Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Pan-Seared Salmon with Sweet-and-Sour Orange Sauce

This fast, flavorful dinner is made even faster and more flavorful by pan-searing the fish and stir-frying the vegetables—and using a fresh, orange-based sauce to dress both. Quick cooking at a high temperature means very little fat is needed. In this recipe, I used four teaspoons of peanut oil: two for the salmon and two for the vegetables.

This is a simple, flavor-loaded meal that’s easy to put together—and that’s easy to feel good about.

Note: I had thin salmon filets, about 1/3-inch in the thickest part. If you have thicker pieces, adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Serves 4


For the Sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange (from 1 large naval orange)
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste)
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp cornstarch
For the Salmon
  • 4 tsp peanut oil, divided
  • 2 cups small broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped red bell pepper
  • 3 oz mung bean sprouts
  • 4 4-oz salmon filets
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Broccoli, Sprouts, and Bell Pepper 
4-oz Salmon Filets

For the Sauce
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stirring well to dissolve the sugar and cornstarch.
Sweet-and-Sour Orange Sauce
For the Salmon and Vegetables
  1. Heat a wok or deep skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 teaspoons of peanut oil, swirling to coat. Add the broccoli and red bell pepper and stir-fry 3 minutes.
  2. Add the bean sprouts and stir-fry 2 minutes.
  3. Re-stir the sweet-and-sour orange sauce and pour over the vegetables. Toss well to coat. Cook until the sauce thickens slightly, 2 minutes.
Broccoli and Bell Pepper Beginning to Stir-Fry
Bean Sprouts Added 
Sauce Added
  1. Meanwhile, heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and brush with the remaining 2 teaspoons of peanut oil. Season the salmon with salt and pepper and sear on 1 side 2 minutes.
  2. Turn and sear the other side until the fish is just cooked through, about 2 minutes, depending on thickness.
Salmon Beginning to Sear
Salmon after Turning
To serve, divide the salmon between 2 plates and spoon the vegetables and sauce on top.

Pan-Seared Salmon with Sweet-and-Sour Orange Sauce

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