1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
Dash cayenne pepper
Salt and black pepper to taste
4 7-ounce salmon fillets, skin on
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil, or as needed (optional)
In a small bowl, mix together coriander, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. Spread across the bottom of a flat, shallow pan that is large enough to hold all the fillets. Lay fillets on spice mixture, skin side up, flesh side against the spices. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until ready to cook.
To cook salmon: Heat oven to 400° F. Remove salmon from spice rub. Using your hands, rub spices into fish and brush off excess, leaving a bit of color and some specks of spice, but not a thick coat (which would blacken and fall off when cooked).
Heat a grill to medium, or place a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. If using a skillet, coat it with a thin layer of olive oil, about 2 tablespoons or as needed depending on skillet size.
When oil is hot, add fillets to skillet, flesh side down, skin side up, leaving about 1 inch between fillets (if skillet is small, cook fish two at a time). Brown salmon lightly, until it turns an attractive shade of golden brown, with a bit of caramelization around the edges (about 3 to 4 minutes, depending on burner heat and pan thickness). If you wish, flip fish and cook skin until crispy.
Turn salmon skin side down and place on a cookie sheet. Bake in oven until done, about 20 minutes. Most people will like it best when salmon is opaque but still appears shiny wet — don’t try to dry it out. The fish will cook a bit after being removed from the oven, so it can be easy to overcook.