Ad
Get special offers, recipes, health news, PLUS our FREE seafood cooking guide!
Got it, thanks! Click here for your FREE seafood cooking guide & recipes e-booklet.

In the Kitchen with Vital Choice

Recipes • Seafood How-To Videos • Recipe Videos • Storage & Cooking Tips

Chef Recipe Videos

Vital Choice at Home: Sockeye Fillets with Compound Butters


Vital Choice at Home: Sockeye Fillets with Compound Butters

By Michelle Lee
 
Welcome to Vital Choice at Home!
 
 
 
 
 
This series features me, Michelle, a writer and soccer mom from the Rocky Mountains, my husband and two kids, some beautiful Vital Choice seafood and lots of regular home cooking.
 
(Click here to learn more about me, below.)
 
 
 
 
 
I want to feature the products and preparations you're curious about. Have a suggestion? Question? Recipe you want me to test? Email me and help to shape this series.
 
 

 
I am a pretty good home cook, but one of my closest friends is a great cook, and years ago introduced me to salmon fillets with compound butter.
 
I loved it at the time, but was intimidated at the idea of making my own. Frankly, I wasn't entirely sure what compound butter really was … I just knew it tasted delicious.
 
You know what it is? Softened butter smashed up with … stuff. Flavorings. That's it!
 
A few minutes on the internet yields hundreds if not thousands of compound butter ideas. There are countless sources of inspiration to get you started.
 
The beauty of compound butter is that it adds instant flavor. When you try this at home, you'll likely end up with extra compound butter. Save it! It keeps days in the fridge (or months in the freezer).
 
You can add compound butter as a flavoring element to any kind of protein … chicken, white fish, shrimp, pork, steak. You get the idea! A batch of compound butter goes a long way and is quite versatile.
 
After poking around online, I decided to try three unique butters, all on the Petite Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Portions.
 
I absolutely love the flavorful simplicity of these small, skinless and boneless portions. At 425ºF, the fillets cooked in almost exactly 10 minutes. They will cook a little bit faster if you use the grill or broiler.
 
For my experiment with compound butter, I tried three vastly different preparations – two I just “winged” based on ideas I'd seen online, and one I followed a recipe, largely because I was concerned about getting the balance of flavors right without guidance.
Before I get to the specifics, let me say that for all of these I topped the thawed Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon fillets with about a tablespoon of butter, then roasted them for 10 minutes.
 
As the salmon cooked to a perfectly flaky finish, the butter slowly melted over the salmon. This couldn't be easier.
 
Compound Butter #1: Lemon-Dill
The first and simplest compound butter I tried was unsalted butter (4 tablespoons), lemon zest (1/2 teaspoon), lemon juice (1/2 teaspoon) and chopped fresh dill (1 tablespoon). Surprisingly, the flavors mellowed so much during cooking that it was almost too subtle.
 
That said, I would absolutely repeat this preparation, perhaps adding more lemon zest next time. Everyone felt this “tasted like salmon is supposed to taste.”
 
Compound Butter #2: Mexican Style
The second compound butter was a semi-success. I combined unsalted butter (4 tablespoons), crumbled feta (1 ounce), lime zest (1 teaspoon) and chopped cilantro (½ tablespoon).
 
Overall, everyone loved the lime/cilantro combination, but the feta gave the butter an odd, chunky texture, and really seemed unnecessary.
 
Next time, I'd skip the cheese and stick to cilantro and lime zest. The lime flavor really popped, and this would be excellent with a Mexican-themed dinner.
 
Compound Butter #3: Asian Style
My last butter tasted nothing like you thought it might, but was still the standout favorite. This is the only butter I used a real recipe for, from the Challenge Butter website.
With wasabi paste, fresh ginger, fresh chives, rice vinegar and sesame oil, this butter had a strong, almost overwhelming horseradish smell before it was cooked.
 
However, after 10 minutes in the oven, the flavors mellowed and came together into a savory-yet-sweet topping that was memorable and delicious.
 
Interestingly, there was no remaining wasabi flavor. I would add more (or higher-quality) wasabi paste next time. The salmon had zero spice once cooked.
 
But as the centerpiece of an Asian-inspired meal, this compound butter would be divine. It's definitely worth continuing to tinker with.
 
I would call my first experience with compound butters on Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon a huge success. My biggest takeaway – you really don't need a recipe.
 
Soften some butter, then add two or three herbs, zests and seasonings … whatever you have fresh and on hand.
 
I can't wait to try new combos this summer when my herb garden is full. I don't really think you can go wrong.
 
And I can't wait to hear what flavor combinations you come up with! Email me or share with us on Facebook what worked.
 

A Note from Michelle
 
Like you, I have a passion for beautiful-yet-healthy food that's easy to prepare.
 
 
While I do love making the occasional “fancy” dinner, most of the time I'm short on time and have a house full of hungry people who want to eat NOW.
 
I'm not a professional chef – I'm just a busy mom who loves to cook and who's focused on that intersection of healthy and delicious.
 
I want this series to feature the products and preparations you're curious about.
 
 
Have a suggestion? Question? Recipe you want me to test?
 
 
Email me and help to shape this series.
 
 
Check out these customer favorites

WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING:
quote-icon
I would not buy my fish from anywhere but Vital Choice…I’m so happy to have a source for great tasting, healthy fish.
quote-icon
WHAT HEALTH & NUTRITION EXPERTS ARE SAYING:
quote-icon
Vitalchoice.com is my favorite source for wild Alaskan salmon, sablefish, sardines, and other fish rich in omega-3s... I can't tell you how many messages I get from people thanking me for recommending Vital Choice.
quote-icon
WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING:
quote-icon
Simply put Vital Choice offers the best seafood and related products available. We have always recommended Vital Choice to clients, friends, and family. As health practitioners we value the sustainable practices and trust this company implicitly!
quote-icon
WHAT THE MEDIA IS SAYING:

quote-icon We’ve done the work for you to find the healthiest meat products on the market. quote-icon

WHAT HEALTH & NUTRITION EXPERTS ARE SAYING:
quote-icon
Unlike anything you've seen from the grocery store…I recommend Vital Choice—my personal favorite for delicious, fresh, healthy, and completely safe canned tuna and salmon.
quote-icon
WHAT THE MEDIA IS SAYING:
quote-icon
Vital Box captures the fresh-caught quality of succulent, sustainably harvested Alaskan salmon and northwest Pacific seafood by cleaning and flash-freezing it within hours of harvest.
quote-icon
WHAT HEALTH & NUTRITION EXPERTS ARE SAYING:
quote-icon
I love the stellar quality of Vital Choice salmon! I've been recommending Vital Choice Seafood for many years now.
quote-icon
WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING:
quote-icon
Vital choice has never disappointed. Love every item I get... since eating your food, my hair, skin, and energy revitalized from clean fish and meats… it’s ALL great. Never a problem with the food arriving in great condition.
quote-icon
WHAT THE MEDIA IS SAYING:

quote-icon The Best Places To Buy Seafood Online, Including Fresh And Frozen Fish quote-icon 

Find out what others are saying about Vital Choice Ad