Wild Salmon with a Garlic and Herb Butter Sauce on Irish Boxty Cakes, garnished with Watercress and Shaved Red Onion

  • (for the salmon)
  • 4 salmon fillets (4-6 oz pin bones removed and trimmed with the skin on)
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil (such as canola)
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • 5 Tbsp Garlic and Herb butter (add 1 clove of garlic, 1 Tbsp of chives, dill, and parsley and finely chop and blend with salted butter)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • (for the garnish)
  • ½ small red onion (very thinly sliced)
  • Small bunch of watercress
  • (for the boxty cakes)
  • 2 large floury variety potatoes (such as Idaho grated and clear liquid removed)
  • 1 cup cooked mashed potatoes.
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour (plus 1 Tbsp for dusting)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1-3 Tbsp milk (to thin the dough)
  • 3 Tbsp salted Irish butter (melted and cooled)


How to make it

  1. To make the boxty grate the raw potato (squeezing out any clear liquid with a cloth and discarding) and then add the remaining potato starch, baking powder, salt, and pepper.   When mixed add the cool mashed potato, egg, flour, and enough milk to make an even consistency.   Portion the dough out into 4 even portions and sauté in salted Irish butter. 
  2. To prepare the salmon, using a sharp knife score the skin and season the fillets with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  3. Heat the canola oil and 1 Tbsp of the garlic and herb butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Once the butter stops sizzling, place salmon skin side down and reduce the heat to medium.  Cook the fillets for about 4 minutes and then turn and cook for about 3 minutes more (the fish is ready when the thickest part of the salmon is flakey and opaque). Remove fish from the pan and transfer to a warm oven.
  4. To make the butter sauce and the remaining 4 Tbsp of Garlic and Herb butter to the pan to melt on medium heat and slowly add the lemon juice.
  5. To serve place a Boxty cake with salmon fillet on top in the center of each plate.  Spoon over the garlic and herb lemon butter sauce.  Garnish with a little watercress and red onion.


Recipe from the “Return to Ireland” cookbook by Judith McLoughlin

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