Salmon with Spiced Orange Sauce, Spring Peas and Mint

The Spring weather is so wet and cold this year that I’ve been forced to spend far more time indoors. The gardens and summer vegetable planting have been put on hold- again. To compensate, we are having four days of cheffy home cooked meals, little dinners for two that require a degree of concentration, an interesting sauce and some clever assembling at the last-minute. And that, dear reader, means more recipes on this blog. Today’s recipe started off as Duck Breast with Orange Spiced Sauce. I often find myself substituting fish or vegetables in meat based recipes found in good cookbooks, especially if there is a good sauce involved. In this way, each section of the book gets used. You should try this trick. Fresh Atlantic Salmon is probably the best substitute for meat, given that it is fairly robust and holds its shape well and is readily available.

Salmon, spiced orange sauce, Spring peas, mint. Bad low light.

The recipe is for four people. I simply halved it for our little dinner for two. The original used 4 200 g duck breasts, skin lightly scored. I have substituted fresh Tasmanian salmon and used around 160 g per person. This quantity is plenty for one serving, despite the tendency of major supermarkets to cut larger pieces, another reason to adopt a good fishmonger.


  • 4 oranges
  • 4 salmon pieces, ( not tail pieces) around 160 g per piece
  • knob of butter and a little olive oil
  • 1 heaped teaspoon 5 spice powder
  • 1/3 cup ( 80 g) brown sugar
  • 50 ml red wine vinegar
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 cup grand Marnier ( or brandy)
  • 2 cups baby green peas, just cooked
  • mint leaves to serve.

Preheat the oven to 220c. FF

Zest all the oranges, juice 2 oranges and set aside. Remove the peel and white pith from the remaining 2 oranges, then slice them into thin rounds and set aside.

Cut each salmon pieces across into 3 pieces. Combine 5 spice powder with 2 teaspoons sea salt, rub them into the salmon pieces in a bowl and set aside.

Place a large non stick pan over medium heat, add butter and oil to the pan and fry the salmon, skin side down, until quite crisp. Remove the fish and place them on a metal tray in the oven to complete cooking for 5 or more minutes.

Return the pan to low heat. Add the sugar and vinegar to the pan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the cinnamon and star anise, then cook on low for 3 minutes, until caramelised. Add the Grand Marnier or substitute, the orange juice and zest, then simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened. Add the orange slices for 1 minute to warm through.

Cook the peas until just done and keep hot. Tear the mint leaves.

Warm the serving platter and plates. Place the peas on the serving platter, add salmon pieces and any juices from the tray, place the orange slices and mint leaves around the fish, then pour over the hot sauce. Serve it on hot plates.


The rain pours down, the light is low, let’s light the fire and eat well.

Adapted from a recipe found in Delicious, Simply the Best, Valli Little, 2011. p. 18





29 thoughts on “Salmon with Spiced Orange Sauce, Spring Peas and Mint”

  1. Hi Francesca, This looks delicious. We eat a lot of salmon as my daughter is a pescatarian, thankfully moved off the vegan diet. I have not been into cooking for a while now and I am trying to find my cooking mojo again. Your posts are helping inspire me but confess not to not have tried any yet – yet.!
    My only other comment is that I made an orange and fennel salad yesterday and the oranges were abysmal. What is it with the fruit these days? Louise

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no Louise, that is such a good salad, and it is orange season. You might have to find a better grocer. It’s good that your daughter has a more flexible diet- makes things a little easier. I am also a Pescatarian, you may have noticed, there’s no meat on this blog- although I have two sons who are carnivorous- though lately, the older one is swinging my way.
      As I haven’t travelled far afield, I needed an interesting way to deal with supermarket salmon. It was nice. But fussy. Dinner party -ish really.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love salmon and pairing it with the orange sauce is just lovely. We buy whole salmon now so that we can cut it into smaller portions than those that are usually sold. The tail pieces I use in a Jill Dupleix recipe for salmon pasta – it’s from her Lighten Up book – is good! We are going to USA then Canada this coming Tuesday and my brother has promised to crank up the air con, open all the windows and light their fire before we return home to the sub-tropics. I am going to take my togs so I can bathe in its contemplative glow:)


    1. It is very economical to by whole salmon or sides of, to cut down. Then you always have a nice stash in the freezer. That sounds good, tail bits chopped up for pasta. I hope your trip is wonderful and that when you return, the weather has improved somewhat here.


  3. Whoa! This will be fun ’cause of all of the ‘new’ ingredients! Love the inclusion of the 5-spice powder and anise . . . but the use of all that Grand Marnier or brandy [who can afford THAT much cognac 🙂 ? ] will give a great deal of depth to the flavour . . . . Tassie salmon for me: living rurally it may even be [horror of horrors 🙂 !] that chilled o’night stuff which arrives half-a-day late !!


    1. I know Eha, the Grand Marnier is a bit indulgent. I only had some cooking brandy hanging out in the kitchen- for strictly culinary purposes and the odd desperado slug- which di work well. Living rurally, salmon must be a godsend- it seems to stand up well to the overnight chiller van run, unlike some other specimens.


  4. Sounds delicious, Francesca. What a good idea to try substituting salmon for meat in meals. My husband is fond of ‘fresh’ tuna steaks for much the same reason, but they are harder to find. It will be interesting to see if we have the same conditions over our summer as the midwest of the US had for their summer–wet and caused crops to be planted late and in some cases did not ripen.


    1. Tuna steak would go so well i this dish too. It will be interesting to see how this weather pans out. Yesterday my bones became chilled again, and I realised we came home from Asia far too soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Unlike our inundated southern cousins we are hot and muggy in FNQ. However, as per your refreshing recipe, we are also eating lots of wonderful salads and utilising the tropical fish but served cold. We make a very popular Thai salad dressing (that goes well with many things tropical, including papaya, citrus etc.) but we do have the added advantage of an abundance of Asia herbs and greens. So with your astonishingly vibrant recipe we head to the cucina with a very chilled SSB and give it a go.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lovely Peter, I can’t wait for summer to arrive down here so that we can also indulge in some cold tropical fish dishes. I am so over this winter- even now, one week into October, it is really chilly.


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