Salmon with Pipian Sauce

Salmon with Pipian Sauce

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 4


Pipian Verde

  • 1 ½ Cups Pepitas
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Whole Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon Freshly Ground Cinnamon
  • 4 Cloves Garlic peeled
  • 1 Medium White Onion peeled and quartered
  • 1 Cup of Hot New Mexico Chilies roasted and peeled with stems and seeds removed
  • 2 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 Cup Packed Fresh Cilantro leaves and stems, plus additional for garnish
  • 4 Romaine Lettuce Leaves broken into large pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons Dark Molasses
  • Ground Black Pepper to taste


  • 1 Pound of Sockeye Salmon cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ Teaspoon Lime Zest and the 2 Tablespoons of Lime Juice
  • Pinch of Kosher Salt and Black Pepper to Taste


Pipian Verde

  • In a large skillet over medium high heat toast the pepitas in the olive oil until they begin to pop and take on a bit of toasted color.
  • Reserve ¼ cup of the toasted pepitas for garnish.
  • Add the remaining pepitas to a blender, together with all of the remaining ingredients.
  • Blend until smooth, adding additional stock as needed.
  • It should be very thick when you’re done.
  • Add blended pipian verde mixture to a lidded pot and bring to a simmer on the stovetop.
  • Cover and allow to cook on low heat, barely simmering for 20 minutes.


  • Sprinkle the flesh side of the salmon with salt, pepper, lime zest and lime juice.
  • Dry the skin side well with paper towel or butcher paper.
  • Add the oil to a skillet and heat over medium high heat until oil is shimmering.
  • Add the salmon skin side down and allow to sear until the skin side is browned and crispy.
  • Try not to move the salmon at first, as the skin will adhere to the pan and won’t release until it is browned.
  • You will see flesh side of the salmon become opaque around the edges when its about time to turn.
  • Flip over each piece of salmon and continue cooking through.
  • This should only take a few minutes.
  • Take care not to overcook the salmon (it will become very dry if you do).
  • Serve the salmon crispy skin side up on top of a ladleful of the pipian verde sauce.
  • Garnish with reserved pepitas and cilantro.
  • If you want a starch to go with the dish, add rice, black beans, or, as I’ve done here, roasted sweet potato.
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