I always loved Blackened seafood during my days as a graduate student at MIT. I would spend $20 for some blackened salmon of sea bass without the blink of an eye. However, finding local seafood comparable to Boston or my hometown is hard to find in local restaurants in Kentucky. So I quickly had to learn how to make blackened seafood at home. The trick is to pan sear the fish on the stove top then finish it in the over.
1.3 lbs fresh salmon (skin on) from Wholefoods (wild caught or responsibly farm raised)
Tones Cajun seasoning
Old bay seasoning
McCormick’s Smoked Paprika
Preheat your oven to 375
1. Marinate the salmon with fresh squeezed lime juice in a ziplock bag, refrigerated, for 20 minutes
3. Heat up a nonstick frying pan on medium high heat. This seals the pores so that the food won’t stick to the pan.
4. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil in the pan. Spread evenly across the pan with a soft basting brush that can tolerate high heat. The oil will bead up but that’s ok. Don’t worry that not all surfaces of the pan will be covered with oil. Warm up the oil just until it starts to ripple but before it smokes up. If the oil smokes up, it’s too hot and you will have to turn down the flame and fan over the pan until the oil cools down.
6. Gently flip over the fish with a spatula that can tolerate 450 degrees Fahrenheit and stainless steal things
7. Transfer the fish to a new frying pan with no oil. Make sure the cooked side is up.
8. Bake the fish for 5-7 minutes.
9. Drain both sides of your fish by laying them on a paper towel. Cover the tops of the fish with a paper towel then add an empty plate on top to help absorb excess oil.
This process of pan searring, finishing in the oven and draining helps to minimize excess oil in the fish. Notice after you bake the fish some of the added oil is released from the fish.
If you want both sides of your fish to be crispy, then broil rather than bake your fish on the top shelf of your oven at 375 F for 5-7 minutes.