Seared Spiced Salmon Steaks with Black Bean Salsa

Everyone I know who has eaten this has loved it. The black bean salsa looks very pretty alongside the salmon and provides a marvellous contrast of flavours and textures, and what's more, the whole thing is so little trouble to prepare.

Serves 6

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Winter Collection and The Delia Collection: Fish. It has also appeared in Sainsbury's Magazine (May 1993).

Seared Spiced Salmon Steaks with Black Bean Salsa
 6 salmon steaks, 5-6 oz (150-175 g) each
 3 fat cloves garlic
 2 level teaspoons sea salt
 1½ inch (4 cm) piece of root ginger, grated
 grated zest 2 limes, reserve the juice for the salsa
 a good pinch of ground cinnamon
 a good pinch of ground cumin
 2 tablespoons light olive oil
 1 x 15 g pack (or ½ oz) fresh coriander leaves (reserve 6 sprigs and finely chop the remainder)
 freshly milled black pepper
For the salsa:
 4 oz (110 g) black beans soaked overnight in twice their volume of cold water
 12 oz (350 g) ripe but firm tomatoes, skinned, de-seeded and finely chopped
 1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
 1 x 15 g pack (or ½ oz) fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
 juice 2 limes (see above)
 ½ level teaspoon salt
You will also need a solid baking sheet that won't buckle under the heat.


A few hours before you want to cook the salmon, wipe each of the steaks with damp kitchen paper and remove any visible bones using tweezers. Place the salmon on a plate, then, with a pestle and mortar, crush the garlic cloves and sea salt together until you have a creamy purée. Now add the grated ginger, lime zest, cinnamon and cumin, 1 tablespoon of the light olive oil and the chopped coriander, and a good grind of black pepper. Mix everything together and spread a little of this mixture on each salmon steak. Cover with clingfilm and set aside for the flavours to develop and permeate the salmon.

To make the salsa, rinse the beans in plenty of cold water, put them in a saucepan with enough water to cover, bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 10 minutes. Then reduce the heat and simmer the beans for 30 minutes until tender. Drain and allow them to cool completely before adding all the other ingredients. Then leave them covered for several hours to allow the flavours to develop.

When you're ready to cook the salmon, pre-heat the grill to its highest setting. Brush the baking sheet with the remaining light olive oil and put it under the grill to heat up. When the grill is really hot, remove the baking sheet using an oven glove, and place the salmon pieces on it. They will sear and sizzle as they touch the hot metal. Position the tray 3 inches (7.5 cm) from the heat and grill them for 7 minutes exactly. Use a kitchen timer as the timing is vital.

Remove them when the time is up and use a sharp knife to ease the skins off. Transfer to warm plates and garnish with sprigs of coriander. Serve immediately with the black bean salsa.

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