Pan-Seared Salmon With Orange-Curry Sauce

Salmon is a versatile fish whose flavor marries beautifully with both fragrant spices and sweet elements. Here the salmon is seasoned with cumin and coriander, pan-seared and served with a sauce made with sautéed red onion, orange juice, apricot preserves, curry powder and a pinch of cayenne.

Pan-Seared Salmon With Orange-Curry Sauce

Pan-Seared Salmon With Orange-Curry Sauce

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This sweet and savory pan-seared salmon dish is served with a simple, fragrant pan sauce made with orange juice, red onion and curry powder.


  • 1 lb salmon fillet (1-inch thick), skin removed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil

For the sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons apricot preserves (or orange marmalade)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch


  1. In a small bowl, mix the cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Rub each side of the salmon with olive oil, season with the spice mixture, cut into 4 equal portions and set aside.
  2. Prepare the sauce by heating the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the curry powder and cayenne, combine well and continue cooking until the curry is fragrant, 1 minute. Add the orange juice, reserving about 2 tablespoons in the bottom of the measuring cup. Whisk in the apricot preserves and cook until the mixture is completely liquified, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add the cornstarch to the reserved orange juice, whisk to blend and add to the pan. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. As soon as the mixture has thickened to a syrup like consistency, transfer to a serving bowl and set aside.
  4. Wipe out the pan and heat over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the salmon and cook until nicely seared on the first side, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the salmon over, cover the pan and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily but is still a slightly translucent in the center. Time may vary depending on the thickness of each piece, so remove thinner pieces from the pan a little sooner if needed.
  5. To serve, spoon a little sauce onto each serving plate, add the salmon, then top with some additional sauce. Serve with steamed basmati rice that's been tossed with a little butter and fresh orange zest. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro.

Recipe adapted from "Make It Your Own" by Jamie Miller (out of print)