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Pan Seared Salmon With A Creamy Saffron Sauce

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Pan seared salmon with this easy saffron sauce is out of this world!


Salmon with sauce

Pan seared salmon with a lightly spiced saffron sauce

The saffron sauce served with this pan seared salmon is so good. I like it because it’s not at all overpowering.

The sauce compliments the delicious flavour of the salmon perfectly.

Tips for the perfect pan seared salmon

  • The Skin

There is a lot of moisture in salmon skin, especially when fresh out of the water. If you don’t get that moisture out of the skin, it won’t be crispy when cooked. What a waste!

Crispy salmon skin is one of the best parts of homemade and restaurant style pan seared salmon.

Take a sharp knife and scrape it over the surface of the skin. As you do this, you will see the moisture coming out of it. Repeat this two or three times. This skin should feel as dry as paper. 

  • Cooking

Although the doneness for this seared salmon recipe is completely up to you, I would like to suggest that you only cook the fish until it is just cooked through. I like mine cooked only until pink in the middle. 

Working ahead.

You can get the moisture out of the skin a few hours ahead of cooking and then keep in the fridge until ready to cook. 

You can also make the sauce up to a day before serving. So if you’re having friends around for your beautiful seared salmon masterpiece, you can entertain rather than spend the evening cooking. 

Frying onions and spices

Fry the onion for about 5 minutes. Then stir in the garlic and ginger paste and ground spices.

Adding wine to sauce.

Add the wine and reduce until it has almost all evaporated.

Simmering the sauce

The add the stock and reduce by half.

saffron infusing into milk.

Meanwhile, infuse the saffron in warm milk.

smashing cheese.

Pound the cheese into a paste. Adding a drop of water will help with this.

Adding cream to sauce

Add the cream and cheese to the sauce and stir well to combine.

simmering cream sauce

Reduce again until the cream sauce is quite thick.

adding saffron milk to sauce

Add the saffron milk and continue simmering for a couple of minutes to reduce and thicken the sauce.

Adding green peppercorns

Add the green peppercorns (if using) just before plating.

Salmon with saffron cream sauce

Dig in!

If you like the look of this pan seared salmon recipe, you might also like to try these. 

Salmon Curry with Broccoli and Coconut
Thai Steamed Salmon
Tandoori Salmon Tikka
Salmon Fillet Steamed in Banana Leaf
Steamed Salmon with Soy Sauce and Chilli

Yield: 4

Pan Seared Salmon With A Creamy Saffron Sauce

Salmon with sauce
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 4 x 200g salmon fillets
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 small white onion - finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic and ginger paste (Equal amounts of garlic and ginger smashed into a paste)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powde
  • A pinch of saffron infused with about 100ml warm milk125ml (1/2 cup) fish stock or water if you must
  • 120ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp Cheddar cheese smashed into a paste
  • 70ml Double cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice of one lime
  • 3 tablespoons chopped coriander to garnish


  1. Heat one tablespoon of the butter over low heat in a frying pan.
  2. Add the chopped onions and fry slowly for about ten minutes until the onion is soft and caramelised.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger paste and stir well to combine.
  4. Now add the cumin and red chilli powder followed by the white wine.
  5. Turn the heat up and cook the wine until all of it has almost evaporated.
  6. Add the fish stock and reduce by half. Add the cream and again cook it down by about half.
  7. Pour in the saffron infused milk and the Cheddar cheese.
  8. Whisk it all into one creamy sauce and set aside while you cook the salmon.
  9. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium high heat.
  10. When the oil is nice and hot, carefully place the salmon fillets into the pan - skin side down.
  11. Fry until the salmon is about half way cooked through. You will be able to see the cooking progress as it cooks.
  12. Carefully flip the salmon over to continue cooking to your referred doneness. I like mine pink inside.
  13. To serve, place each piece of salmon onto four heated plates.
  14. Ensure the sauce is nice and hot and then squeeze in the lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  15. Sprinkle with the chopped coriander and serve the fish with the sauce drizzled over and around it.

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I hope you enjoy this pan seared salmon recipe. If you do give it a try, please don’t be a stranger. Leave a comment. I would love to hear from you. 

Tracy Nixon

Tuesday 10th of February 2015

This was delicious thank you!

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