Pan Seared Salmon with Fruit Salsa

Pan Seared Salmon on a bed of fruit salsa on a charcoal color plate and a cast iron skillet next to it.

5 from 2 reviews

This “Spring-into-Summer” recipe is light and fresh with a nice little kick from a hint of jalapeno hidden in the fruit salsa. Pan Seared Sockeye Salmon with Fruit Salsa is marinated in a lemon-lime garlic sauce, pan seared perfectly and rests on a colorful bed of fresh fruit. A simple summertime dish for your next dinner party menu.



Marinade and Salmon

  • 3 large Lemons, juiced
  • 2 medium Limes, juiced
  • 1/8 cup Raw Honey
  • 3 large Cloves Garlic, minced
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Grapeseed Oil
  • 46 oz Sockeye Salmon Center-Cut Fillets (wild caught), skin on
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Zest of 1 large Lemon

Fruit Salsa

  • 3/4 cup chopped Fresh Pineapple
  • 3/4 cup chopped Fresh Strawberries
  • 3/4 cup chopped Cantaloupe
  • 1 small Jalapeno Chili, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 cup Red Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 T Cilantro, chopped
  • 2 T Lemon Juice


  • Place salmon in a glass dish. Combine lemon juice, lime juice, honey, garlic, and salt together and pour over the fish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Remove the glass dish from the refrigerator and let sit for 15 minutes at room temperature.
  • While the salmon is marinating, combine the chopped fruit, jalapeno, red onion, cilantro and lemon juice, refrigerate. Make sure and keep the salsa away from the salmon until it is fully cooked.
  • Remove the salmon from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Salt and Pepper the fleshy side of the fillets. Using a citrus zester, add the zest of one lemon to the salmon.
  • Heat a cast iron skillet on medium-high to high heat until pan is hot. Add the grapeseed oil and heat to almost smoking. Add a few drops of water, if it sizzles and evaporates immediately you are ready for the fish. Add the salmon, skin side down and reduce the heat to medium. Using a flexible metal fish spatula, gently press down for 10 seconds on each fillet.
  • Do not move the salmon once it is in the pan and let cook for 4 minutes. Carefully turn the salmon over and cook for another 2 minutes. Times may vary according to how thick the fillets are. The internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer should be between 120° and 125° F for medium rare and 125° and 130° F for medium.
  •  Remove from the pan and let rest under a tent of foil for 10 minutes.
  • Serve with fruit salsa.


  • Pull the salmon from the refrigerator and let set out for 15-20 minutes bringing them to room temperature. If the salmon is cold it will constrict and cause the fish to cook unevenly.
  • Dry the salmon with paper towels. The flesh of salmon can be quite delicate. Therefore I set the skin side down on the paper towels and gently dap the top of the salmon.
  • Make sure your pan is hot, I mean really hot (medium-high to high). This will prevent the skin from sticking to the pan when you turn the fish over. You will know it is hot enough when you add a few drops of water and it sizzles and immediately evaporates.
  • Once you add the salmon though reduce the heat to medium for a more evenly cooked fish.
  • Start with the skin side down when you place the salmon in the hot cast iron skillet.
  • The salmon wants to shrink every time it hits that hot pan. You can avoid this by using a flexible metal fish spatula and gently press down for 10 seconds on each piece of fish.
  • One mistake you will be tempted to make is to cook the salmon too long. The internal temperature should be between 120° – 125° F for medium-rare 125° – 130° F for medium which makes for a tender, juicy, somewhat flaky fillet.
  • Your cooking time will differ according to the thickness of your fish.


Keywords: pan seared salmon, sockeye salmon recipe, cooking salmon in a pan

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