Four Spice Salmon

Lil squeeze of lemon, always a good addition

Hillary is the recipe-finding maven in this relationship. She digs through our small cookbook collection or searches online to make sure we don’t fall into cooking monotony . I have a much simpler approach: Mark Bittman. I’ve used his workhorse of a cookbook, How to Cook Everything, since 7th grade when I made crab cakes for Mother’s Day. This Four Spice Salmon recipe is quintessential Bittman: simple, quick, and delicious. It’s salmon + cumin/nutmeg/coriander/cloves. Period.

My words of advice for anyone looking for a midweek meal: when in doubt, Bittman is best.


  • 4 6-ounce salmon fillets > Bittman suggests aiming for equal sized fillets, best to go for center cut
  • salt & peppa
  • 1 TBS coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 TBS neutral oil (grape seed, peanut, canola, etc.)


  1. Season your fillets with salt and pepper on both sides.
  2. Combine all the spices and press spice mixture onto the top of each fillet.  Should be completely covered, don’t skimp!
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet or cast iron pan over med-high heat for 2-3 minutes.  Add oil and when it shimmers, place the fillets, coated side down, in the pan.  Cook for 2-3 minutes and then flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Better to undercook than overcook!  You can test doneness with a thin-bladed knife.  Stick the knife into the thickest part of the fish.  The fish should slightly resist the knife.

If you’re not familiar with Mark Bittman, we highly suggest checking him out!  His cooking video for this recipe is very entertaining.

Details: Serves 4.  You can reduce portion size by buying fewer fillets and halving spice mix.

To print the recipe, click here: 4 Spice Salmon

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