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Pan-Seared Salmon with Plum-Cucumber Salad


Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 94

This sunset-hued dish is as delicious as it is gorgeous, so it's sure to impress whether you serve it on a weeknight or to weekend dinner guests. The seasoned rice vinegar enhances the sweet and tangy salad for a lovely counterpart to the salmon.

  • 4 small ripe plums (12 oz.), pitted and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup seeded, small-diced English cucumber
  • 1/4 cup small-diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup small-diced orange bell pepper
  • Scant 1/4 cup small fresh cilantro leaves
  • 4 tsp. canola oil
  • 2 tsp. seasoned rice vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Four 6 oz. skin-on salmon fillets (preferably scaled, each about 1-inch thick)
If you can't find ripe plums, pluots or apricots will work just as well.     

Stir the plums, cucumber, red onion, bell pepper, cilantro, 2 tsp. of the canola oil, the vinegar, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside at room temperature.

Season both sides of the salmon with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Heat the remaining 2 tsp. canola oil in a 12-inch skillet over high heat. Swirl to coat the pan. When the oil is shimmering hot, add the fillets skin side down and cook without moving for 30 seconds. Reduce the heat to medium high and continue to cook until the skin is well browned and the sides of the fillets are opaque about halfway up, 2 to 4 minutes. Turn the salmon and cook, without moving, until the fillets are slightly firm to the touch, 3 to 4 minutes more. Serve skin side up with the salad.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with golden Saffron Couscous

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 360, Fat (kcal): 17, Fat Calories (g): 150, Saturated Fat (g): 2.5, Protein (g): 39, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7, Carbohydrates (mg): 10, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 6, Sodium (g): 300, Cholesterol (g): 105, Fiber (g): 1,

Photo: Scott Phillips

Delicious. I think it would be even better with a finely diced jalapeno or sonoma chile pepper, since it could benefit from a little fiery "kick in the pants."

sounds wonderful, just wondering what I could use other than cucumber; as hubby hates it. Thanks

I'll never understand why people rate recipes they haven't tried or rate it low when they object to buying one of the ingredients! I haven't tried this, but it looks delicious and I will make it. While I never do this, I'm going to rate it a 5 to counter the unfair rating.

This is totally delicious. I used plums from my tree and cucumbers from my garden. But seriously people, I never have everything the recipe calls for. I used a sweet white onion and white wine vinegar. Actually, I am making it for the second time tonight and there were no cucumbers in the garden. I love the plum salad mixture with or without the cucumbers. It is a stand alone option.

@CeeZee If you already have some plain rice vinegar in the pantry and would rather not buy a separate bottle of seasoned vinegar, just combine 1/4 cup of the plain rice vinegar with 4 teaspoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.

Haven't tried it; I'm sure it's good; I just think it's ridiculous to have to pay to see what "seasoned rice vinegar" is!

AMAZING! Pan fried the salmon instead to save time. AWESOME recipe!!

easy and so good. I added a diced jalapeno to give it a little kick and grilled the salmon instead. YUM

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