Surprise! Making perfect blackened salmon is easy.

I used to fear cooking fish. Oven roasting always dried it out. Pan frying seemed to destroy the fish and leave me with piles of shredded fishmeats. I remembered my father's always perfect grilled salmon, the surface crisped but tender flaky fish under the delicious layer of spices. I couldn't recreate it.

I'd passed on cooking stuff from the sea for a long while, but my daughter's pediatrician convinced "us" that regularly eating fish was good for gymnasts. I was being asked to make salmon for dinner. Frustration quickly melted away as I realized my ChefSteps Joule sous vide circulator would save me.

Joule is the easiest to use sous vide circulator I've tried. Sous vide is a food preparation technique that delivers perfectly every time you cook. You immerse your consumable in a temperature controlled bath and gently raise foodstuffs to the right internal temps. Steak, chicken eggs, vegetables, everything I've tried comes out perfect… and now fish. The app makes cooking foolproof.

I've learned that the first thing when making blackened salmon, for our happiness, is to find fresh and never frozen fish. Apparently something about the freezing and thawing process makes fish fishier, and neither my kid or I like a strongly fishy fish. I've taken to asking for a 1/2 pound serving cut into two fillets.

You'll also need your blackening seasoning of choice! For many years I used Konriko Creole Seasoning as my absolute go-to for anything requiring a bit of Louisiana. If a pure-play blackened cajun seasoning is what you are looking for you will not go wrong with Konriko! Last night, however my daughter and I tried ProssSpice, an astonishing blend from Prosser's in Portland, Oregon. Prosser's flavor is significantly more Caribbean than traditional Creole seasoning, and is a hell of a lot less salty.

I have been using Prosser's on just about everything lately.

Once you've got fish and your blackening seasonings ready, it is time to sous vide:

Blackened Sous Vide Salmon


  • Salmon filets
  • Seasoning
  • olive oil

Follow these steps, deviation may cause irreversible temporal dislocation:

  1. 1. Fill your immersion vessel with water, and set the temperature via the Joule apps' visual done-ness guide. My daughter likes 122F cooked fish.

  2. 2. Season the salmon, liberally. I like to rub about 1 tsp of seasoning on each filet, top and sides. The skin side can be ignored.

  3. 3. Place salmon in a ziplock freezer bag. add 2-3 tbsp of olive oil to the bag. Do not zip the bag shut, you want air to escape as the fish goes into the bath.
  4. 4. Immerse the bag in the water. Chase whatever few airbubbles may be in the bag around your meat out. I use a binder clip to hold the bag in place, then I tell Joule we're cooking (hit start!)
  5. 5. When the app tells you the fish is done, I begin heating my cast iron skillet on high heat. Once the skillet is hot, I remove the salmon bag from the water, remove the salmon from the bag and put it meatside down in the pan.

  6. 6. Sear for 90 seconds max.

  7. 7. Plate and eat.

Previously on Boing Boing:

ChefSteps new all-white Joule is $20 cheaper

Joule turns sous vide from an experiment into an everyday cooking technique