Seared escalopes of wild salmon

This is very much a last-minute dish so be sure everything is ready before you start
By Rick Stein
Seared escalopes of wild salmon
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar
  • 5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 x 550 g piece of unskinned wild salmon fillet, (or best-quality farmed), taken from a large fish
  • 1 small bunches fresh basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Put the sugar into a small saucepan and leave over a low heat until it has turned into a light brown caramel about the colour of golden syrup. Immediately remove from the heat, add the vinegar, then return to a low heat and stir with a wooden spoon until all the caramel has dissolved. Bring to the boil and reduce to 1½ tablespoons, leave to cool a little and then stir in 4 tablespoons of the oil, the lemon juice, ½ teaspoon of salt and 5 turns of the black pepper mill. Keep warm.

2. Put the salmon skin-side down on a board and, using a long, thin bladed knife, cut at a 45-degree angle down towards the skin into twelve 5mm-thick slices. Brush them on both sides with the remaining oil and season lightly with salt and quite generously with black pepper.

3. Heat the ridged cast-iron griddle until smoking hot. Cook the escalopes, no more than 2 at a time, for 15 seconds on each side, turning them with a palette knife, then quickly lifting them onto a warmed baking tray.

4. Slightly overlap 3 of the salmon slices on each warmed plate. Very finely shred the basil leaves and sprinkle them around the outside edge of the plate. Spoon the warm dressing over the shredded basil. You can, if you like, garnish the salmon with some deep-fried basil leaves just drop them into hot oil for a few seconds and then drain.

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