Salmon grilled with fennel, lime and sumac

Salmon grilled with fennel, lime and sumac

New Middle Eastern Food
Mark Roper

As salmon is a dense, oily fish, it benefits from being matched with robust flavours. Baking salmon medallions in this tangy spice mix is surprisingly simple and effective.

Spice mix


Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 lime, finely grated zest
1 teaspoon ground sumac


Quantity Ingredient
4 x 160g salmon fillets, skinned
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
40ml olive oil
1 teaspoon dijon mustard

Fennel-mint salad

Quantity Ingredient
1 medium fennel bulb, cored and very finely sliced
2 shallots, very finely sliced
1/2 cup watercress leaves
100g creamy feta, roughly crumbled
1/2 teaspoon dried mint
1/2 lemon, juiced
75ml extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground sumac
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
fennel pollen, to garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 120ºC. Scatter the fennel seeds and lime zest on a small baking tray and dry in the oven for 15–20 minutes. Allow to cool briefly, then tip into a mortar and pound to an even, fairly fine consistency. Combine with the sumac and set aside.
  2. Increase the oven to maximum heat. Lightly season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper. In a heavy-based ovenproof pan, heat the olive oil and sauté the salmon pieces (skin side up) for 30–40 seconds, moving constantly so they don’t stick. Turn and sauté for a further 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat, brush each fillet with the mustard and sprinkle generously with the spice mix. Place the pan on the top shelf of the oven and cook for 2 minutes for medium–rare, or longer as desired. Remove from the oven and allow to rest in a warm spot for 4–5 minutes.
  3. To make the salad, put all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss together. Divide the salad among four plates, garnish with fennel pollen, if using, and serve the salmon alongside.
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