Jerk Salmon | I used to love that movie Cool Runnings when I was a kid – that feel good story of those Jamaican bobsledders (coached by John Candy) that defied all odds and finally earned the respect they deserved out there on that ice!!! Ok, I’m not sure why I’m so passionate about that movie, I guess I must have some giant soft spot for Jamaicans maaaan. So if that bobsled ever crashed into my kitchen, I’d make them this salmon dish. It’s a loveable winner too.
In this recipe, we coat our salmon with jerk seasoning straight off the boat from the island (not kidding) and sear it to a perfect warm inside and crispy, light outside. We then lay her down over a soft carrot puree and add the finishing touches with a dollop of homemade herb butter. Delish.
* You should make the butter and puree in advance.
* Eat this fish right away while it's hot!
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- Butter - 5 tablespoons, softened
- Roasted Garlic - 1½ teaspoons
- Lemon Juice - ¾ teaspoon
- Cilantro - 1 tablespoon, finely minced
- Ancho Chili Powder - ¼ teaspoon
- Salt - ⅓ teaspoon
- Carrots - 3, peeled
- Sour Cream - 2 heaping tablespoons
- Ricotta Cheese - 2 heaping tablespoons
- Roasted Garlic - 1½ teaspoons
- Lemon Juice - ½ teaspoon
- Chicken Bouillon Powder - ½ teaspoon
- Onion Powder - ¼ teaspoon
- Sugar - ⅓ teaspoon
- White Pepper - ¼ teaspoon
- Salt - ¾ teaspoon
- Canola Oil - 2 teaspoons
- Cilantro Butter - 1 tablespoon (see above)
- Salmon Fillets - 4 (3 ounces each), skin removed
- Bread Flour - 2 tablespoons (or use all-purpose)
- Cornstarch - 1 tablespoon
- Green Onions - 2 tablespoons, thinly sliced, garnish
- Lemon Zest - 2 teaspoons, garnish, optional
- Jerk Seasoning - 1⅓ tablespoons
- Salt - ⅛ teaspoon
- Saucepan - small
- Saute Pan
- Food Processor
- Rubber Spatula
- Cast-Iron Pan
- Plates - 2
- Fish Spatula
- Put the butter in the mixing bowl and put it in a warm place until it's softened.
- Mince up your cilantro - slice through it, don't cross chop it or else you'll kill the poor herbs.
- Toss the cilantro and all the remaining ingredients in the bowl, and fold the butter over and over to mix everything really well.
- Set the bowl aside (don't let the butter melt though).
- Peel your carrots and slice them crosswise into thin rounds.
- Fill your saute pan with a couple inches of water, add a pinch of salt, and toss in the carrot slices.
- Bring the water to a boil over high heat and let it boil until the carrots are very fork tender - about 15 minutes.
- Then strain the carrots and pour them directly into the food processor.
- Also throw in the sour cream, ricotta, spices, sugar and salt.
- Turn the machine on, let it run, and squeeze in the lemon juice.
- Let it run for about 30 seconds, stopping to scrape down the sides of the processor bowl if you need to.
- Season to taste and set the processor bowl aside in a warm place.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix the flour, cornstarch and 1 teaspoon of the jerk seasoning together well on a plate.
- To the other plate, mix together the rest of the jerk seasoning and salt.
- Remove the skin from your salmon fillets (or have your fish guy do this for you).
- Then pat the fillets as dry as you can get them with a paper towel. Let them come to room temperature.
- Ok here's what we are going to do - we're going to coat the former-skin side in the cornstarch/flour mix and all the remaining sides in just the jerk seasoning - Got it?
- So dip all the sides, except the former-skin side, in the jerk seasoning mix. Shake off any excess.
- Then dip the former-skin side in the cornstarch/flour mix. Shake off any excess too. Set the fillets aside.
- Let's do this. Put your cast-iron over medium-high heat. Add the oil and 1 tablespoon of the Cilantro Butter and let it get hot and start to bubble.
- Then gently lay the fillets in the pan cornstarch/flour mix-side down. Sear them for 2½ minutes and baste them occasionally with the butter and pan juices.
- Then flip the fillets and toss the whole pan in the oven for 4½ minutes. That's it.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let the fillets sit in the pan while you plate.
- Smear a portion of the carrot puree - about ¼ cup - down the center of a plate.
- Lay on a salmon fillet.
- Then add a bit of the cilantro butter on top of the fish.
- Garnish with the green onions and lemon zest. Enjoy!
* If you don't have bread flour, use all-purpose. Bread flour has more protein and fat (and therefore more gluten), so it's one of our favorite breadings.
* Have your fish monger remove the skin. If you want to do it yourself, flip the fish on its flesh side and carefully slide your knife under the skin with the knife angled upward. Then slide the knife down the length of the fish in as few slices as possible.
* This is a very easy but fancy appetizer - make this if you want to impress!
If you’ve read this far, then you need to check out Salmon Showdown and Crispy Short Rib Wontons + Ragu.
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