Pan Seared Citrus Salmon & Herb Sauce

Published January 18th, 2022 by Copper River Salmon

Pan Seared Citrus Salmon

Recipe/Food Styling by Kim Sunée Photos by Maya Wilson

Let Copper River sockeye salmon be the star of the show with a supporting cast of juicy, bright citrus, and crisp colorful radishes, including watermelon, French breakfast, or Daikon. Sautéing the radishes in golden brown butter coaxes out some of their natural sweetness and the fresh herb sauce brings it all together. Any leftover salmon can be tossed with the herb sauce and yogurt for a light and satisfying salmon salad.


    • 1 (one-pound) fillet Copper River salmon, king, sockeye or Coho, cut into 4 fillets, pin bones removed, skin-on is fine
    • 1 ruby grapefruit, peel and pith removed; fruit cut into segments
    • 1 to 2 oranges, peel and pith removed; fruit cut into segments  
    • 1 Meyer lemon, peel and pith removed; fruit cut into segments
    • 1 bunch red or black radishes, trimmed and cut in half
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • About 1 tablespoon neutral oil, such as grapeseed or avocado (plus more for Herb Sauce)
    • Herb Sauce (recipe follows)
    • For the Herb Sauce:
    • 3 bunches herbs, combination of fresh basil, cilantro, and mint or parsley  
    • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
    • 1 to 2 jalapeños or serrano chilies, stems removed, coarsely chopped (optional)
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
    • Salt, to taste
    • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, white wine, or rice vinegar
    • About 1/3 cup good quality olive oil or grapeseed or avocado oil

Instructions (read directions thoroughly before cooking)

    Make Herb Sauce by combining herbs, garlic, jalapeño (optional), cumin, coriander, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and lemon juice in the bowl of food processor; blend to combine, or mix with a mortar and pestle. Drizzle in oil until the sauce comes together. Taste and add more salt, garlic, chilies, or lemon juice, as needed. The sauce can get plenty of heat from the garlic so add the optional jalapeño with that in mind.

    Place a large skillet over medium-high heat; add 2 tablespoons unsalted butter; let sizzle and foam, swirling pan, about 1 minute (do not let burn). Add radishes and season lightly with salt.  Cook, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes until radishes are just tender and browned and butter smells nutty. Reduce heat if butter begins to burn. Remove radishes from pan to serving platter or bowl.

    Remove any radish bits from skillet but do not wipe out butter; set pan back over medium-high heat. Pat salmon fillets dry and season both sides lightly with salt and pepper. Add 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons oil to pan and when oil is hot place salmon fillets, skin-side down and cook, undisturbed, 3 minutes. Reduce heat if oil is smoking. Gently turn fillets over; scatter cooked radishes around the fillets in the pan and let cook, another 2 to 3 minutes, or until fish is cooked to preferred doneness, typically when opaque and separates easily with a fork. Toss radishes and citrus segments together; serve with salmon and Herb Sauce.

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Pan Seared Citrus Salmon

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