With sweet orange and tart lemon, this citrus salmon recipe provides a bright flavor to liven up any plate! Serve with a side of roasted veggies for a quick and easy meal.
We buy salmon by the boat load.
Not really, I just wanted to say that. Get it? Salmon? Boat? Anyway. We do buy it in bulk, once a year, from Alaska. The company we buy from is a family owned business called The Wild Salmon Company, and they make deliveries all over the country once a year.
Their fresh salmon is reasonably priced and is incredibly delicious. And once you turn it into this citrus salmon recipe, your taste buds are going to do cartwheels.
Ways to cook salmon filets
I’ve experimented with this one a lot. For some reason, I always felt like I was overcooking my salmon. I prefer it slightly undercooked, but even when I was trying to get it cooked all the way through, I felt like it was ending up dry and too flaky.
Keep in mind that the recommended minimum internal temperature set by the USDA is to ensure that any harmful bacteria that may be present in the fish are killed by the heat. However, If you love a buttery and flakey salmon (like my sous vide salmon), you may prefer your salmon cooked to a lower temperature for a more rare or medium rare texture. If this is the case, make sure you're using sushi-grade fish. If you're not sure what that means, there's a great guide to sushi-grade fish here.
I consider everything we buy from Wild Salmon Company to be high-quality and am ok eating it at a lower cooking temperature, but that truly comes down to personal preference and what you're comfortable with.
So, previously, I was taking my salmon out of the oven, or pan, when I thought it was done. Then when I went to serve it, it had cooked a bit more on it’s own while cooling (I think the fancy chefs call this carryover cooking) and so it ended up being overdone instead of just the right amount of done. So I started experimenting with different ways to cook it. Here are the three ways I have tried, and the results I’ve had with each:
Baked salmon filets
Baked in the oven on a baking sheet at a high heat for a short period of time to prevent drying out. I try to go for 425° for 9-12 minutes depending on thickness of the filets. This is the method I use in this recipe.
Pan seared salmon filets
My most recent favorite, I heat a pan over medium-high heat (but more high than medium). I put in a swirl of olive oil, then put my seasoned salmon fillets in face down into the pan and cover it. I cook them for 3-4 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes skin side down. They get a nice crust on the top, the skin peels off easily, and they don't get overdone.
Sous-vide salmon filets
By far my favorite (and my family’s favorite, my son declares it’s “like eating butter!”) You can follow the recipe here on the site, but you'll need a sous vide to do it. It's basically a warm water cooking bath where it brings the fish to the temperature of the water, so you can control the exact temperature that it cooks to. Perfect for those who like their salmon a little more on the medium rare side!
How to make citrus salmon glaze
The citrus glaze here is quick and easy to make, and adds a lovely and bright flavor to the salmon.
To make the glaze, combine the orange juice garlic, aminos, and lemon juice in a small saucepan.
Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 6-8 minutes. Add the tapioca or arrowroot and whisk thoroughly to combine. Simmer for 3-5 minutes more until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
Brush it onto the salmon per the recipe, and then add any leftovers to a small bowl and serve it on the table for anyone who really loves sauce (spoiler alert, it's me).
Step it up idea: Use fresh squeezed blood oranges for the orange juice instead of store-bought to take your recipe to the next level.
How to serve citrus salmon
I served it over cauliflower rice with some fresh parsley, but you could also serve it over regular rice (no, rice is not paleo) or just with a side of whatever veggies you happened to have on hand.
Some other things you could add when serving might be orange slices or lemon slices alongside for a fresh squeeze of juice, or add some orange zest to the top of each plate before serving.
However you serve it, this can literally be on your dinner table in under half an hour. Add to that that it's Whole30 and I'd say we've got a winner on our hands (plates?)
Storing your leftovers
Fish is one of those hard things to save for another meal. So, let's say you have leftover salmon that you want to save for another day. What's the best way?
The first thing I would say is you for sure need an airtight container. This will help keep the fish as fresh as possible. If you choose to reheat it, I would only try and do that a single time - reheating more than that will probably result in some very dry fish.
You'll want to try and consume the fish within a day or two of cooking it. After that it can tend to get a little funky and slimy.
With a few simple ingredients, you can use my preferred method of turning it into a cold salmon salad the next day. You'll need a flaky salmon for this. Flake it up in a medium bowl with some fresh herbs, fresh lemon juice, and kosher salt. Mix it up with a bit of homemade mayonnaise for an easy no-cook delicious dinner or a quick lunch. Serve it over a bed of greens, or just eat it with a fork!
- 1 lb salmon fillets
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil, melted
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup orange juice
- 1 teaspoon crushed garlic, about 2 cloves
- ½ teaspoon coconut aminos
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon tapioca starch or arrowroot powder
- Preheat oven to 425° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the salmon on the baking sheet and drizzle with the melted ghee or oil, then sprinkle with the salt.
- Place in the preheated oven and bake for 9-12 minutes or until cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.
- While the salmon is baking, combine the orange juice garlic, aminos, and lemon juice in a small saucepan.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 6-8 minutes.
- Add the tapioca or arrowroot and whisk to combine. Simmer for 3-5 minutes more until sauce has reduced and thickened.
- Brush the salmon with the citrus glaze and serve.
If you don't have tapioca starch, you can sub arrowroot powder. If you are on Whole30, you cannot use cornstarch as a thickener.
If you want to step up your glaze game, try juicing a fresh blood orange for the orange juice in the recipe instead of using storebought!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 309Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 224mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 27g
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