Mexican Sugar Seared Salmon Salad – this is the easiest and by far the most delicious salmon salad we’ve ever had. It’s super versatile too!
I probably should have told you about this sooner. Um, let me rephrase that; I definitely should have told you about this before now.
But then again, they always say, “Better late than never.” Right?
What? Well, it’s this salmon salad that we’ve been enjoying for months now. Actually all spring and summer long. It’s the easiest, freshest, most delicious dinner you’ll ever throw together in less than 30 minutes. Each time I’ve served it, Scott or I have said, “We have to get pictures for the blog, this is so… good”.
So finally, after having good intentions for quite a while, we took the time for a photo shoot of this wonderful salad. And guess what? We could hardly wait to get through the session, to enjoy it once again.
The salad is super versatile, I just add whatever vegetables are seasonable and fresh and will work with the Mexican theme.In the summer, I use fresh corn, zucchini and homegrown tomatoes. Sometimes I add a handful of black beans or sliced avocado. Diced mango is wonderful, as are slices of red or white onions. If you like a little crunch, crushed tortilla chips or tortilla strips are great scattered over the top.
I’ve changed up the dressing for the salad too. This time I used my Spicy Cilantro Buttermilk Dressing, but we also love it with this Sweet and Spicy Mango Dressing or this Honey Cumin Vinaigrette. Sometimes I drizzle the dressing over the whole salad and sometimes I serve a little bowl of dressing on the side. I love that this salad is easy enough to throw together for a weeknight dinner, but can also be dressed up quite fancy for company.
I try to always keep a bag of salmon in the freezer, the kind that comes wrapped in individual-size portions. It can be defrosted and ready to go in less than 20 minutes in cold water. Then it’s just a matter of combining sugar, cumin, coriander, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. The salmon is patted dry, then sprinkled with this sweet and spicy rub before it’s seared in a hot pan on the stove top. It takes about 4-5 minutes per side (for average thick salmon) and it’s seared to a beautiful, glistening copper hue. Plate it up with fresh greens, dressing and your veggies of choice and you’ve got a healthy, ridiculously delicious dinner/lunch.
So there you have it. My long overdue, Mexican Sugar-Seared Salmon Salad. Forgive me for being a bit delinquent in sharing this fabulous salad, but I think you’ll agree, it was worth the wait. Try it, I have a feeling it just might become a frequent flyer, easy and favorite dinner at your house too.
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- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 6-7 ounce skinless salmon fillets
- 6-8 cups baby arugula
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 medium avocado, peeled, pitted, quartered and sliced in ¼ inch slices
- Spicy Ciliantro Buttermilk Dressing* (see other options below)
- Combine all ingredients except oil and salmon in a small bowl.
- Pat salmon dry with a paper towel and rub each fillet all over with a drop or two of olive oil. Sprinkle all over (including sides of fillets) with sugar mixture and pat lightly to adhere.
- Heat olive oil in a in a medium-large skillet over medium-low heat till hot, but not smoking. Swirl pan to make sure oil is covering bottom and add salmon. There should be a sizzle when you add the salmon, but it should not be sizzling furiously. This salmon recipe needs to cook a little slower than some because of the sugar in the rub. If cooked at too high a temperature, it will burn instead of turning golden brown.
- Allow to cook on first side for 4 minutes, then flip to opposite side and cook another 4 minutes or until deep golden brown and salmon feels firm in the center when lightly touched. At this point, I like to turn the pieces on their side surfaces and cook for another 30 seconds, then flip and do the same on the opposite side. Salmon should be cooked to an internal temp of 120-125˚F.
- Divide arugula between 4 dinner plates. Add one salmon fillet to each serving and scatter salads with tomatoes and avocado slices. Drizzle with dressing or serve dressing in small bowls on the side.