Sear-Roasted Salmon Fillets With Lemon Ginger Butter 4.000
Sep 27, 2006

In this two-step cooking process, the fish emerges from the oven with a delicate, flavorful crust and a moist interior. The bright-tasting butter melts to form a tangy sauce. The recipe makes more than enough butter; wrap unused butter in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to a month, and use as a compound butter for meat, fish or vegetables.

Serve the salmon with polenta and steamed green beans.

Servings: 4
  • 4 (20 ounces) salmon fillets (skin-on or skinless), about 3/4 inch thick
  • 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, warmed slightly*
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced ginger root
  • 2 tablespoons snipped chives
  • Olive oil, for searing
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Remove the salmon fillets from the refrigerator, pat dry and set aside at room temperature.

In a small bowl, combine the butter, lemon juice, ginger and chives. Set aside.

Place a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat and add just enough olive oil to make a light film. Season the fillets lightly with salt and pepper to taste. When the oil is very hot, add the fillets, skin side up, and sear until nicely browned, about 1 minute. Turn them over; immediately place the skillet in the oven. Roast for 2 minutes for medium-rare, 3 to 4 minutes for medium. Check for doneness by flaking the fish with the tip of a knife at its thickest part; the flesh should be barely opaque at the center.

Transfer the fish to individual plates; any skin probably will remain stuck to the bottom of the skillet. Serve immediately, with a dollop of melting lemon ginger butter on top of each fillet.

*NOTE: Warmed lemon juice will combine more readily with the butter, but it should not be hot enough so that the butter melts. A few seconds in the microwave is all it needs.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "The 150 Best American Recipes," by Fran McCullough and Molly Stevens (Houghton Mifflin, 2006, $30). It first appeared in Fine Cooking magazine.

Tested by Jane Touzalin.

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