Crispy-Skinned King Salmon with Seared Asparagus
  • Complexity: Medium
  • Srv: 2
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • By: Ray’s Boathouse

“This might be a dish with salmon, but really the asparagus is the star of the show here,” notes chef Kevin Murray when preparing this recipe on Episode 11 of the current season. Cooking time for the salmon will vary with fillet’s thickness and your doneness preference. Chef Murray served this with a salad of thinly shaved raw asparagus, tender frisée and pickled red onions tossed with lemon oil.


  • 8 to 10 ounces asparagus
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 king salmon fillet pieces (6 to 7 ounces each), skin on, pin bones removed

Hollandaise Sauce


  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, more to taste
  • 2/3 cup clarified unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • Pinch cayenne pepper


  1. Snap the tough ends from the asparagus spears. Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil and prepare a large bowl of ice water. Add the asparagus to the boiling water and cook for 30 seconds, then drain and add to the ice water. Set aside to fully cool, then drain the asparagus and dry well.
  2. For the hollandaise, put about an inch of water in the lower portion of a double boiler or in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat to medium-low. Put the egg yolks in the top of the double boiler or in a metal bowl that will perch easily over the water in the pan. Whisk the yolks to blend, then whisk in the lemon juice. Set the yolks over the warm water and whisk constantly until thickened in volume and lightened in color, 2 to 3 minutes. While continuing to whisk, slowly add the clarified butter in a thin stream. When all the butter is added and the mixture is light and creamy, remove the bowl from the pan (reserving the warm water in the pan). Whisk the chives, salt, and cayenne into the sauce and taste for seasoning, adding more lemon juice or salt if needed. Set the sauce back over the water (off the heat) to keep warm while cooking the salmon.
  3. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Pat the salmon skin dry and season the salmon with salt. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet and swirl to evenly coat the bottom. Add the salmon skin-side down and cook undisturbed until the skin is nicely browned and crisp, about 2 minutes. Turn the pieces over and cook until just a touch of translucence remains at the center, 2 to 4 minutes, or to your taste. Set the salmon aside on a plate, skin side up.
  4. In another large skillet (or the same skillet, cleaned), heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add the blanched asparagus with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook until heated through and a bit browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and toss gently.
  5. To serve, put the salmon pieces, skin side up, in the center of warmed plates. Add the asparagus, drizzle the hollandaise over both, and serve right away.