Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Cajun / Blackened Salmon

Today's special (sale) on my grocery store was fresh wild sockeyed salmon. So I asked the fish monger if he can fillet the fish for me. He said in order to do that then I have to buy the whole salmon, "Fine" I said. So he started working filleting the fish. One of this day I will have to get a fish knife that is sharp enough so I can fillet my own fish. In the mean time, all I want to do to this fresh salmon is making something super easy and simple for our lunch. When I lived in the States, I always like to order cajun or blackened catfish. They are super tasty and surprisingly easy to make.

Off course you can always buy the cajun mix in the grocery store, but isn't that more fun to make it on your own? Plus this way you can even add more cayenne pepper to give it an extra kick to your fish.

Don't believe me that it is very easy? Go ahead...read on...



Blackened Red Snapper / Salmon Fillets

Serves 6


2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 four-ounce red-snapper fillets, with skin,with skin ( or salmon )

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 Lemon for spritzing the fish ( optional )

1. In a small bowl, combine paprika, oregano, thyme, cayenne, sugar, salt, and black pepper. Set spice mixture aside.

2. Place fillets on a clean, dry work surface, skin side up, and cut three to four shallow slits across skin to keep it from curling up while cooking. Turn fillets over, and sprinkle the top of each fillet with a heaping teaspoon of the reserved spice mixture; pat gently with hands to make spice mixture stick. Cover, and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

3. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a heavy skillet. When hot, but not smoking, add half the fillets, seasoned side down. Cook until well browned, about 2 minutes. Flip; cook until fish is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Carefully wipe skillet with a paper towel. Repeat with remaining oil and fillets; serve.


This recipe is from Martha Stewart website, when I make it, I don't even have to put it in the refrigerator. The seasoning stick to the fish just fine. There is another way to make the seasoning, you can add 2 Tbs of all-purpose flour so that the whole fish will be covered by the seasoning then you can pan-fried it and get a crispier fish. I like it this way better. Oh yeah... you can substitute the flour with 2 Tbs of yellow cornmeal to get even more crispy fish.

You can double the blackend mix then store them in a tight lid container for next time. You can use this mix with shrimps, other type of fish too. This mix is pretty versatile to use.

Before I forget, since I don't use snapper, with a whole length of salmon, I can't flip them to fry the other side without risking of breaking the fish apart ( taste the same but it will be uglier ), so what I did was, I pan-fried the skin side first, then I sprits some oil ( I use oil mister ) to the meat side and just put the fish and the fish pan ( instead of round, it has an oval shape ) in the oven to broil for just few minutes. The length of time you have to put the fish in the oven depend on the thickness of the fish . My fish is about 3 cm thick, so I just put it under the broiler for 3 minutes. This is because I already have the fish at room temperature when I start to cook it. Don't forget as well to make sure that your pan/skillet can be use for oven. Not all of them are.

For side dish, the same grocery where I get the fish also has a special on sugar snap peas so I use that for the side dish. I cook them briefly on my wok then when I want to serve the fish, I just put them in the same pan. So we can all dig in ...

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