Blackened Salmon-Skin Chopped Salad

Alaskan Copper River King Salmon was selling at our nearby market for $40/lb. The local Whole Foods fishmonger told me that their store was not carrying Copper River this year because it was too expensive. Luckily we discovered another fabulous source for King Salmon (aka Chinook): Youngs Bay, Oregon. Copper River King Salmon is still a treat, the world’s finest salmon, the ultimate fish luxury due to its very high oil content stored for the long journey in pristine icy waters. But the less expensive Youngs Bay does come in a very close second…

This past Saturday I shared a recipe for a steamed filet of Salmon with Meyer Lemon Cream. Before steaming a filet, the skin must be removed. Here, the skin removed from that filet is made into a spicy crunchy chopped salad. Youngs Bay Chinook may be less expensive, but it’s not cheap, so we don’t want to waste any bit of it!

I like to leave some meat attached to the skin, between a quarter to a half inch. Make certain there are no scales still attached to the skin, then with a sharp knife, slice the skin into bite-sized strips. Season the strips with Cajun spices.Try Paul Prudhomme’s Seafood Magic. Or you can make you own blend:

  • onion powder
  • black pepper
  • white pepper
  • salt
  • thyme
  • ground annatto seed
  • paprika
  • sage
  • rosemary
  • ancho chili powder

The seasoned salmon should sit for about 15 minutes to let the flavors infuse the fish.

Do you remember back in the 80’s when his famous Blackened Redfish was on almost every restaurant menu? That’s a recipe that still ROCKS!

Heat a non-stick skillet over high heat. Add olive oil, then add the salmon strips skin side down. Adjust the heat to medium-high and cook until the skin is crispy, then flip the pieces to briefly cook the meaty side.

Turn off the heat. Add a generous dash of red wine vinegar. Then immediately pour the salmon and juices over baby spinach leaves.

The warm zippy “vinaigrette” will season and wilt the spinach leaves.

Add chopped nuts and vegetables of your choice. We added toasted walnuts (another excellent source of omega-3), Belgian endive hearts, and cherry tomatoes. A sprinkling of chopped fresh parsley from the garden gave a bright note of flavor.

My Picks for Similar Flavors in Another Dish:

Asian-style:  Salmon & Salmon Skin Spinach Salad, Miso Chile Lime Dressing
High in Omega-3’s: Omega- 3 Salad with Crispy Skin
A smokin’ hot way to cook prime rib:  Cajun Prime Rib

Salmon skin aficionados: Please share your recipe or links in the comment section!

19 thoughts on “Blackened Salmon-Skin Chopped Salad”

  1. oh man! that salad must be delicious! Im a salmon lover. I can eat it both raw or cooked! But never tried it on a salad!!! this is so creative! thanks for the tips 🙂


  2. I agree with Jen. What I should remember though is to not visit your blog late at night, now I have the munchies and I will not be having anything as delicious as this.

  3. Copper River chinook salmon being so high surprises me. Opening day in mid May saw great numbers on chinook and not so great numbers on sockeye. I’ll have to ask how it’s been going. Prediction is for Bristol to have a very nice year on sockeye tho. (Husband works in the AK fishing industry).

    1. Hi Teri – I am very interested to hear about the pricing of Copper River salmon this year, please let us know what you find out. Alaska is so beautiful, your husband is fortunate to work in that industry!

  4. I managed a small fillet of Copper River when it went on sale for 24 hours. Yes, it is so pricey this year. This is a grand way to use salmon – so fresh but jazzed up just enough with the rub.

  5. You had me at blackened salmon-skin. I love salmon, but I love salmon skin even more when it’s cooked right. This salad looks wonderful. When we return to eating animal proteins, I’ll have to make something with salmon. 🙂

  6. Wow, I’ve never seen anyone present salmon skin this way. The skin has always been one of my guilty pleasures–I remove mine from the filet and either leave it on the grill or under the broiler to crisp up. I like that you left some meat on yours to make it even better. Yum! I love salmon on salads.

  7. Happy Taste With The Eyes 3rd Anniversary, LL. “You’ve come a long way, baby”…and you’re getting better and better!

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