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Wild salmon with pink peppercorn sauce recipe

Wild salmon with pink peppercorn sauce recipe

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  • Side dish
  • Sauce
  • Peppercorn sauce

This is something I created while on holiday in Scotland, using locally caught salmon together with some rosé wine we were drinking on one of those rare summery British evenings.

Yorkshire, England, UK

16 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • For the poaching stock
  • 250ml rosé wine
  • 125ml water
  • 4 slices lemon
  • 1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon white peppercorns (whole)
  • 1 blade mace
  • ½ vanilla pod, sliced down centre (optional)
  • For the salmon
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 25g finely chopped shallots
  • 4 (200g) salmon fillets
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon coarsely milled black pepper
  • 100ml double cream
  • 1 tablespoon pink peppercorns, lightly crushed

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:45min ›Ready in:1hr

  1. Put all the ingredients for the poaching stock in a pot and bring to the boil with the lid on the pot. When it starts boiling, reduce the heat and leave to simmer gently for 30 minutes with the lid on, so letting all the flavours infuse into the stock.
  2. Preheat the oven to 100 C and put a plate or serving dish in the oven to warm up for later.
  3. Lightly oil a heavy bottomed, metal casserole dish and then sprinkle the chopped shallots over the base of the pan. Place the salmon fillets on top of this and then season with some sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper. Gently pour in the poaching stock (or rosé wine plus lemon slices) half way up the fillets, reserving any of the excess stock for later.
  4. Put the lid onto the casserole dish and gently poach in the stock for 8 - 10 minutes, depending on the size of the salmon, but try not to overcook. Lift out the poached salmon and place on a warm plate, cover in foil and keep warm in the pre-heated oven.
  5. Pour the juices into a clean pan through a sieve to remove the bits and add any of the excess stock reserved earlier. Bring to the boil and reduce the liquid to about 150ml /¼ pint. Add the cream and simmer until the sauce has a thin feel to it, but would still coat a spoon for a bit. Add the crushed pink peppercorns. Check and adjust the seasoning, if necessary, but do not add black pepper (or white pepper) under any circumstances as it will ruin the effect.
  6. Serve on warmed plates. Firstly arrange the salmon fillets onto the plates, then pour over the sauce. Serve with new potatoes, fresh green vegetables or salad - perhaps a watercress salad.


You can skip the making of the poaching stock to make a quicker meal, substituting this with 250ml rosé wine.

See it on my blog

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Cracked Pepper

Last Year's Post: Baked Potatoes with Crab
Two Years Ago: Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken with Asparagus Pesto Sauce

I was looking at the menu for a new upscale restaurant restaurant a few weeks ago and a listing for "salmon with pink peppercorn sauce" caught my interest. I haven't made it to the restaurant yet but the idea stuck with me and I decided to try to create it on my own. The result is a combination of three different recipes for the salmon, sauce and rice. A google search resulted in a green peppercorn sauce so I just subbed pink peppercorns instead, I used a favorite technique for cooking the salmon from a recipe with a different type of sauce, and envisioned the salmon and sauce would go well with green rice so I found a recipe for that also. Whew!

I was very pleased with the result. This is definitely an upscale restaurant kind of dinner, both in presentation and taste. One of the reasons is the sauce, which has butter, cream and Cognac. How could it taste bad? But that probably makes it a special occasion dinner rather than something you might want to eat every week. If you have a special date night or dinner party and you like salmon, definitely give it a try. The pink peppercorn sauce contrasts particularly well with the crisp seared salmon, and the green rice is delicious enough that I'd serve it along side anything.

So, what are pink peppercorns? It turns out that they aren't peppercorns at all, but the fruit of a tree related to the cashew family. They really don't taste like peppercorns, but the taste is hard to describe - it doesn't have the heat of black pepper, but it does have a little sharpness. I found them at Penzeys, my favorite spice store. They're very pretty and easier to crush than hard black peppercorns.

It's important to sear the salmon until crisp and golden. The texture and flavor are completely different than grilled or broiled salmon and go very well with the sauce. Note that the salmon marinates for an hour, which give you time to prepare the rice and sauce. I've tried to figure out why the recipe calls for marinating the salmon in a little soy sauce for an hour, because you can't taste the soy sauce in the finished dish - it must have something to do with helping the salmon caramelize. I don't know but it always turns out great so I don't mess with it.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon grated lime zest
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 (6 ounce) fillets salmon
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

Preheat the oven's broiler and set the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, grind the peppercorns, chopped garlic, lime zest, and salt until the peppercorns are finely ground. Rub salmon fillets with olive oil, then place onto the prepared pan, skin side down. Rub spice mixture onto top of salmon fillets.

Broil until the salmon is flaky and no longer pink in the center, 10 to 15 minutes. Drizzle with soy sauce and serve.

Roasted Salmon With Pink Peppercorn Sauce

So easy, oh so delicious, and impressive! Just in time for Mother’s Day. Your mom will love this!


  • 2-½ pounds Salmon, Cut Into 6 Fillets
  • 1 Tablespoon Oil
  • Salt And Pepper
  • Pink Peppercorns, For Garnish
  • ¾ cups Sour Cream
  • ¼ cups Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Chopped Dill
  • 1-½ Tablespoon Prepared Horseradish
  • 2 Tablespoons Pink Peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoons Honey
  • Salt And Pepper


Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the salmon fillets on the baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Salt and pepper liberally. Roast in the oven for approximately 12 minutes, until just barely cooked through.

Meanwhile, place all the ingredients for the pink peppercorn topping in a blender and puree until smooth.

Serve the roasted salmon warm, with a generous drizzle of sauce and a sprinkling of extra pink peppercorns.

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Tartar Sauce was the star of this recipe. It was superb with many people at my dinner party asking for seconds of it. I used lemon/pepper blend in place of the pink peppercorns (I don't have a source for these), because I only had black and green peppercorns and thought just to add the lemon/pepper blend to save time. If I ever find pink peppercorns, this would be a great combination. I doubled the recipe for the tartar sauce and plan to use it again on fish in the future.

Per my previous review, I tried this again, this time doing it as written. The result was very tasty. I had added dill the first time and found it to be delicious. However, I felt it over-powered the pink peppercorns, which have their own unique flavor. I chose the recipe because I had purchased some pink peppercorns and wanted to try them. My recommendation would be to make the recipe as written, then add variations the next time. FYI - I made the tartar sauce, then got side-tracked for a few days in buying and cooking the salmon. I found the tartar sauce, while not spoiled, got a bit runny. In future, if this happens, Id probably strain the sauce and perhaps add more mayo and sour cream to avoid the runniness.

This was delicious and simple to make. I also added dill, which was fabulous, but wold like to try the recipe as written, as I think the dill over-powers the unique flavor of the pink peppercorns. It could definitely be made with other types of peppercorns, but I think the pink ones have a unique flavor. (I made the recipe because I had some pink pepperorns and wanted to ty them). The tartar sauce would be great on other types of seafood and with chicken. It would be good to keep on hand to use on sandwiches - chicken, crabcake, fish, etc.

I made this dish for a luncheon that included three generations of eaters and I found it suited all tastes. I poached the salmon and substituted black peppercorns for the pink ones. I also added some dill in the sauce. Everyone raved.

Sumac Salmon with Pink Peppercorn Yoghurt Sauce

I’m very excited to share this refreshing, summery recipe. It’s as tasty as it’s visually pleasing! Featuring a smoky, slightly spicy salmon with a cool, chive and yoghurt sauce, this recipe is perfect for summer evenings when you can’t face a hot meal. And the best part? It comes together in 20 minutes tops!

As you might have noticed, I love pastel colours, especially pink. The obsession started when I bought a pair of baby pink tailored trousers and since then pink has been creeping into all aspects of my life, including food. This recipe combines some of my favourite pink and red foods – coral salmon, fiery chilli flakes, ruby red paprika, burgundy sumac and rosey pink peppercorns. Serve with a crisp glass of rosé and you’ve got the perfect dinner date meal!

On Wednesdays we eat pink.

Pink peppercorns might sound gimmicky and in a way they are. It’s not related to black or white peppercorns, but rather it’s a dried berry with a fruity, slightly sweet peppery flavour. It pairs well with fish dishes, but also can be used in desserts and as a pretty garnish for gin. In this recipe, I add crushed pink peppercorns to the yoghurt sauce to add bursts of sweet pepperiness.

What's sumac and where can I get it?

Sumac is a spice made from dried, ground sumac berries, used heavily in Middle-Eastern cooking. It’s instantly recognisable from it’s gorgeous deep red hue. In recent years, it’s become widely available in most major supermarkets I got mine from Sainsbury’s. It has a tangy lemony flavour without being too tart and is one component of the spice mixture za’atar. It works wonderfully in dry rubs and marinades for meat or fish, but also can be sprinkled over chips and hummus, for example. If you’re worried about buying a jar and never using it up, have a look for recipes by Ottolenghi he uses sumac in wonderful, creative ways.

Side Dishes

This salmon is delicious with salad or steamed vegetables on the side. Roasted sweet potato wedges or roast potato coins will also be perfect. Keeping with the pink theme, serve with a glass of cold dry rosé – so refreshing on a hot, summer evening.

Contrary to what their name might tell you about them, pink peppercorns aren&apost *actually* a peppercorn. In reality, they are dried, berries from a tree. Brazilian pepper trees and Peruvian pepper trees (both of which produce these berries) are typically found in hotter climates, so areas within the U.S where you may find one of these trees are California, Arizona, Florida, and Texas. The only reason that they&aposre named as a peppercorn is because they are similar to peppercorns in shape and flavor — at the end of the day, these bright, tiny balls are nothing more than a humble berry.

You often see pink peppercorns included in a mix with green, black and white peppercorns because they are far too soft to be ground by themselves in a pepper mill. Doing so could damage the blade. However, in the context of a peppercorn blend, they can be milled fine. If you&aposre working exclusively with pink peppercorns, it&aposs best to sprinkle them whole or lightly crush them before adding them to dishes. You can also lightly toast them first to bring out a deeper, nuttier flavor. Wherever you decide to sprinkle them, you just can&apost beat the bright pink hue when used as a garnish. 

Recipe Collection

Related: Chanukah, fish, gluten-free, Rosh Hashanah, Shabbat

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

User Rating:

Related Story:

Submitted by Bonnie Benwick, reprinted with permission from The Washington Post. Photo courtesy of The Washington Post. Cookbook author Tina Wasserman (Entree to Judaism) sets a bountiful Passover table in her Dallas home. She shared this recipe with Post readers in 2009, and I’ve made it every year since. Not just for Pesach, either—because it can be served at room temperature, it works well for a break-fast or Sisterhood buffet. It’s also quite lovely on a platter.

From the original Washington Post recipe write-up: This light holiday main course is elegant yet easy. The fish can be poached or grilled (see VARIATION, below) and served warm, cold or at room temperature. The recipe doubles easily wrap each side of salmon separately. The pinks of peppercorns and pomegranate seeds add a beautiful touch to the presentation. Although pomegranates are not in season, the seeds are sold separately in vacuum packaging. We found them at Wegmans.

Make Ahead: The citrus can be prepped and refrigerated the vinaigrette can be prepared and refrigerated 2 days in advance. The fish can be baked 1 day in advance. Combine the fruits with the vinaigrette just before serving/spooning over the fish.

T.G.I.F. Salmon w/Pink Peppercorn Sauce

If you're like me, Friday is your favorite day of the week!  My second most favorite day of the week is Tuesday.  Seem odd?  When I was growing up, I associated my days of the week with what we were having for lunch in the cafeteria and dinner at home that evening.  For me, Tuesdays and Fridays rocked!  On Tuesdays:  the cafeteria always served spaghetti with meat sauce for lunch and my father always made spaghetti and meatballs for dinner!  On Fridays:  the cafeteria always served fish sticks with stewed tomatoes for lunch and my mother made salmon patties (or potato pancakes) for dinner!  I'm living proof that children do need stability in their lives!

I'm all grown up now, but each week when Friday rolls around, salmon always comes to mind.  That being said, each week when Friday rolls around, I usually just want to relax a bit and cook something deliciously easy.  Even if I have invited guests, Friday night dinners revolve around everyone sitting around my kitchen counter, drinks in hand, talking about their week, sharing stories and watching me cook a laid-back meal.  These Friday evenings, fondly, are amongst my favorite Kitchen Encounters

I'm here to tell you that my recipe for Salmon with Pink Peppercorn Sauce is:  easy (on the table in㺭 minutes or less), foolproof (perfect salmon every time), elegant (can be served at a table set with fine china and crystal) and superb (better tasting than any similarly prepared salmon I have eaten anywhere)!

The salmon in the above picture and all of the following pictures is a:

3  pound fillet of fresh, wild, Alaskan sockeye salmon

The recipe works equally well with a:

3  pound fillet of fresh, farm-raised, Atlantic salmon

Step 1 .  Relax.  It's Friday.  Pour that much needed glass of wine and get that look of horror off your face. this is gonna be easy!

The following steps will take less than 5 minutes to perform and your salmon will be in the oven cooking itself!

Step 2 .  A salmon is structured such that a line of tiny white bones, called pin bones, are usually left in the fillet after it is removed from the backbone.  Their nubbly tops are easily located with your fingertips.  The bones themselves are quickly removed.  Using a pair of needle-nose pliers (or tweezers), grip the tip of each bone and give it a firm pull.  These bones aren't really the kind anyone can choke on, it is just in poor taste to leave them in.

Step 3 .  Using a chef's knife, slice and portion the salmon fillet into 6-equal-sized pieces.  Cut each slice just until you reach the bottom of the salmon, stopping just short of cutting through the skin itself.

Why are we precutting the salmon?  It is a great time saver at serving time and eliminates the jagged edges that occur when slicing a cooked fish fillet of any type.

Step 4 .   Using kitchen shears, cut through the skin of the salmon fillet, separating it into 6 pieces. 

Why didn't I just cut through the bottom skin with the chef's knife?  The bottom skin of the salmon is tough and rubbery.  The salmon meat is moist and delicate.  The kitchen shears simply eliminate any potential for damage to the meat due to the push/pull of the knife blade.

Step 5 .  It's Friday folks, so unless you enjoy scrubbing a broiler pan, use a disposable aluminum pan. the kind with a corrugated/"groovy" bottom.  Spray pan with no-stick spray.

Arrange all 6 salmon pieces snugly next to each other in pan.  Top each portion with 2-3 very thin slices of butter.  Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over all, followed by some freshly ground peppercorn blend.

Step 6 .  Position oven rack 6"-8" below preheated broiler.  Broil the salmon until it is a very light golden brown, about 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and reset the oven from broil to bake at 325 degrees.  Tightly cover the pan of salmon with aluminum foil, return to oven and bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and let rest about 5 minutes prior to serving.  While salmon is broiling and baking, to prepare the peppercorn sauce, prep and have ready the following:

2  ounces salted butter

4  ounces yellow or sweet onion, finely diced

1  cup sweet white wine

4  tablespoons dark rum

4  teaspoons pink peppercorns, coarsely crushed with the side of a chef's knife

2  tablespoons tomato paste

1  cup heavy or whipping cream

1/4  teaspoon red pepper flakes, more or less, to taste

freshly ground sea salt, to taste

Step 1 .  In pan, melt butter over low heat.  Add the onions.  Adjust heat to saute, until they are soft and translucent, 3-4 minutes.

  Step 2 .  Add the white wine and the rum.  Adjust heat to simmer rapidly and reduce mixture by about half, about 5-6 minutes.

Step 3 .  Stir in the pink peppercorns, tomato paste, cream and red pepper flakes.  Adjust  heat to simmer very rapidly, just short of a full boil, an additionalم-6 minutes.  The sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Remove from heat and salt, to taste, with freshly ground sea salt.

T.G.I.F. Salmon w/Pink Peppercorn Sauce :  Recipe yields 6 servings of salmon and 1 1/2-2 cups pink peppercorn sauce.

Special Equipment List :  cutting board needle-nose pliers (or tweezers) chef's knife kitchen shears 11 3/4" x 8 1/2" x 1 1/4" disposable aluminum broiler pan w/corrugated bottom aluminum foil 3-quart stirfry-type pan

Cook's Note :  Sauce can be prepared 1-2 days in advance of serving and refrigerated.  Reheat sauce or leftover sauce in microwave or gently on stovetop.  If sauce gets too thick, add a bit more cream.

"We are all in this food world together."

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2010)