Szechuan Blackened Salmon

Blackened salmon is a popular Cajun dish. The blackening effect comes from dredging your salmon (or trout or flounder or catfish or whichever type of fish you are using) in a spice mixture then cooking it very hot oil or butter. The charred spices give your fish the characteristic black/brown look.

Szechuan Blackened Salmon - a cajun favorite with the added twist of the slow burning heat of szechuan peppercorns

I’ve had blackened salmon and catfish many times before, but since buying my own stash of Szechuan peppercorns, I’ve been looking for ways to incorporate the spice in to my usual cooking.

Bring on the Szechuan Blackened Salmon.

I used a delicious high quality sashimi grade salmon and a freshly ground mixture of szechuan peppercorns, paprika, black peppercorns, oregano, and salt for this super quick main dish.

Depending on how rare your like your salmon (Peter prefers his fairly well done, but since I was using very nice salmon fillets I was comfortable with my portion being more rare), this fish can be ready in less than 10 minutes.

Szechuan Blackened Salmon - a cajun favorite with the added twist of the slow burning heat of szechuan peppercorns

10 MINUTES. It’s seriously that freaking easy.

I cooked up several fillets so that Peter and I would have leftovers for lunch and simultaneously had a bowl of couscous sitting and waiting to be served.

FYI – for easy plain couscous — mix equal parts couscous and boiling water, cover with foil or lid for 5 minutes, add a splash of oil then season to your liking

Szechuan Blackened Salmon - a cajun favorite with the added twist of the slow burning heat of szechuan peppercorns

The szechuan peppercorn adds a unique flavor to traditional blackened salmon. While the paprika adds a more familiar kick the szechuan peppercorns adds a very subtle, slow burning heat. Remember a little goes a long way– the heat from szechuan peppercorns builds with each bite, but it is certainly not overwhelming and the spice mixture over all was not overly salty as many cajun spice mixtures can be (especially if you don’t make your own at home).

You can also serve your salmon on a bed of salad greens or inside tortillas to make salmon tacos.

Szechuan Blackened Salmon

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Szechuan Blackened Salmon

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp Szechuan Peppercorn
  • 1 tsp black peppercorn
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 4 4 oz salmon fillet, skin on

Instructions

  1. In a large pan heat oil over high heat
  2. Add Szechuan peppercorn, black peppercorn, paprika, salt, and oregano to mortar and pestle
  3. Grind spices together and blend well
  4. Coat top side of salmon (side without skin) generously with spice mixture
  5. Add each salmon piece, top side down, to the oil in the pan
  6. Reduce heat to medium
  7. Cook salmon for 2-3 minutes
  8. Flip and cook for additional 5-7 minutes depending on how well done you prefer your salmon
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