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Sockeye salmon from Alaska is a summertime treat. This lean, brightly colored, and flavorful fish requires a light hand in cooking and shines paired with bright, fresh flavors like in this watermelon, feta, and radish salad. For best results, we recommend mixing the salad just before serving.
Our fat of choice for quick-cooking sockeye is butter since it will brown up in the pan and add an extra hit of flavor. If the prospect of making crispy skin fish at home is intimidating, start the fish in the pan flesh side down, but cook the fish at a lower heat and for a few minutes less before you start basting it with butter. It will still be delicious!
While you prep the ingredients for your salad, let the fish sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes. Pat fillets dry and sprinkle with salt on both sides.
In a large sauté pan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat. Add salmon fillets to the pan skin-side down and cook for about 4 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillet. Sockeye can be quite thin and cook quickly.
Melt 1-2 more tablespoons of butter in the pan and baste until the top of the fish is cooked through, about 1-2 minutes more. Transfer the fish to a plate to rest flesh side down while you mix and plate the salad.
In a medium bowl, gently combine the watermelon, feta, radish, scallions, olive oil, and lemon juice. Adjust lemon juice to taste.
To serve, arrange salad in bowls and place a salmon fillet on top skin-side up.