Recipes > Pan-Fried Salmon with Beurre Rouge

Pan Fried Salmon With Beurre Rouge


This classic French butter sauce, beurre rouge, pairs well with salmon and grilled meats.
  • Serves: 2
  • Active Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Views: 42,547
  • Success Rating: 98% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Making the Beurre Rouge (Red Butter)

Making the Beurre Rouge (Red Butter)
  • 1 tbsp shallots
  • 4 tbsp red wine
  • 8 tbsp cold, unsalted butter
  • kosher salt (to taste)
  • white or black pepper (to taste)
  • lemon juice (optional)


To prepare the beurre rouge, first mince the shallots. Measure out the red wine and cut the cold butter into tablespoon-size pieces and set aside.

Place a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and wine. Bring to a simmer and reduce the liquid by about two-thirds until it reaches a syrupy consistency.

Turn the heat to the lowest setting and whisk in the cold butter one piece at a time to slowly form the emulsion.

Once all of the butter has been incorporated, season with salt and pepper. You may want to add a few more drops of lemon juice to brighten the flavor of the sauce, if needed.

Monitor the sauce closely while you cook the fish. Keep the sauce warm to the touch and whisk often to prevent it from splitting. You may need to turn the heat off and on to keep it at the correct temperature. The heat does not always need to be on, as the residual heat from the pan will keep it warm.

Step 2: Prepping and Cooking the Salmon

Prepping and Cooking the Salmon
  • two 6 oz salmon filets
  • kosher salt (to taste)
  • white or black pepper (to taste)
  • 2 tsp grapeseed oil (or olive oil)


To cook the fish, heat a non-stick fry pan over medium heat.

Pat the fish dry and season with salt and pepper to taste. Once hot, add the oil. Place the fish presentation side down and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes per side until just done.

Plate the fish. Whisk the sauce and spoon over top. Serve immediately.


  • Rob S
    Rob S
    I made this dish as a quick dinner for my wife and myself on an otherwise busy day. It came out wonderful! Restaurant quality for sure. She absolutely loved it. We used frozen salmon since we had some left in the freezer, but it still tasted delicious. I can only imagine how good it would've looked and tasted with fresh. Here's a picture: Please forgive the sloppy plating; I was in a hurry!
  • Luis R
    Luis R
    My sauce was fine until the5 or 6 butter tbs, The hole sauce didn't form an emulsion. Why? But it was delicious any way ;D
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    If you say that the sauce was fine at the 5 to 6 tbsp mark then perhaps you just added too much butter. I would recommend that you watch the lesson on "How to Make a Butter Sauce" again. You may also want to read through the discussions for a bit more info. After that it is a matter of getting back in the kitchen and practicing. Hope this helps. Cheers!
  • Carmen S
    Carmen S
    I just ate the best salmon I ever had!
  • Amanda G
    Amanda G
    ... to a Southern girl, what could be more perfect??? ;-)
  • Jorge S
    Jorge S
    I would like to tray this sauce with another kind of fish or even meat. What do you recomend
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Typically grilled meats and fattier types of fish go with this sauce (refer to Topic 6 in the How to Make a Butter Sauce Lesson. Really, it is up to you and what you like. Cheers!
  • Matthew G
    Matthew G
    I made the sauce, and it looked great. The color was quite eye-catching. The fish finished cooking, I let them rest for about two minutes, and then spooned the sauce over them. I'm glad I did it where my wife could see, because in less than a minute the sauce split... the fish was too hot. It still TASTED great, and it was arguably the best salmon we've ever had, but the fact that it split after I made it correctly is disappointing. The recipe didn't say to rest the fish, but maybe it should. Not that it helped me, but... How can you tell if the the fish is too hot for the sauce? Then there's the obvious conflict between cooler food so the sauce won't split and hot food the diner will enjoy. Hmmm...
  • Christophe K Rouxbe Staff
    Christophe K
    Reading your comments, I don't believe the heat of the fish split your sauce, more likely the sauce was not whisked hard enough with small, cold cubes of butter and off the heat. These are the main 3 reasons for that to happen (unless it was kept too hot) but it seems you made it at the last minute. I would try again with a good reduction, turn off the heat, whisk vigoursly while adding small cubes of cold butter and it should work. Hope this helps! Cheers!
  • Matthew G
    Matthew G
    I made the sauce first following the steps in the video, and it looked good. (I have a short cell-phone video I made of me whisking it I can upload later if I need to.) I made the sauce first and then held it while the fish cooked, whisking frequently and moving it on and off the heat as seemed necessary. It looked great in the pan, and it even looked great on the fish... for a short time. That's when it split, hence my reason for thinking the fish was too hot.
  • Matthew G
    Matthew G
    And I did make sure the butter pats were fridge-cold and whisked them in one at a time. The sauce emulsified fine and looked great.
  • Christophe K Rouxbe Staff
    Christophe K
    Emulsion sauces are the most difficult to keep stable, thus the reason they are , even in restaurant avoided, they are by definition a mix of 2 products, water base and fat base that do not mix well, the cream is your "connecting" product. The sauce is very sensitive to heat and will split easily when reheated or kept much warmer than body temperature. Try to add a bit more cream once the gastride is well reduced this extra binder should help along, yet it seems that the issue is the sauce is kept and or re heated to too high a temperature. If it is any comfort it is a difficult sauce to master even for professional chefs, thus the reason you won't see beurre blanc attempted at any Iron chef Competitions. Keep practicing and don't get discouraged. Cheers!
  • Janet C
    Janet C
    Oh my goodness.. It almost seems wrong that something that took such a little effort tastes so delicious! I made this with green beans and cauliflower mash with onion, dill and lemon.

Leave A Comment

Please login or join the Rouxbe community to leave a comment.