Silky Sensual Pan Seared Wild Alaska Salmon

Duke’s Chowder House Recipe

Silky Sensual Pan Seared Wild Alaska Salmon

This recipe was inspired from a magazine photo I fell in love with years ago. Chef “Wild” Bill played around with the idea and the results were an instant hit, making this one of Duke’s most  popular dishes.


Two 8 oz Wild Alaska Salmon fillets

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp fresh organic ginger, minced

2 tsp fresh organic basil leaves, stems removed, diced small

2 Tbsp granulated sugar mixed with a pinch of fresh cracked black pepper

½ cup white wine

½ cup Fill Me Up Buttercup Butta Cream Sauce (see below)

1 tsp Balsamic Soy Reduction Sauce


  • Fillet Salmon using the deep-skin method, which is to remove the gray matter along with the skin and pluck the pin bones with needle-nose pliers or boning tweezers. If you are buying from your local fishmonger, ask to have the fillet deep-skinned as well.
  • Mix a small amount of olive oil with the ginger.  (This will slow the browning process.) Then rub on Salmon. Press basil into Salmon and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 425.
  • On a stovetop burner, heat a sauté pan and add olive oil until hot but not smoking. Press sugar/pepper mixture into the top of the Salmon. Sauté Salmon carefully—only caramelize the sugar; do not carbonize or char. Salmon should have a deep “caramel” color. Flip Salmon.
  • Deglaze pan with white wine.
  • Bake Salmon for 5 minutes or until fish has lost all its translucency.
  • On your serving plate, create a puddle of the Fill Me Up Buttercup Butta Cream sauce (it should take up about ½ the plate) and add cooked Salmon. Ladle the Balsamic Soy Reduction Sauce over the Salmon until it runs onto the Fill Me Up Buttercup Butta Cream Sauce. Drag a toothpick through the sauces to decorate.

Fill Me Up Buttercup Butta Cream Sauce    gf

Chef “Wild” Bill created this cream-and-butter sauce that’s just as tasty as “Holidays” sauce without as much pomp and circumstance. Making “Holidays” Sauce is no simple task. Fill Me Up Buttercup Butta Cream Sauce is somewhat easier to prepare.

Makes 1 cup (enough for 6 servings)


1 cup heavy whipping cream

½ cup unsalted Darigold butter

juice of  one lemon


  • Place cream in a heavy-bottomed stockpot and reduce on medium heat by half of  its original volume. Maintain temperature between 80 and 100 degrees and slowly whisk in unsalted butter.  Add lemon juice. Continue to hold between 80 and 100 degrees. If it gets too hot, it will break. If it gets too cold, it will solidify.

Tip From Chef “Wild” Bill:

Cream with the highest amount of butterfat will make your sauce rich and silky.  Ultra-pasteurized cream doesn’t reduce as well and has a flat flavor.’

Photo as seen in Duke’s NEW Cookbook “As Wild As It Gets . . . Duke’s Secret Sustainable Seafood Recipes” by Ingrid Pape Sheldon Photography

October 23, 2016