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Grilled Alaska Sockeye Salmon with Compound Butter

Grilled Alaska Sockeye Salmon with Compound Butter
Alaska sockeye salmon was made for the grill! Keep it simple and show off the bold flavors of wild sockeye with this grilled recipe topped with a lemon herb compound butter.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 43 minutes
  • Servings: 4 to 6


  • Alaska Sockeye Salmon

  • 1-1/2 pounds Alaska Sockeye Salmon, fresh or thawed
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • Compound Butter

  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped shallots or scallions
  • 1 pound unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped mixed fresh leafy herbs, such as thyme, tarragon, dill, parsley, or basil
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Step 1 Make the compound butter

    Sauté the shallots in 3 tablespoons of the butter until soft but not brown.  Add the wine and continue to cook until all of the liquid has evaporated. Cool completely. Soften the remaining butter with an electric mixer or by hand and stir in the shallot mixture, herbs, lemon zest and juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or roll into logs, wrap tightly in aluminum foil and freeze for later use.

  2. Step 2 Prepare the salmon

    Remove Alaska sockeye salmon from refrigerator 15 minutes before cooking. Heat grill to 375F. Cut 2 pieces of wide, heavy-duty aluminum foil about 6 inches longer than the salmon fillet. Stack the foil pieces (shiny side down) on a baking sheet and spray generously with cooking spray. Place the salmon, skin side down, in the middle of the foil. Fold the foil sides and ends up (1-2 inches) to make a shallow pan around the salmon, leaving at least a 1-inch margin around the fish. Season salmon with salt and pepper.

  3. Step 3 Grill the salmon

    Carefully transfer the foil pan to the center of the preheated grill*. Do not cover the salmon with foil or close the foil over the salmon. Close grill cover and cook for 10-13 minutes**, cooking just until the fish is lightly translucent in the center – it will finish cooking from retained heat. Remove from the grill and let rest a few minutes before serving.

  4. Step 4 Top with compound butter and serve

    Cut and place thick coin-sized pieces of compound butter on top of hot fish and let it melt. If using frozen butters, soften them just a bit before placing them on top so they can begin to melt as you bring them to the table.

  5. Step 5 Variation

    Roast in an oven preheated to 375F, cooking 12-15 minutes, until lightly translucent in the center. Be sure to let the salmon rest a few minutes before serving.

    Cook’s Tip: Check salmon for doneness at 10 minutes.

Cooking Technique Video