Looking to add a little spice and Mexican flare to your next salmon dish? Chef Dana Venuto’s Seared Salmon with Green Pipian Sauce recipe is refreshing, colorful, and packs a serious punch of flavor.
Incorporating the traditional Mexican sauce of pipian, which features hints of pumpkin seeds, garlic, and cilantro, this meal will surprise your guests — and your taste buds. Plus, with the rich and satisfying elements of the pipian sauce, this dish can be served with a versatile number of sides, as the flavors from the sauce accompany several foods and tie the whole meal together.
What’s Pipian All About?
Pipian is a traditional Mexican sauce, which is sometimes used as a condiment for a variety of dishes. It is a pureed seed mixture, most typically using pumpkin seeds, and varied spices for desired flavor. The consistency of the seeds coupled with the vegetable oil and herbs creates a satisfying and thick sauce that gives a world of flavor without needing dozens of ingredients.
Tell Me About Pumpkin Seeds
These tiny, shell-less seeds are packed with nutrients like iron and magnesium, which are essential vitamins that aid the body’s natural digestion. Similarly, pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of fiber, which is great for promoting favorable digestive health. They’re also high in antioxidants like carotenoids and vitamin E, which help reduce inflammation in the body. Studies have also found that pumpkin seeds can help with an overactive bladder and improve daily prostate health. There’s more: Pumpkin seeds, particularly in the pureed and juice form, can help reduce blood sugar, too.
Prepare a pan on high heat and add the salmon. Place the salmon skin side up. Once it is golden brown, flip it to the skin side and cook about 3 minutes. If you prefer your salmon cooked medium or well done, transfer the pan to an oven on 350 degrees and continue cooking until desired preparation.
Place the pumpkin seeds in a small casserole dish and let them toast on medium heat. Once they smell toasty, add the canola oil, onion, garlic, and serrano chili and stir for 5 minutes.
Add the chicken stock and let it simmer under medium heat for 15 minutes.
Add the lettuce leaves and cilantro and stir for three minutes. Turn off the heat and let the sauce cool. Once it is cool enough, transfer to the blender and blend until it reaches a smooth consistency. Add a pinch of salt to taste.
Plate the salmon first. Then pour the Pipian sauce atop, covering only half of the salmon. The sauce is flavorful enough that you won’t need to cover the whole filet. Served best with white rice and grilled zucchini, but feel free to add whatever your favorites are. Garnish with cilantro leaves, toasted pumpkin seeds and sliced fresh radishes.