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Seared Salmon with Lemon Butter Caper Sauce

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This Seared Salmon with Lemon Butter Caper Sauce recipe offers a perfect balance of simplicity and sophistication. The crispy seared salmon, complimented by the tangy and aromatic sauce, is a marriage made in food heaven. One of the remarkable aspects of this easy salmon recipe is its ease of preparation. With clear instructions and minimal ingredients, even amateur cooks can create this restaurant-worthy fish dish in the comfort of their own kitchen.

Not only is this an easy, family-friendly salmon recipe, it’s also delicious and can be on your dinner table in less than 20 minutes!

A piece of pan seared salmon with crispy skin laying on a white plate with roasted potatoes and asparagus. The salmon is coated with a lemon butter caper sauce.

USES OF THIS LEMON BUTTER CAPER SAUCE

In addition to crispy salmon, this versatile Lemon Butter Caper Sauce not only enhances the taste of various proteins, but also pairs well with pasta. Try this yummy lemon sauce on:

  • Grilled or pan-seared chicken breast.
  • Pan-fried pork chops.
  • Sautéed shrimp would be great is this lemony sauce.
  • Poach lobster tails and pour on this yummy sauce.
  • This lemon butter caper sauce would be amazing drizzled over perfectly seared scallops.
  • Grilled Halibut or Mahi-Mahi.
  • Pour this sauce on seared tofu for a vegetarian option.

HOW TO MAKE CRISPY SKIN SALMON WITH LEMON BUTTER CAPER SAUCE

Despite its gourmet appeal, this salmon recipe is remarkably simple to make. From the straightforward seasoning of the salmon to the quick preparation of the zesty Lemon Butter Caper Sauce, every step is designed with simplicity in mind.

  1. Prepare the Salmon:
    • Pat the salmon pieces dry with paper towels.
    • Using a sharp knife, make a few slits in the skin of each salmon piece. This prevents the skin from curling while cooking.
    • Lightly brush both sides of the salmon with part of the olive oil.
    • Season the salmon on all sides with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  2. Sear the Salmon:
    • Heat the remaining olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat.
    • Place the salmon pieces in the pan, flesh-side down. Cook for about 3-4 minutes or until the salmon is seared and cooked about 3/4 of the way through.
    • Carefully flip the salmon pieces using a spatula and cook for another 2-3 minutes to sear the other side. The salmon should be slightly opaque in the center and flake easily with a fork.
  3. Prepare the Lemon Butter Caper Sauce:
    • While the salmon is cooking, melt the butter with the garlic clove, in a small saucepan over medium heat.
    • Add the capers to the saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1-2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the capers are slightly crispy.
    • Pour in the fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. Season with a pinch of salt.
    • Let the sauce simmer for another 1-2 minutes until it slightly thickens. Remove the garlic clove from the sauce.
    • Stir in the chopped fresh parsley, reserving some for garnish.
  4. Plate and Serve:
    • Place the seared salmon on serving plates, crispy skin side up.
    • Spoon the lemon butter caper sauce generously over the salmon pieces.
    • Garnish with the remaining fresh parsley.

How to Achieve Crispy Skin on Salmon

Achieving crispy salmon skin requires the right technique, and a bit of patience. Despite what others may do, my technique involves searing the salmon, flesh-side down, first. Here are a few tips to help you achieve that crispy skin:

  • Pat the salmon dry with paper towels. Moisture is the enemy of crispiness.
  • Score the skin using a sharp knife. Making shallow scores on the skin helps prevent the skin from curling.
  • Use medium-high to high heat. Add the salmon only after the pan and oil have been heated and shimmers.
  • Chose the right oil. Use an oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable, canola, avocado or grapeseed oil.
  • Place the salmon flesh-side down, or skin-side down.
  • Do NOT disturb the salmon until ready to flip.
  • Be patient.
  • Flip and finish cooking the salmon filet until the skin is crispy. This should only take a few minutes.
  • After cooking and to preserve the skin’s crispiness, blot the salmon skin to absorb any excess grease oil

HOW TO SERVE AND STORE SALMON WITH LEMON BUTTER CAPER SAUCE

When serving Seared Salmon with a Lemon Butter Caper Sauce, it’s essential to compliment the dish with side dishes that enhance its flavors and create a well-balanced meal. Here are some delightful options to consider when plating this easy weeknight salmon dinner:

  • Steamed Asparagus
  • Roasted Potatoes
  • Rice Pilaf
  • Garlic Mashed Potatoes
  • Fresh Garden Salad
  • Roasted Vegetables

To store leftovers of this salmon dish, allow to cool then store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Repurpose the salmon by flaking it over crisp greens for a healthy and delicious Salmon Salad the next day!

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A piece of pan seared salmon with crispy skin laying on a white plate with roasted potatoes and asparagus. The salmon is coated with a lemon butter caper sauce.

Seared Salmon with Lemon Butter Caper Sauce


Description

This Seared Salmon with Lemon Butter Caper Sauce recipe offers a perfect balance of simplicity and sophistication. The crispy seared salmon, complimented by the tangy and aromatic sauce, is a marriage made in food heaven. One of the remarkable aspects of this easy salmon recipe is its ease of preparation.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2, 6-8 ounce skin-on salmon filets
  • 1 tablespoon high smoke point oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 onion powder
  • 4 salted tablespoons butter
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

Instructions

  1. Pat the salmon dry with paper towels.
  2. Score the skin with a sharp knife.
  3. Brush a little oil on both sides.
  4. Season all sides with salt, black pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.
  5. Heat the remaining oil in a non-stick or cast iron pan. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, place the fish, skin-side up. 
  6. Allow the fish to sear until it’s cooked about 3/4 way through. Try not to handle the fish as it’s searing.
  7. While the fish is searing, melt the butter with the garlic clove in a saucepan. Once melted, add the capers Cook for three minutes. 
  8. Turn off the heat. Add in the lemon juice, lemon zest, pinch of salt and fresh chopped parsley. Gently mix. Let the flavors develop and the sauce to thicken for a minute. Remove the garlic clove from the sauce and discard. 
  9. Flip the salmon. Sear the skin until golden brown and crispy. About three to four more minutes.
  10. Plate the salmon, skin-side up. Spoon on the lemon butter caper sauce.
  11. Serve immediately with your chosen side dishes.
  12. ENJOY!

Notes

  • Opt for fresh ingredients; fresh salmon, fresh herbs and fresh lemon juice, if possible. 
  • Pat the salmon dry with paper towels.
  • Score the skin of the salmon with a sharp knife to prevent the skin from curling.
  • Place the salmon in the pan once the pan is hot and the oil is shimmering.
  • Do NOT touch the salmon until ready to flip.
  • If you are making this dish for a larger crowd, double the lemon butter caper sauce ingredients and sear the salmon in batches to prevent the fish from steaming instead of searing.
  • Taste the lemon butter caper sauce prior to spooning onto the fish. Adjust the seasoning as needed.
  • Plate the salmon skin-side up to maintain its crispiness.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Seafood

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GET TO KNOW ME!

A photo of me in a black floral dress cooking at the stovetop at Williams-Sonoma

WELCOME! My name is Melissa Latin aka. Charlotte Fashion Plate. Happy to meet you! I am more than just recipes. I love fashion and style too! Most importantly, I love my Family (my Hubby and my Fur Babies). My Husband (aka my “Kitchen Bitch”) means the world to me. He’s pretty damn cool too. Not only is he one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, he also has had a lengthy career in professional hockey. Not only winning two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early ’90’s, but most recently winning the Calder Cup with the Charlotte Checkers, amongst many other accolades. If you live in Charlotte and play hockey, or have a family member who plays, be sure to contact him!

Our life has changed dramatically in the past few years with the passing of our two goldendoodles, Vegas and Viva. We were lucky enough to have Vegas for five years (totally wish it was longer). Most recently, losing our Viva to a brain tumor in July of 2020. We welcomed our mini goldendoodle 7, almost seven years ago. We just added the amazing Hazel! Of course, I am always posting tons and tons of photos! Be sure to check out my recipe for Pet Bone Broth! This broth is super rich in nutrients and will provide your pet with a multitude of health benefits!

Let’s Get Social!

Be sure to follow me on social media! I’m always talking food, fashion, and family! I also love sharing some of my favorite Amazon Finds too. Click here to check out my Amazon page! FacebookInstagramTikTokTwitter and Pinterest! THANK YOU!

! This broth is super rich in nutrients and will provide your pet with a multitude of health benefits!

Let’s Get Social!

Be sure to follow me on social media! I’m always talking food, fashion, and family! I also love sharing some of my favorite Amazon Finds too. Click here to check out my Amazon page! FacebookInstagramTikTokTwitter and Pinterest! THANK YOU!

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