This Mexican Sugar-Seared Salmon Salad is one of our favorite meals ever. Use the easy, healthy salmon recipe in lots of other ways too!
I probably should have told you about this Mexican Sugar-Seared Salmon sooner… um, let me rephrase that; I definitely should have told you about this before now. But, better late than never – so here you go!
We’ve enjoyed variations of this Mexican Sugar-Seared Salmon Salad more times than I can count. It’s an easy, fresh, super delicious dinner and… the best part? It comes 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 lots of good intentions, we took the time for a photo shoot. We could hardly wait to get the pictures finished, so we could enjoy it once again.
This Mexican Sugar-Seared Salmon is super versatile. I add whatever vegetables are seasonable and fresh and will work with the Mexican theme. During the summer months, I use fresh corn, zucchini, and homegrown tomatoes. Other times of year I add black beans and/or sliced avocado. Diced mango is wonderful; as are slivers of red or white onion. We also enjoy it as a salad with crushed tortilla chips scattered over the top.
Although this Mexican Sugar-Seared Salmon Salad is easy enough to throw together for a weeknight dinner, it’s also great for guests. Serve it with a basket of warm Artisan Rolls or this Ridiculously Easy Focaccia Bread and you’ve got a healthy, super delicious meal.
I like to keep a bag of salmon in the freezer – the kind that comes wrapped in individual-size portions. It can be thawed in a bowl of cold water and ready to go in less than 20 minutes. Then it’s just a matter making the simple rub; sugar, cumin, coriander, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
The salmon is patted dry, then sprinkled with this sweet and spicy rub then seared on the stove top. It takes about 4-5 minutes per side. The salmon will take on a glistening copper hue. Plate it up with fresh greens, veggies and your dressing of choice for a ridiculously delicious meal.
So there you have it, the long overdue, Mexican Sugar-Seared Salmon Salad. I think you’ll love it as much as we do and it might just become a favorite dinner at your house too!
Café Tips for making this Mexican Sugar-Seared Salmon…
- This salad can also be served with Sweet and Spicy Mango Dressing or Honey Cumin Vinaigrette.
- Feel free to add or sub other veggies to the salad; sliced or diced zucchini, diced mango, bell peppers, jicama, slivers of red or white onion, etc.
- This Mexican Sugar-Seared Salmon is also delicious served with mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus, carrots or Brussels sprouts.
- To ensure browning, be sure to pat your salmon dry before sprinkling with the seasoning.
- Because there’s sugar in the seasoning mixture for the Mexican Sugar-Seared Salmon, don’t use a super high heat to cook it. A medium-low setting is perfect. You want the salmon to sizzle just a bit when it hits the hot oil, but not to splatter all over the stovetop.
- Leftover salmon is perfect for a lunch salad!
- Use a good quality nonstick sauté pan/skillet for cooking the salmon. I love these All-Clad nonstick pans. They’re super heavy-duty and dishwasher-safe; but also reasonably priced.
- 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
- 24 ounces skinless salmon fillets 4 6-ounce fillets
- 6-8 cups baby arugula
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 medium avocado peeled, pitted, quartered and sliced in 1/4 inch slices
- Spicy Cilantro 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 medium-large, nonstick skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Swirl pan to make sure oil is covering the bottom and add salmon. There should be a sizzle when you add the salmon, but it should not be spattering furiously. (This salmon 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.)
Cook salmon on the first side for 4 minutes, then flip to opposite side and cook another 4 minutes or until deep golden brown and salmon feels fairly 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 the dressing on the side.
Salad can also be served with Sweet and Spicy Mango Dressing or Honey Cumin Vinaigrette.
Feel free to add other veggies to salad; sliced or diced zucchini, diced mango, bell peppers, jicama, slivers of red or white onion, etc.
The nutritional information does not include the dressing.