Sumac Blackened Salmon

Tangy sumac is excellent with fish — and the dash of paprika and cayenne adds a welcome kick, making this a dish you’ll cook again and again. You might want to flake the blackened salmon into a salad, serve it with grains — or (our favourite!) stuff it in a pita bursting with green herbs and a tahini dressing.
It might seem counter-intuitive to blacken the flesh, but stick with it. It’s just the spice rub which colours, and it makes for a delicious and dramatic casing for when you tuck into the perfectly-cooked flesh below.


1/2 side salmon (500g)
2tbsp olive oil
2tsp Rooted Turkish Sumac
1tsp Rooted Spanish Hot Smoked Paprika
1/2tsp Rooted Indian Ground Cumin
1/4tsp Rooted Indian Cayenne Pepper

For the molasses onions:

3 red onions
4tbsp olive oil
2tbsp Balsamic vinegar
2tbsp pomegranate molasses


If you’re making the molasses onions, then preheat the oven to 200C.

First, cut the red onions into eight wedges leaving the root holding together the slices at the base. Put them in a roasting tin.
Mix together the olive oil, Balsamic vinegar and pomegranate molasses, then toss the sauce through the onions. Salt, and then roast for 20-25 minutes, tossing half way through cooking. They will be soft and sticky, and the thin tendrils will have started to blacken.

Meanwhile, brush the olive oil over the flesh side of the salmon. Mix together the spices and then sprinkle them over the salmon. Use your fingertips to gently make sure that the spice rub is pressed into the salmon so it’s firmly stuck to the flesh.

Turn your hob to the hottest setting and heat a frying pan (ideally cast iron) until it’s smoking. Put a square of baking parchment in the pan, which is roughly the same size of the salmon. Now, lay the salmon — flesh down — onto the baking parchment and leave it to cook for 8-10 minutes, so you can see that the salmon is cooked 3/4 of the way through.

Carefully lift the salmon out of the pan, still on the baking parchment. Put the knob of butter in the pan, and then flip the salmon back into the pan, and let it cook — skin side down — for another 3-4 minutes. This should be enough to crisp the skin before serving.

spices used

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