Any meal featuring Alaskan Sockeye Salmon is going to be a gourmet event. How amazingly lucky we are to have a freezer full of this wonderful fish.

Pan searing is my preferred technique for 2 – 4 servings. You have to be moving too fast to expand this recipe for more people. The good news is you can oven bake or grill the salmon and serve it with the same sauce for a similar meal.

I use a non-stick pan to cut down on the oil and prevent any messy sticking. It’s especially helpful if your salmon still has the skin on. My daughter prefers the cast iron skillets and doesn’t seem to have any trouble flipping the fish.

This is one of our favorite camping recipes so the ingredient list reflects what we have in the camper’s fridge. I’ve included some easy substitutions below the recipe.

red salmon

Pan Seared Sockeye Salmon with Orange Butter Sauce

Quick, easy, undeniably gourmet.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Pacific Northwest
Servings 4
Calories 55 kcal


  • 4 6 oz red salmon fillets
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • kosher salt & course black pepper


  • 1 tsp butter
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp Birch syrup
  • orange zest to taste
  • 2 tbps parsley minced for garnish


  • Remove salmon from fridge and rest at room temp (on paper towels) while assembling sauce.
  • In a small sauce pan saute garlic in tsp of butter until lightly brown (1 - 2 minutes)
  • Add juice and wine. Simmer until reduced by half about 3 minutes.
  • Whisk in butter and syrup. When butter is melted, turn off heat.


  • Salt and pepper both sides of salmon. Heat non-stick pan with olive oil on medium-high heat.
  • Once pan is hot and oil is shimmery at salmon skin side down. Cook about 4 minutes without moving the fillet.
  • Flip salmon and cook for another 2 minutes. If you can, gently peel the skin from the fillet. It should peel right off but you don't want it sliding around in the pan.
  • Flip salmon back and add 2 tbsp butter to pan. Brown for 1 1/2 minutes.

Finishing details

  • Plate salmon and drizzle sauce. Sprinkle with garnish for color. Serve while hot.


Serving: 6ozCalories: 55kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 1gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 19mgPotassium: 103mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 661IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 33mgIron: 1mg
Keyword alaska salmon, pan seared salmon, red samon, sockeye salmon


  • white wine > chicken broth
  • orange juice > lemon juice
  • birch syrup > honey or maple syrup
  • parsley > tarragon (mmmm!)