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Steamed Salmon with Fennel and Citrus

photo: Scott Phillips

Servings: 2

Aromatic fennel and tart citrus highlight the sweetness of salmon while providing a counterpoint to its rich texture. If you can’t find blood oranges, add another medium orange to the citrus.


For the salmon

  • 1 large bulb fennel
  • 1/4 cup matchstick-cut fresh ginger
  • 2 7-oz. skinless center-cut salmon fillets
  • 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • 2-3/4 tsp. Asian (toasted) sesame oil
  • 1/2 medium lemon
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro


For the fennel, citrus, and clams

  • 1 cup medium-dry white wine
  • 1 small grapefruit, segmented and membranes juiced
  • 1 medium blood orange, segmented and membranes juiced
  • 1 medium orange, segmented and membranes juiced
  • 1/2 cup clam juice
  • 1 Tbs. miso (blond or white)
  • 1 Tbs. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. fish sauce
  • 1/2 medium lemon
  • 20 cockles or manila clams
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh mint, for garnish
  • 1 medium scallion, cut into 2-inch-long slivers, for garnish

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 950
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 370
  • Fat (g): 42
  • Saturated Fat (g): 6
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 24
  • Cholesterol (mg): 180
  • Sodium (mg): 2750
  • Carbohydrates (g): 50
  • Fiber (g): 9
  • Sugar (g): 28
  • Protein (g): 76


Steam the salmon

  • Trim the stalks and, if necessary, tough outer layer from the fennel bulb, and put them in a large skillet with half of the ginger. Quarter the fennel bulb, core, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices; reserve. Put a 12-inch bamboo steamer in the skillet over the fennel trimmings and add enough water so that it is about 1/2 inch below the rim of the skillet. Cover the steamer and bring the water to a boil over high heat.
  • (If you don’t have a bamboo steamer, you can use a pot with a flat-bottom steamer insert, or you can rig your own steamer. Just cut the top and bottom from a shallow can, such as a tuna can, to use as a support for a plate and find a covered pot deep and wide enough to accommodate the plate.)
  • Meanwhile, season the fish fillets with the sugar, pepper flakes, and 1 tsp. salt. Drizzle with 3/4 tsp. of the sesame oil and squeeze the juice from the lemon over the fish.
  • Put the salmon in the steamer and cover. Steam the fish until barely opaque and still moist in the center of the thickest part, about 8 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and let stand about 10 minutes longer. Brush the salmon with the remaining sesame oil, and sprinkle with the cilantro.


Cook the fennel, citrus, and clams

  • While the salmon is steaming, heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the wine, 1/3 cup citrus juice (gathered from segmenting the fruit), clam juice, miso, vinegar, fish sauce, a squeeze of lemon juice, and the juiced lemon half, and bring to a simmer. Add the clams, cover, and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the clams open, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, and discard any unopened clams.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the reserved fennel and cook until tender and just beginning to brown in places, about 8 minutes. Add the paprika, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and fold in the citrus segments, reserving some for garnish.
  • To serve, divide the clams between two shallow bowls with some of the broth from the pan, and top with half of the fennel mixture. Arrange the fish on top and garnish with the remaining ginger, the mint, scallion, and a few of the reserved citrus segments. Serve immediately.


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Reviews (1 review)

  • pinktrim | 05/28/2017

    Amazing. The ingredients all come together , the broth is the wow factor

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