Butter poached salmon



  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 6-ounce (175 grams) skinless salmon fillets
  • kosher salt

Butter poaching

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, cut in pieces
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives


Combine cumin, paprika, ginger, coriander and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to create a smooth paste.

Rub mixture over salmon and marinate for at least 3 hours. Sprinkle with kosher salt just before sautéing.

Add remaining one tablespoon of oil to a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Place salmon, flesh-side down for 1 minute. Turn over and cook skin-side down for 2 more minutes.

Reduce heat to medium low. Add butter in pieces spooning it over the salmon frequently. By spooning quickly the butter does not burn. Cook another 3 to 4 minutes or until fish is slightly pink in centre. Remove pan from heat. The butter should be a nutty brown colour.

Remove fish to a plate. Add lemon juice to pan. Let it cook for 30 seconds to combine flavours. Strain butter mixture into a clean bowl, season with salt to taste and sprinkle in chives.

Serve salmon over wilted spinach, drizzled with the lemon butter.


This salmon is a perfect partner for a full-bodied white Burgundy, such as Meursault. The chardonnay’s oak influence helps give it a buttery character that would support the sauce and oily fish. But any oak-aged chardonnay is a fine choice. - Beppi Crosariol