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Seared Salmon w/ Black Pepper Crust

Categories: Seafood
Contributed by: Jacqueline&David

Warning: This recipe will produce smoke!

I  found the basics of this recipe in an old Gourmet magazine. 
This recipe is great with a side of lemon-buttered asparagus and Uncle Ben's Original Wild Rice. If you're a potato lover, garlic-roasted red skinned potatoes are good w/ it, and I imagine roast garlic mashed potatoes would go really well too.


  • Marinade:
    4 TBLS soy sauce
    2 cloves garlic, pressed w/ garlic press or finely minced
    1 TBLS plus 1 tsp lemon juice
    2 tsp sugar

  • 1 1/2 pounds salmon fillets
  • fresh cracked pepper/coarsely ground for later (not in marinade)


1. Mix marinade ingredients together and pour into large (gallon sized) zip lock bag and add fish fillets.  Place in fridge and marinade about 30 minutes (no overnights on this marinade as the lemon juice would 'cook' the fish!!) I usually leave it in the marinade about 45 minutes.

2. Take out the salmon and pat dry lightly with paper towels. Rub some of the cracked pepper on fish surface.

3. Coat bottom of  pre-heated heavy stainless steel frying pan (All-Clad is awesome for this duty!) with thin layer (about 2 TBLS?) of oil. I use the extra light olive oil (made for cooking so it doesn't burn as easily as extra virgin.)

4. Warning: Unless you have industrial vents, cooking this dish in the house makes your house SMOKEY!! Have fans running and possibly open windows to keep fire alarm from going off. Very smoky, but final results are so worth it! I suppose you could cook this out on the grill but then it wouldn't get that lovely seared flavor. Warning aside, Cook over med-high to high heat, giggling pan now and then, until nicely seared and browned on both sides. I can't recall how long this takes. Perhaps 6 or 7 min per side? Try less and lift up gently with spatula to peer at underside and see if seared yet at 5 min.

5. At this point after cooking in skillet, you may find that fish is still not cooked through (depends on thickness) and so it may need to finish in an oven at 375-400 for a few minutes. Just make sure it flakes a little and you are good to go. It will still cook a little after you take it out of oven or pan. Don't over cook it!