Blackened seafood is one of my favorite meals. It gives a simple dish that extra kick of flavor! My Blackened Salmon Cakes with Corn Salsa has a little heat but also sweetness from the corn. Double the salmon cake recipe to make extra for a freezer meal!
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What does blackened mean when cooking?
Blackening is a cooking technique that relies on seasonings. Many people have the misconception that blackening is a Cajun recipe. However, it is a cooking technique that was perfected by Chef Paul Prudhomme in the 1980’s. He became famous for his blackened red fish dish that was fish dipped in melted butter, sprinkled with a seasoning blend and cooked in a cast iron skillet on high heat.
People unfamiliar with blackening will mistake the food for being burnt but it’s just the crust that forms from the butter and spices when cooked at high heat.
what foods can be blackened?
Originally the blackening technique was created for for fish but you can use it on pretty much anything. It’s delicious on shrimp, chicken, steak and even vegetables. Get creative and try it to season some of your favorite recipes.
What is blackening seasoning made of?
Blackening is a mixture of spices. There is not an exact blend that you have to use. Usually you’ll have a bit of cayenne to give it some spice and you can always adjust to your family’s preference. I am generally pretty careful not to go too spicy because I’m always cooking for my mom and mother in law!
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own. If you have a favorite blackening seasoning just skip this step.
- Smoked Paprika
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Powder
How to make salmon cake
I always start with fresh salmon and cook it in the oven on a foil lined rimmed baking sheet. This recipe comes together easily because you can prep the blackened seasoning and the corn salsa while the salmon is in the oven.
After it cooks for 15-20 minutes (depends on thickness of fillets) allow the salmon to cool and gently break apart in a large mixing bowl. I always use my hands and make sure there are no small fish bones. Add the remaining cake ingredients, mixing well with hands.
Form 6 small patties just like you are making a hamburger. Sprinkle generously with blackening seasoning. I’ve never tried canned salmon which could work if your short on time but I can not guarantee the flavor.
How to cook salmon in a cast iron skillet
Cast iron skillets are the perfect cooking utensil for getting that evenly blackened crust. Start with heating up your skillet in medium high heat. Add your butter and let it melt and whirl around to evenly coat bottom. I always test my skillet to see if it’s hot with a little panko crumb. You want to see it sizzle, that’s when you know your butter is ready. Otherwise your salmon would sit in the butter and simply soak it up getting soggy and not the blackened crust we want.
Watch these salmon cakes closely and flip after a couple minutes or when they are nicely browned. Remember the salmon is already cooked so this step just adds a little flavor. Plate the salmon with corn salsa.
Can you freeze salmon cakes?
I love making salmon cakes because I can make a double batch for dinner for 2 nights! I’ll make some for that night’s dinner and put the leftovers in the freezer. It saves me time and my husband less dishes to wash!
It’s easy to freeze these salmon cakes. Make thru step 7 and then put the salmon cakes on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Place in freezer to freeze for a couple hours. Once your cakes have hardened it’s easy to individually wrap in Saran Wrap. Then place in a large zip-lock bag that labeled with the recipe name and date.
Looking for other delicious salmon recipes? Try these!
My Favorite Kitchen Tools!
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Blackened Salmon Cakes with Corn Salsa
- 1 ½ pounds salmon
- 1 egg
- ⅓ cup mayo
- ½ cup panko crumbs
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup chopped red onion
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- 11 ounce can of corn, drained
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon diced jalapeño pepper
- ¼ cup diced red bell pepper
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and arrange salmon.
- Bake salmon for 15-16 minutes, salmon is cooked when flakes easily with a fork.
- While salmon is cooking make blackening seasoning by mixing all spices together in small bowl. Set aside.
- In another bowl mix together corn salsa by adding the corn salsa ingredients together. Chill in refrigerator.
- When salmon is fully cooked remove from oven and allow fish to cool. Flake with a fork and add salmon to a large bowl with remaining salmon cake ingredients.
- Form salmon into 6 patties.
- Sprinkle cakes with blackening seasoning on both sides. You may have a little extra which you can keep for another use or discard.
- Heat cast iron skillet or non stick skillet on medium heat. Add 2 tablespoon of olive oil to skillet.
- Once hot add salmon cakes. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side. Remember salmon is fully cooked this is just to get nice blackened crust.
- Remove salmon and plate with corn salsa.