Spice-crusted salmon with sautéed potatoes & spinach

Spice-crusted salmon with sautéed potatoes & spinach

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(4 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 1 hr

More effort

Serves 6
BBC MasterChef winner, Dhruv Baker, shows how a classic sauce can be updated with new flavours

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal588
  • fat42g
  • saturates15g
  • carbs24g
  • sugars2g
  • fibre3g
  • protein30g
  • salt1.14g
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    For the salmon

    • 1 tsp fennel seeds
      Fennel seeds

      Fennel seeds

      feh-nell seeds

      A dried seed that comes from the fennel herb, fennel seeds look like cumin seeds, only greener,…

    • 1 tsp coriander seeds
      Coriander seed

      Coriander seed

      kor-ee-and-er seed

      The small, creamy brown seeds of the coriander plant give dishes a warm, aromatic and slightly…

    • 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
    • 6 salmon fillets, skin on (about 140-175g/5-6oz each)
    • 3-4 tbsp vegetable oil

    For the saffron beurre blanc

    • 3 shallots, finely chopped



      Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

    • 100ml white wine vinegar
    • 150ml fish stock
    • 1 pinch saffron (no more than 4-5 strands per person)



      The stigma of a type of crocus, saffron threads have a pungent and distinctive aroma and flavour…

    • 100g plus 1 tbsp salted butter, cut into 2½ cm cubes and chilled until needed

    For the potatoes

    • 750g potatoes (we like Maris Piper), cut into 2cm cubes



      The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

    • 2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 1 tsp turmeric



      Turmeric is a fragrant, bright golden-yellow root that is most commonly seen and used dried and…

    • ¼ tsp chilli powder (optional)

    For the spinach

    • 400g spinach leaves



      Used in almost every cuisine across the world, spinach is an enormously popular green vegetable…

    • 1 tbsp butter



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…


    1. Start by toasting the fennel, coriander and mustard seeds in a dry frying pan on a low heat, about 8-10 mins. Once you start to smell the rich aromas of the spices, you know they have cooked through. If they start to smoke, the spices will taste bitter and it would be better to start again. Once toasted, roughly crush using a pestle and mortar, or wrap the spices in a tea towel and crush with the base of a small saucepan. Stir in a pinch of black pepper.

    2. Scrape the skin sides of the salmon with a knife to get rid of any remaining scales, and scrape off as much of the film of moisture you sometimes get (this helps to get the skin crisp). Slash the skin 3 times, about 3cm in length, to stop it shrinking during cooking.

    3. Tip the spice mix onto a plate, lay the fish on it, skin-side up, so that the spices cover the underside of the fish. You can do this a few hrs ahead to help infuse the fish with the spices. You can also start the sauce ahead – put the finely chopped shallots in a pan with the vinegar, fish stock and saffron. Bring to the boil, then reduce by two-thirds. Set aside.

    4. Put the potatoes in a pan and cover with salted water. Bring to the boil and boil for 1-2 mins only, then drain. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, then add the turmeric and chilli powder, if using. Toss the potatoes in the spiced oil, then cook for 5 mins without stirring. Shake the pan and cook for 5-10 mins more, or until the potatoes are cooked through. Season and keep warm.

    5. When ready to cook the salmon, rub the skin sides with some oil, then fry in a pan (skin-sides down) on a medium heat with a little bit more oil, pressing down lightly on the fish for a few secs when it first goes in the pan. Don’t touch the fish or move the pan for about 5-6 mins – this ensures you get beautiful crisp skin. When the edges start to look golden, turn the fish over and cook for 1 more min.

    6. While the fish is cooking, cook the spinach in a large pan of boiling water for 2 mins. Drain, then squeeze out the excess water. Return to the pan and stir in the butter. This will form a simple emulsion, which will prevent water running out over the plate. Season.

    7. To finish the sauce, warm the pan of reduced mixture until hot. Take off the heat, then whisk in all the butter, reserving 2-3 cubes. Once the butter is amalgamated, stir in remaining cubes. Season with pepper and use immediately.

    8. Place a spoonful of spinach in the middle of each plate, then lay the salmon on top. Scatter some potatoes and pour some sauce around the fish. Sprinkle a few sea salt flakes over the fish and serve.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    18th Oct, 2013
    This is a favourite for me and the wife. I tend to do it in separate pans all at the same time rather than keeping stuff warm. Also, I use bagged spinach and microwave it for 2 minutes in the bag. As it's ever so slightly underdone it doesn't go soggy and doesn't need the extra butter.
    31st Jul, 2012
    OK you can tell someone from Masterchef made this as he obviously used all the pans and didn't worry about having to wash up afterwards. Sounded more complicated than it actually was and the recipe could have been shortened and made more concise. Might do it again, not because it wasn't nice, but there are other recipes out there which I am more inclined to try.
    31st Oct, 2011
    Another recipe that suffers from a long-winded explanation. Chefs (and others) really need to be concise with recipe directions on this website. It would certainly attract far more people to have a go at recipes like this.
    2nd Jan, 2011
    This was good, tasty and a bit different. Potatoes took a bit longer, so another time I might boil them for a couple more minutes. Emptied packet of spinach into wok, put on lid and wilted rather than adding more fat.
    4th Dec, 2010
    nicely spicy. i used frylight instead of oil and it was just as nice with no added fat
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