Crispy Jamaican Jerk Salmon with Mango-Basil Vinaigrette

Fair warning to my vegetarian and vegan followers: you may want to put your eye muffs on for this entire post.

 Crispy Jamaican Jerk Salmon with Mango-Basil Vinaigrette | #healthy #dinner #recipe #paleo

What if I told you this is the best meal I’ve eaten in Idunnohowlong? Crispy spiced salmon with field greens and avocado, tied together with sweet mango-basil vinaigrette? A meal that takes no more than 30 minutes to prepare? I’m almost at a loss for words.


Crispy salmon bits.

There, I said it

Ohhhhhhhhmommacita, I’m obsessed!

As you all know, I’m a big lover of sea dwellers, but what you may not know is I’m certifiably crazy over crispy salmon skin. The salmon skin hand roll at sushi restaurants? The best ever. The crispy fatty bits crunch like no other crispy morsel and melt in your mouth in fatty deliciousness. Fat: it does the body good.

Crispy Jamaican Jerk Salmon with Mango-Basil Vinaigrette | #healthy #dinner #recipe #paleo

My go-to trick for getting both the flesh and the skin of the salmon all crispified is by broiling it on high in the oven. Works like a charm each and every time! The fish turns out crispy around the outside and suuuuper moist and tender on the inside. PLUS, you don’t need to marinate it – all you need is a spice blend and some oil and BAM: dinner in 15 minutes.

Moving on to the mango-basil dressing.

I had a suuuuupah ripe mango in my refrigerator along with some basil that needed to be used up before it expired in like 10 seconds (you know how basil is…one minute it’s all perky and spry, the next moment it’s all flaccid and…nevermind).

I remembered Teighan’s post from last week, where she made a peanutty-chili-mango-basil hootenanny for her Very Berry Dream Salad so I used her dressing recipe as inspiration for my own mango-basil adventure. I omitted the peanut butter and the chili and made some more alterations (although I’m sure her exact recipe is amazing), and was left with this sweet, tropical, creamy dressing that wowed my face off. Like, I wanted to stick a straw in it and drink it like a smoothie, no.joke.whatsoever. I’ve been envisioning using it as a meat marinade or dressing for a grain salad or potato salad. Canyouimaginethepossibilities?

 Crispy Jamaican Jerk Salmon with Mango-Basil Vinaigrette | #healthy #dinner #recipe #paleo

Case in point: Crispy yet tender bites of salmon seventh heaven. Creamy dresmy tropical dressing of bliss. Meal of Poseidon. It’s time to feast!

The crispy fatty bits, though..

Crispy Jamaican Jerk Salmon with Mango-Basil Vinaigrette | #healthy #dinner #recipe #paleo

Crispy Jamaican Jerk Salmon with Mango-Basil Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Author: Julia


Mango-Basil Vinaigrette:

For the Salad:

  • 5 ounces field greens chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper cut into matchsticks
  • 1 ripe but firm avocado peeled and sliced
  • ¼ red onion thinly sliced
  • ½ cup fresh blueberries

Jamaican Jerk Salmon:

  • 1 pound salmon fillet
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Jamaican Jerk spice * see note


Prepare the Mango-Basil Vinaigrette:

  1. Add all ingredients for the vinaigrette except for the basil to a high-powered blender (I used my Magic Bullet). Blend until completely smooth. Transfer to a jar and stir in the chopped basil. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Prepare the Salad:

  1. Add all ingredients for the salad to a large serving bowl and toss together.

Perpare the Jamaican Jerk-Spiced Salmon:

  1. Place your oven on the high broil setting and move one of the racks to the top shelf.
  2. Place salmon fillet in a large casserole dish and drizzle with oil. Use your hands to be sure the whole fillet is evenly coated.
  3. Sprinkle the Jamaican jerk spice over the salmon fillet and very gently rub into the salmon to ensure the whole fillet is evenly coated in oil and spice.
  4. Place on the top shelf under the preheated broiler and broil for 10 to 15 minutes (depending on size of fillet. A fillet less than 1-inch thick should only take 10 to 12 minutes). Note: Keep the oven light on to ensure the salmon does not catch fire - while this has never happened to me, it is possible for food to ignite when it’s under the broiler.
  5. Remove salmon from oven and serve with salad and mango-basil vinaigrette.

Recipe Notes

*You can use store-bought Jamaican Jerk spice or you can make your own blend by following this recipe from Cooking Light

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  1. Becky Winkler (A Calculated Whisk)

    I am equally obsessed with crispy salmon skin (in fact, I won’t deign to eat salmon without it) but I did NOT know there was a salmon skin sushi roll! Wow.

    Also, this whole recipe just looks amazing. The jerk seasoning with the crispy salmon, all that fruit, and avocado sounds perfect.

  2. Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health

    You had me thinking I was going to scroll down and see a fish head! lol

    I call myself a vegetarian but I like to eat fish on occasion and I know I would love this salmon! I’m all about a crispy crust too. Really the whole salad looks freakin’ incredible, especially that vinaigrette!

    Brandon is traveling for two weeks at the end of the month so I’m thinking that will give me plenty of time to get the fish smell out of the house after making this. Hooza!

  3. Julia

    Now that is a summer salad. The jerk salmon sounds so delicious…and then mix that with that sweet mango basil vinaigrette–perfect!

  4. Susan

    Oh, yum!!! This is definitely something I ought to make. I’m guessing that grilling the salmon would work, also.

    I’m certain that the dressing would go well with a grain salad – if I recall correctly, you are the creator of the Buddha bowl with maple cinnamon tahini dressing. This dressing sounds like it’s the same type, which means it would work. I’m really looking forward to trying this (and getting my husband to eat salmon…)

    1. Julia

      OH YES, what a brilliant idea using the dressing for the Buddha bowl! I still have some of it left in my refrigerator so now I know how to put it to use 😉 Thanks for the inspiration and I hope you and your hubs enjoy the salmon!

  5. Izzy

    Crispy fish skin is the best! You really can’t eat it any other way! I love that you put the salmon over a salad and included blueberries, yum!! I haven’t cooked salmon in so long, but this is making me want to go out and get some 🙂

  6. Joanne

    It’s a good thing I”m the kind of vegetarian who eats fish on occasion or I’d want to bite you right now (just to prevent myself from biting into this salmon!). Looks so good.

  7. Madalyn

    This was the best salmon I’ve ever eaten, let alone made!! And the mango basil vinaigrette… TO DIE FOR!! The most perfect summer dish. I felt like I was back in Costa Rica so obviously I was in a really good place with dinner tonight!! ???

  8. samantha steven

    Amazing recipe!!! I really want to share it with my friends as the flavours are fantastic, and it tastes so indulgent! Salmon is really an integral part of my diet as i am diagnosed with hypothyroidism and it is considered to be Zinc-rich. Thanks for sharing.


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