’s a showstopper without the hassle.
- Healthy Heart Hero: Rich in omega-3s and good fats, it’s a love letter to your heart.
- Meal Prep Marvel: Make it in advance, enjoy it all week long. This blackened beauty reheats like a dream!
What is Blackening?
It’s the process of searing with heat and herbs as the right combination of the two produce a nice char (not burn)!
Cajun Seasoning (A Whole Lotta Flavor): Don’t be shy; liberally coat that salmon with as much Cajun seasoning as your heart desires (or as your taste buds can handle). This is where the magic happens, giving you that iconic spicy-sweet-smoky taste that blackened salmon is famous for.
Fresh Salmon Fillets (4 Pieces of 4 oz Each, Skin On or Off—You Decide!): The star of the show! Freshness is key, y’all. Whether you like the skin crispy or prefer it off, make sure those fillets are fresh and ready to soak up all that fabulous seasoning.
One Medium Lemon (For That Zesty Twist): This citrus buddy is here to add a splash of brightness and a hint of tang to balance the robust flavors. Squeeze it over your cooked fillets to lift the dish to new zesty heights.
Unsalted Butter or Olive Oil (1/3 Cup, Mix ‘Em If You Like): Whether you’re Team Butter, Team Olive Oil, or love to mix it up, this is essential for cooking your salmon to perfection. Worried about burning? Stay vigilant, keep that heat medium-high, and your fillets movin’.
How to Make Blackened Salmon
Blackening salmon is a cooking technique commonly used in Cajun cooking. The process is quick, easy and makes for some of the most delicious fish you’ve ever had. All you need is a cast-iron skillet, melted butter and plenty of seasoning.
Follow these 3 easy steps for the perfect blackened salmon:
GET THAT CAST IRON HOT
When using a blackened season, it’s super important to watch the heat. You will want the skillet hot enough to produce a nice sear on the salmon but not so hot that the butter/oil will burn while preheating.
DREDGE IN BUTTER & SEASONING
I’ve found that butter is the best way to keep fish moist and help the seasoning to stick. We want every bit of delicious spice to adhere.
Cajun Seasoning is a smoky, spicy and herbaceous blend of spices meant to go with just about anything. Don’t be afraid to heavily coat the salmon. More flavor never hurt anyone.
COOK & WATCH CAREFULLY
Cook each side for no more than 4 minutes; don’t walk away, keep an eye out! If the flesh/skin is browning too quickly, lower the heat.
Storage and Reheating
Storing Your Blackened Salmon:
- Cool Completely: Let your salmon reach room temperature post-feast.
- Package Properly: Use an airtight container or snug aluminum foil for protection.
- Fridge or Freeze: Refrigerate for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.
Reheating Your Blackened Salmon:
- Thaw if Frozen: Let it defrost in the fridge if it’s coming from the freezer.
- Oven Method: Preheat to 275°F (135°C), place salmon on a baking sheet, cover with foil, and warm for 15-20 minutes.
- Microwave Shortcut: Cover salmon on a microwave-safe dish and use medium power in 30-second intervals until warmed through.
Keep the reheating gentle—no cooking round two!
Other Blackened Recipes
Thank you Chef Curl Ardee for sharing this wonderful recipe!
- Cajun Seasoning to taste, you will be using a lot of this to coat the salmon
- 4 (4 oz) fresh salmon fillets also see note below on skin
- 1 medium lemon
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter or olive oil (or you can use a mix of both) if concerned about burning
- Prep salmon by patting it dry first with a paper towel and then spreading a little butter and lemon juice directly on top. Allow the salmon to sit for 3-5 minutes. Salmon shouldn’t be super moist so brushing the lemon on will help not to over saturate the fish. Adding the lemon juice first will also help provide additional flavor as the blackened portion of this recipe will come from the Cajun Seasoning and heat.
- Preheat skillet with butter and a few additional drops of lemon juice. Cutting a thick slice off the lemon will allow you to squeeze juice directly from the slice! Also, feel free to leave the slice in the butter throughout the duration of the recipe. Medium to high heat is perfect to start melting the butter without overheating/burning. If the butter starts to get smoky or burn, remove the skillet, clean residue, and start over with step 2.
- Add enough Cajun seasoning to cover the salmon filets. Liberally adding seasoning will help with the flavor but also the blackening as the process is complete with blackened spices AND heat.
- Once skillet is hot, add seasoned filets (with the seasoned side down directly into the butter). As soon as it starts to sear, bring the heat to a low to medium heat as to not burn the fish. The skillet will be hot enough to finish searing the top of the salmon filets.
- After approximately 4 minutes, carefully flip the salmon over. The top of the salmon should be blackened and ready to finish cooking with either the skin side or non blackened side down. Reduce the heat to a low to medium heat as the remainder of the salmon can finish cooking without the higher temperature.
- Allow salmon to finish cooking for approximately 4 to 7 minutes depending on the cut and thickness of the salmon. Once the salmon starts to release the albumin (it seeps out when salmon is exposed to heat) monitor to make sure that it’s not drying out. Salmon should still be pink when it’s completely done cooking and easily flake. A little translucency in the middle is also a good indicator that the salmon is done cooking.
- Remove salmon from skillet and serve hot (or not) and enjoy! Feel free to add additional lemon juice as a finish!
- Plate with your favorite veggies, flake off for tacos, or add to leafy greens for an amazing and flavorful salad.
Package Properly: Use an airtight container or snug aluminum foil for protection.
Fridge or Freeze: Refrigerate for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.
Reheating Your Blackened Salmon: Thaw if Frozen: Let it defrost in the fridge if it’s coming from the freezer.
Oven Method: Preheat to 275°F (135°C), place salmon on a baking sheet, cover with foil, and warm for 15-20 minutes.
Microwave Shortcut: Cover salmon on a microwave-safe dish and use medium power in 30-second intervals until warmed through.
Keep the reheating gentle—no cooking round two!