Wild salmon is the ideal protein to use in keto-friendly recipes. It’s low in saturated fats, rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3s, and tastes really, really good with a nice pad of grass-fed butter — which is essentially all you need for a basic keto salmon meal.
But for keto salmon that’s a serious step up from basic, you’ll want to make this quick and easy recipe for crispy, pan-seared salmon and steamed broccoli, all topped with homemade miso butter. It’s rich in umami, low in carbs, and has a nutritious dose of fiber.
Here’s a quick and easy keto salmon recipe that will keep you satiated and healthy.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
For the miso butter:
4 tbsp (½ stick) unsalted grass-fed cow butter, room temperature
2 to 4 tbsp white miso paste, to taste
Fresh minced herbs, spices, etc.
For the broccoli:
3 to 4 cups broccoli florets, frozen or fresh
Salt and pepper
2 tsp minced garlic, optional
Pinch of chili flakes, optional
For the salmon:
4 6-ounce fillets of wild salmon (coho or sockeye)
Salt and pepper
Miso butter is basically just miso paste mixed with butter. Make sure you use an unsalted butter so that you’re creating an overly salty miso butter. As for the miso, you can really use any miso paste you like, but white miso paste is nice and mild, giving you the umami you crave without becoming an overpowering flavor in the butter. If you want to create a miso butter with a bit more nuance or color, try mixing in some herbs or spices, like minced chives, cracked pepper, black sesame seeds, finely sliced scallions, or diced shallots.
Broccoli are a great low-carb veggie to chow down on in a keto diet, and they’ll steam up perfectly in the time it takes to pan-sear your salmon, making them a particularly efficient side option. Broccoli also tastes exquisite with miso butter. Feel free to substitute any keto-friendly vegetable you like, though.
For even more flavor, after your salmon has been transferred to a serving platter, you can actually take the pan you just used off the heat, drain any excess oil from it, then toss in the steamed broccoli, minced garlic, and chili flakes for 20 seconds or so, right before serving.
Both coho and sockeye are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, so you decide if you’re in the mood for a robust fillet of sockeye or its milder coho cousin for this recipe. Our only suggestion is that if you’re using a red miso instead of a white one, you will get a better balance of flavors if you pair it up with sockeye.
Since you’re pan-searing the salmon, all you need is a bit of salt and pepper to season it, and a cooking oil that can stand up to high heat without burning; peanut oil and canola oil, for example, are good options.
Get a pot of water simmering and set up a steamer basket in it so that it’s ready to go when you are.
Meanwhile, combine butter with 2 tablespoons of miso paste in a small bowl, stirring the ingredients together until evenly mixed. Give the butter a taste. Does it need more miso? Add up to 2 more tablespoons of miso, depending on your preference. Mix in herbs/spices at the end, also to taste. (By the way, you can double the recipe so that you’ll have miso butter leftover for another meal.) Set aside for now.
Pat dry any excess moisture from your salmon fillets. Then, if you have the patience to do so, take a sharp knife and score the skin of each fillet; essentially, you just want to make shallow cuts along the fillet about ¼ inch apart to discourage the skin from curling up as the salmon cooks, which ensures that you get a flat, crispy shard of salmon skin. P.S., the more scores, the crispier the skin will be once it’s seared up. [https://wildalaskancompany.com/blog/crispy-skin-on-fish]
Heat up a skillet over medium-high heat, adding just enough cooking oil to just coat the bottom of the pan. Try to choose a pan that’s large enough to make flipping your fillets an easy task. While things are heating up, lightly season both the skin and the flesh sides of your fillets with salt and pepper.
Once the oil in the pan is practically smoking hot, carefully lower your fillets skin-side down into the pan, lowering them away from you so that you don’t get spattered with oil. Using a fish spatula, give the fillets a firm press down against the pan just to make sure they are laying flat. Aside from that, leave the fillets to do their thing for 3 minutes; no moving them around!
Note: By the way, you should immediately hear a satisfying sizzle the moment the salmon skin makes contact with the pan; if you don’t hear any noise, it’s not hot enough, and you’ll want to pull back for another minute or two.
While you’re letting your fillets sear, add your broccoli to the steamer basket (it should be ready by now) and then toss a lid onto the pot.
At the 3-minute mark, carefully flip your salmon to let the flesh side cook. If you’re using center cut fillets, they will probably need 2 minutes here until they’re flaky and medium-rare; tail pieces may only need a minute or so to get to this point. Set your timer for 1 minute, either way.
Once the timer goes off, take your broccoli off the heat. Remove any tail pieces from the pan and transfer to a serving platter, allowing thicker pieces to continue to cook for another minute before transferring them and removing the pan from the heat; make sure you leave the fillets skin side up on the platter so that the skin stays crispy.
While the salmon is still very hot, top each fillet a heaping spoonful of miso butter, allowing the heat of the fillet to melt the butter into each of the scores you made into the skin.
Finally, you can transfer broccoli to a serving bowl immediately, tossing it in any remaining miso butter. Or, as an alternative, drain any excess oil from the pan you just used to sear the salmon, adding garlic and chili flakes to the skillet to toast for 10 seconds or so; before the garlic begins to burn, add the steamed broccoli to the pan too, sauteing until it’s just coated in oil. Then, move to a serving bowl and toss in some miso butter.
Enjoy your broccoli and salmon keto meal on its own, or with a side of cauliflower rice.