Roasted Merquén Dry Rubbed Atlantic Salmon Fillet Topped with Chilean Pebre Salsa

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Serves: 4


This recipe is full of the flavours of Chile and uses both Merquén and Pebre salsa. Merquén is a traditional Chilean seasoning originally created by the Mapuche people that is used as a dry rub to flavour meat and seafood before it is cooked or as a condiment that is sprinkled over food at the table. We’ve included our recipe for the spice mix which always includes smoked paprika as its base. Pebre salsa is a huge favourite in Chile, made and eaten in every home and usually served on bread or with BBQ’d meat and fish.



  1. Pre-heat an oven to a moderate temperature – 160°C.
  2. Over a moderate heat, bring a saucepan half-filled with water to the boil, add the tomatoes and continue to boil for 20 seconds. Remove the tomatoes from the saucepan and place into ice cold water for 5 minutes, then remove and drain well. Peel the loosened skin from the tomatoes. Discard the skin and reserve the tomatoes.
  3. Cut the tomatoes into quarters lengthways, remove the seeds from each quarter, then cut the tomato quarters into a 1cm dice.
  4.  In a mixing bowl, add the tomato, coriander leaves, jalapeños, garlic, shallots, red wine vinegar and olive oil, mix to thoroughly combine and season to taste. Set the Chilean pebre salsa to one side for 30 minutes to allow its flavours to further develop.
  5. In a mixing bowl, add the chilli powder, ground coriander, smoked paprika, oregano leaves, and sea salt. Mix to thoroughly combine, then set the Merquén spice to one side.
  6. On a clean work surface, lay out the salmon fillets, flesh side up, evenly sprinkle each fillet with the Merquén spice, then gently rub the spice into each fillets flesh.
  7. Over a moderate heat, lightly spray the saute pan with oil. Add the salmon and sear for 1 minute on each side or until it is lightly browned on both sides. Remove the salmon from the heat and place it skin-side down in a single layer on a roasting tray that has been sprayed with oil. Place the tray into the oven and roast for 8 minutes or until it is cooked to the desired degree. Remove the tray from the oven, cover with aluminium foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes.


Place a salmon fillet onto the centre of each serving plate and top each generously with Pebre salsa.


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