Feb 27, 2020

Roasted Salmon with Citrus Salad and Brown Butter over Crispy Rice

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
This recipe uses wild Alaskan sockeye salmon from the Copper River, an extremely lean fish with a bright red color, firm texture and rich salmon flavor.

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To offset the lean fish I serve it with a bright citrus salad and a drizzle of nutty brown butter over pan-fried crispy rice. This easy recipe is perfect for weeknight dinners since it’s made with day-old rice (you can use frozen rice as well) and the fish cooks very quickly.

Roasted Salmon with Citrus Salad and Brown Butter over Crispy Rice

About Alaskan Sockeye Salmon

This recipe uses wild Alaskan sockeye salmon from the Copper River, an extremely lean fish with a bright red color, firm texture and rich salmon flavor. When cooked it retains its bright color (due to the fish’s diet of plankton and krill) making it a favorite among chefs. I also love that it’s “wild caught” rather than farmed.

Roasted Salmon with Winter Citrus Salad and Brown Butter over Crispy Rice-33.jpg

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Salmon – Because it’s such a lean fish, and typically the filets are fairly thin, it can be easily over-cooked and become dry. At around 6 minutes of cooking use a sharp knife to check the thickest part to check for doneness.
  • Citrus – While I use a combination of blood orange, navel orange and grapefruit you can use any mix of citrus in this recipe. I like the color it adds to the recipe using all three.
  • Rice – Any medium to long grain rice variety can easily be used for the crispy rice. I generally use whatever type of rice I happen to have leftover! Use day-old rice for the best crispy rice. It will fry and get crispy rather than steaming!
  • Brown butter – Brown butter or beurre noisette is used commonly as a sauce over a pasta dish like butternut squash ravioli or in French pastries. In this recipe I use it to add a nutty flavor and fatty element to contrast the lean fish. As you cook the brown butter it will crackle and foam as it cooks and as it stops crackling, keep an eye on it so that it does not burn. It will turn from a yellow to a pale brown and then to a deep golden brown and smell nutty.

How to Make Roasted Salmon with Citrus Salad and Brown Butter

  1. Season and roast salmon. Heat oven to 400ºF. Arrange salmon fillets on a baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until the salmon is tender and flakey, about 10 minutes.
  2. Brown the butter. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat, add the butter and allow to melt. Cook the butter, swirling it around the pan occasionally, until the butter is toasty-brown color and has a nutty aroma, about 5 minutes. Once this happens immediately remove the brown butter to a small bowl.
  3. Cook the crispy rice. Wipe out the sauté pan and return it to medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the brown butter to the pan and heat through. Add the rice into the pan in an even layer and cook, untouched, until the bottom is crispy and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Stir and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Divide the crispy rice among serving bowls.
  4. Assemble the citrus salad. In another medium mixing bowl toss the blood orange, orange and grapefruit segments with the fennel and divide among the serving bowls and top each with a piece of the cooked salmon.
  5. Assemble and serve. Drizzle each bowl with the remaining brown butter and serve immediately.
Roasted Salmon with Winter Citrus Salad and Brown Butter over Crispy Rice

Day old rice is optimal for cooking fried rice since it has dried out a bit. When making fried rice the goal is to fry it so it’s a bit crispy and absorbs the rice rather than steaming it to the point that it is mushy. While day-old rice isn’t required it definitely makes for the best texture. In this recipe the rice is crisped in the remaining pork fat.

If you don’t have leftover rice you can mimic the dried rice by spreading the cooked rice in an even layer on a baking sheet and refrigerating it for an hour or freezing it for about 15 minutes to 30 minutes. This shortcut will draw the moisture out while saving time.

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Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Roasted Salmon with WInter Citrus Salad and Brown Butter over Crispy Rice

Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound wild Alaskan salmon, cut into 4 fillets
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups day old cooked white rice
  • 1 medium blood orange, segmented
  • 1 medium orange, segmented
  • 1 medium grapefruit, segmented
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced

Instructions:

  • Heat oven to 400ºF. Arrange salmon fillets on a baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until the salmon is tender and flakey, about 10 minutes.
  • Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat, add the butter and allow to melt. Cook the butter, swirling it around the pan occasionally, until the butter is toasty-brown color and has a nutty aroma, about 5 minutes. Once this happens immediately remove the brown butter to a small bowl.
  • Wipe out the sauté pan and return it to medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the brown butter to the pan and heat through. Add the rice into the pan in an even layer and cook, untouched, until the bottom is crispy and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Stir and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Divide the crispy rice among serving bowls.
  • In another medium mixing bowl toss the blood orange, orange and grapefruit segments with the fennel and divide among the serving bowls and top each with a piece of the cooked salmon.
  • Drizzle each bowl with the remaining brown butter and serve immediately.

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