Seared Salmon with Anise-Cucumber Salad

At The Durham Hotel, a new hotel in Durham, North Carolina, chef Andrea Reusing’s menu is built around sustainable seafood. Here, she pairs a leaner sockeye salmon with a creamy cucumber salad that mimics the cooling anise flavors of her favorite Thai dishes. Slideshow:  More Seafood Recipes 

Seared Salmon with Anise-Cucumber Salad
Photo: © Con Poulos
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
50 mins


  • Four 6-ounce skin-on sockeye salmon fillets

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper

  • 4 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced

  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 tablespoon anise seeds

  • 1/3 cup crème fraîche

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 20 basil leaves, torn

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Season the salmon with salt and pepper and let stand for 30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, in a colander, toss the cucumbers, onion, anise seeds and 2 teaspoons of salt. Let stand for 30 minutes.

  3. Gently squeeze the cucumbers dry. In a medium bowl, whisk the crème fraîche with the lemon juice. Add the cucumbers and onion and mix well, then gently stir in the basil.

  4. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the salmon, skin side down, and flatten gently with a spatula. Cook over moderate heat until the skin is crisp, 4 minutes. Flip and cook until opaque throughout, 3 minutes. Serve with the salad.

Suggested Pairing

A dry German Riesling.

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