The Unexpected Ingredient To Maximize The Flavor Of Sautéed Salmon

Salmon will always endure as a trusty dinner option, offering plenty of flavor and protein all at once. There are numerous ways to bring a tasty salmon dish to the table, but sautéing it with a few ingredients remains a tried-and-true option. But how do you make the most of that classic salmon flavor? Well if you turn to a retro recipe from James Barber, the late Canadian chef behind the cooking show "The Urban Peasant," there's one secret ingredient that can unlock all the flavorful potential of a salmon filet. 

In a clip shared of the series on YouTube, Barber sautés his salmon filet with a bit of butter and an ingredient you might more readily associate with brunch. His citrusy weapon of choice? A spoonful of frozen orange juice concentrate. Combined with the butter, the orange concentrate melts into an intensely sweet and acidic sauce that perfectly glazes the salmon. The result is a self-saucing dish that's easy to prepare and delightfully delicious. 

Orange juice concentrate for the win

So how should you go about bringing this three-ingredient dinner to your kitchen? First, for the uninitiated, here's a quick bit on what orange juice concentrate is: As opposed to orange juice, orange juice concentrate has been boiled down to an intense mix that is sweeter and more citrus-packed than the fresh version. Often sold in frozen tubes, drinkers can dilute the mixture with water to create a quick batch of orange juice. For Barber's recipe, you'd use roughly half of a tablespoon of orange concentrate and half of a tablespoon of butter per 6- or 8-ounce salmon filet.

First, you'll melt the butter and get a good sear going on your salmon. Then you'll add in the orange juice concentrate (using it directly from the freezer is fine). As it melts, the sugars in the concentrate will being to caramelize and bubble, so be careful not to let things get too hot and burn. This caramelization will spread to the skin of the salmon, adding a nice, toasted flavor. One bite and you may find this become your go-to salmon dish, as it packs quite the punch with minimal ingredients and effort.