Cast Iron

Seared Salmon with Cinnamon and Chile Powder

January 13, 2010
9 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
Author Notes

This may be a simple recipe, but the flavors unite in an elegant and complex way. It's perfect for one because you can have it on the table in less than 10 minutes with almost no mess. —Sippity Sup (Greg Henry)

  • Serves 1
  • 1 salmon fillet with skin attached, sized to suit your appetite
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Canola oil, enough to barely slick the skillet
  • 1 dash sesame oil
In This Recipe
  1. Wash and completely pat dry the salmon fillet.
  2. In a small bowl mix chile powder, cinnamon, and the salt and pepper. Sprinkle this mixture on both sides of the salmon fillet. Heat canola oil and sesame oil in a non-stick or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet. Choose a skillet that is plenty big enough to avoid steaming the fish for the crispest possible skin.
  3. When the skillet is very hot, but not yet smoking, add the salmon, skin-side down. Cook it until the skin is very crisp, dark brown and releases easily from the skillet This should take 3 to 4 minutes. Do not be tempted to check or move the fish around in the skillet during this time. You will only succeed in making it stick to the skillet or worse ruin your beautifully crisp skin.
  4. You will notice that the fish gets lighter colored and more opaque. Do not let it cook more than about 1/4 of the way through at this point. You might be worried that the rest of the fish seems raw, but honestly this is a good thing. Once the skin has crisped flip the fish, and cook it an additional 2 (maybe 3) minutes more. Do not let it cook all the way through. The fish will continue to cook after it leaves the pan. Your goal is a succulent flesh graduating from a rare center outwards to a crispy crackly skin.
  5. Serve the fish warm or at room temperature with a slightly chilled Pinot Noir (yes, Pinot Noir... trust me). Dining alone is no excuse for a poor wine pairing.
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