Sugar-Seared Salmon w/ Sweet & Spicy Orange-Coconut Sauce

I love having a stash of delicious marmalade in my pantry (or freezer). There are a myriad of fun, delightful varieties at the market or, even better – you can make your own! Perhaps you have a favorite recipe or you may want to try this super simple Lemon, Ginger and Orange Freezer Marmalade that I shared last week. Keeping a supply of this wonderful condiment at your fingertips makes a recipe like today’s fabulous Sugar-Seared Salmon w/ Sweet & Spicy Orange-Coconut Sauce a breeze………

Marmalade is the foundation of the sauce with lots of other fun ingredients stirred in to make a perfect complement for the salmon. Oh, and speaking of the salmon…. wow! – Wait till you hear about this one!

By making the sauce in advance, the salmon can be prepared in less than fifteen minutes – start to finish! Sugar, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper are combined and patted onto the flesh of the fish. A bit of butter and a splash of olive oil in a hot pan awaits the salmon and a magical transformation is just around the corner as the salmon is added to the sizzling pan. Four minutes per side yields perfectly cooked, tender salmon with a delicate, crisp, amazingly delicious caramelized sugar crust – I love the slightly sweet “crunch” you experience with each bite! Serve it with a splash of the Sweet & Spicy Orange-Coconut Sauce, a side of Perfect Jasmine Rice and a crisp green veggie – I think your family/friends might just flip over it!

P.S. Oh, and if you live in an area that is warm enough to sustain pansies through the winter, by all means have some fun with them and add a bit of dazzle to your culinary presentations – they’re so pretty and …………. did you know that they’re edible!?


Sugar-Seared Salmon w/ Sweet & Spicy Orange-Coconut Sauce

Ingredients for the salmon:
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 6-ounce skinless salmon fillets**
2 teaspoons butter
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
Ingredients for the sauce:
½ cup marmalade, I used my Meyer Lemon, Ginger & Orange Marmalade, but you could use any good quality marmalade.
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Sriracha*
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons peanut butter
1 clove garlic, finely minced
½ med jalapeno, finely minced
1 tablespoon shredded coconut
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped

Directions for the sauce:
1. Combine all the ingredients except the cilantro in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for one minute then whisk to combine all ingredients. Add chopped cilantro just before serving. Sauce can be made early in the day and stored in the refrigerator. Warm in microwave just before serving.

Directions for the salmon:
1. Mix sugar, sea salt and pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle salmon fillets on both sides with the sugar mixture and pat to coat. Use all of the mixture.

2. Melt butter in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Add salmon and cook until crusty and caramelized on outside and just opaque in center, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer salmon to plates and drizzle with Sweet & Spicy Orange-Coconut Sauce.

*Sriracha is available at most grocers in the Asian section.
**Buy the freshest salmon you can find. I don’t have a good fishmonger nearby, so I usually buy my salmon frozen, at Costco. It is flash-frozen right off the boat and is always delicious, never fishy tasting and quite reasonable. It comes with each piece vacuum-sealed so you can unthaw just the amount you need.

Recipe inspired by Epicurious


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