Cajun Spiced Salmon Recipe

Servings: 4

The classic Cajun technique of blackening fish in a fragrant blend of herbs and spices lends itself well to an oily, flavorful fish such as salmon. Pair this dish with a zippy red wine, such as a California Zinfandel, or with a well-balanced rosé, for an interesting twist on food and wine pairing.


  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed
  • 4 salmon fillets, about 6 oz each, skin and pin bones removed
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 400o F.
  2. Mix first 7 ingredients together in a small bowl.
  3. Drizzle 1 Tbsp. olive oil over the salmon fillets and rub fillets with the oil to cover.
  4. Press the spice mixture onto the top side of each of the fillets, making sure to get a good even coating on each.
  5. Heat a heavy bottomed, large sauté pan, preferably cast-iron, over high heat until very hot.
  6. Add the remaining Tbsp. of olive oil to coat the pan.
  7. Place the salmon fillets, seasoned side down, in the pan and add the butter.
  8. Cook the salmon, without moving it, until the spices turn dark brown, 2-3 minutes.
  9. Remove the salmon fillets from the pan and place, spice side up, on a baking sheet and place in the oven.
  10. Bake the fish until it is just opaque in the center, or to your desired degree of doneness if you like it cooked more.

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