Spicy Roasted Salmon with Crispy Skin is a simple yet epic dish perfect for entertaining or as a family meal. All it takes is a hot oven and 25 minutes. You control the size of the salmon and how much spice to use.
You want a fillet that looks moist, has good color, firm flesh, with the skin descaled. I need to stress that if you intend to eat the skin, it should be descaled. You can ask your fish guy to descale for you. If you plan on doing it yourself, just note it can be messy. To descale, start from the tail end and scrape away. It helps when I put my cutting board and fish in the sink so the scales don’t end up all over the kitchen. I use a serrated knife and find that best. You can also use the back of the knife.
How can you tell if your fish is already descaled? Here’s a photo of a fillet that is scaled and one that is not. Notice how the descaled fillet looks like netting and the one with scales looks iridescent. Again, this is only necessary if you intend to eat the skin. If not, don’t bother.
Next, line a baking sheet with parchment or foil for help flip the fillet. Flip? Yes, because we are going to cook this salmon skin side up. We will get to that in a second.
Sprinkle the fillet with my tgc spice rub. As you can see from the photo, we like spicy. You are in control on how spicy you want this dish. You will have some seasoning leftover which can be used at another time on anything you want to have an extra kick.
After the fillet is seasoned, flip it over so the skin is now facing up. If I plan on eating the skin, which ends up being crispy like a chip, I sprinkle some more spice over the skin.
Roasting the salmon skin side up does a few things.
- The skin gets dark and crispy while protecting the fish underneath.
- Since the fat and omega-3 fatty acids are concentrated on and beneath the skin, and we are cooking skin side up, the roasted salmon is basted while it’s cooking.
- After roasting for 20 minutes, the skin easily peels off. Place next to the fillet crisp side down and roast for another 5 minutes. That extra 5 minutes allows the underside of the skin to get crispy and melts the remaining fat on the fillet.
When serving, flip the fish onto a platter spice side up. It can be tricky, but with the use of a large spatula, it can be done successfully.
Remember, this dish is versatile. You can have anywhere from a large fillet to a whole side. You can spice a little or a lot. You can serve with skin or without. Whichever way you choose, you will enjoy a delicious roasted salmon fillet seasoned with spices that contrast with the mild flavor of the fish. It’s really good. Serve with your favorite sides like this and this.
Be happy, eat well…
Spicy Roasted Salmon with Crispy Skin
- 1 salmon fillet 2 - 3 pounds, skin on, descaled*
tgc Spice Rub:
- 1 tablespoon cayenne
- 1 tablespoon granulated garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoons pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoons granulated onion powder
- Put the oven fan on.
- Place oven rack on upper third of oven.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine spice ingredients in small bowl.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil.
- Place salmon skin side down and season fillet with rub. Use a little for flavor and more if you like heat. You will have some leftover. Reserve for another use.
- Flip fish over so the skin is facing up. If desired, sprinkle more spice on the skin.
- Place pan in upper third of the oven and roast for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Peel off skin and place it back on pan fatty side up.
- Place pan back in oven for 5 minutes.
- Transfer salmon to platter. If skin is not yet crisp, place it in the oven for a few minutes.
- Serve salmon hot or at room temperature.