Pan-Seared Salmon With Faux Hollandaise

April 28, 2021 Updated: April 28, 2021

Fresh salmon is delicious and easily cooked on a non-stick pan to perfection. I love this simple way of cooking fish, as it allows its pure, unique flavor to come through.

I like my salmon medium-rare, and so I cook it on one side for 2 minutes and the other for 5 minutes, for crispy skin and a medium-rare center. Allow the fish to come to room temperature right before cooking—about 20 minutes on the kitchen counter should do it—and season with salt and pepper right after it is cooked. This method also works beautifully with other kinds of fish: Chilean sea bass, tuna, swordfish, and so on, adjusting the cooking time as needed.

The faux hollandaise sauce is creamy, buttery, and totally fool-proof. Instead of fussing with egg yolks, use a bit of butter, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to transform mayonnaise into an easy sauce that turns everything into a decadent meal. Yes, it is a fake hollandaise, but using a really good quality mayonnaise made with real eggs does the trick. I slowly cook it in a small saucepan “a bain de marie,” over a pan of boiling water, to maintain its creaminess and warmth without burning it.

For another occasion, try adding fresh tarragon and Dijon mustard for a faux Béarnaise.

salmon with faux hollandaise
(Victoria de la Maza)

Serves 4

For the Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup good-quality mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Sea salt and ground pepper to taste

For the Salmon

  • 4 (2 -to 3-ounce) salmon filets, skin on, about 1 inch thick
  • Sea salt and ground pepper to taste

In a saucepan over a pan of boiling water, melt the butter. Add the mayonnaise and lemon juice. Mix well and heat for 3 minutes, stirring, until warm. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm in the pan until ready to serve alongside the salmon.

Place a non-stick pan over high heat. Once it is hot, place the salmon fillets skin side up and sear for about 2 minutes. Don’t move it. Using tongs, flip them to skin side down, lower the heat to medium, and cook for 3 minutes or until done to your liking.

Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately with the faux hollandaise.