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Salmon with pomegranate and orange salsa

Easy recipe for pan seared salmon served with a spicy salsa of pomegranate, orange, onion, cilantro, hot pepper, lime juice, orange juice, cumin seeds, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Seared salmon with pomegranate salsa

En Español

If you love salmon, or fish, and are looking for different ways to prepare it, or different toppings to serve it with, this pan seared salmon with pomegranate and orange salsa is a great option. The salsa is is made with a mix of pomegranate, orange, onion, cilantro, hot pepper, lime juice, orange juice, cumin seeds, olive oil, salt and pepper. I love pomegranates and am so happy to see how popular they are becoming in the US.

Recipe for salmon with pomegranate salsa
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Though, I have to say that I do find it somewhat funny that the other day when I bought a pomegranate at the local grocery store, there was actually an instruction booklet on how to correctly open a pomegranate- which makes me think also that there are some very good marketing people behind the popularity of the fruit.

Pomegranate salsa recipe

So, this pomegranate user manual states that the correct way to open the fruit is to make a slice on the top, then quarter it, and remove the seeds -correct names for the seeds is arils – over a bowl of water. While I do slice the top off, I prefer to make a small cut to break it in half and then another small cut on each section, then I use my hands to break it into quarters -doing it over a bowl of water does help a with the mess part though -, I just find the seeds so beautiful and hate cutting them up, I feel like I’m butchering them.

Seared salmon

When I was growing up we had pomegranate trees on our farm, my brothers and I loved them and used to fight over them. I remember keeping an eye on the ones that were ripening and waiting for just the right time to pick them before anyone else. After I picked a ripe pomegranate, I would find a quiet place to sit, usually perched up on a branch in a tree – another hobby as a kid was to find good trees to climb – and then eat every single pomegranate seed. There is something special about eating those beautiful sparkling red seeds, it is a double pleasure: both for my eyes and my taste buds; as a little girl it felt like I was eating edible rubies.

Salmon with pomegranate orange salsa

 My family likes fish (a lot) so we eat it at least once or twice a week. Salmon is a favorite for my kids and to keep it from getting boring I like to add a little bit of variation and serve it with different salsas. Since my kids also love pomegranates and oranges I decided to make a slightly spicy salsa with these ingredients to go along with the fish. The combination of salmon with pomegranate and orange salsa might sound a little bit unusual, but trust me, it works!

Salmon with pomegranate and orange salsa recipe

This time I pan seared the salmon fillets, but you can also grill them if you prefer. The pomegranate salsa will go very well with any type of fish, but it is also a great addition to grilled chicken or grilled lamb dishes. I served the salmon with quinoa (mixed with tomatillo and cilantro sauce)  and fried ripe plantains.

Salmon with orange pomegranate salsa

Salmon with pomegranate and orange salsa

Easy recipe for pan seared salmon topped with a spicy salsa of pomegranate, orange, onion, cilantro, hot pepper, lime juice, orange juice, cumin seeds, olive oil, salt and pepper.
4.75 from 20 votes
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Course: Fish, Main dish
Cuisine: American, International, Latin fusion, Pacific Northwest
Keyword: Pan seared salmon, Pomegranate salsa, Salmon with pomegranate and orange salsa
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marinating time: 1 hour
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


For the pan seared salmon:

  • 1 to 1 ½ lbs salmon cut into 4 fillets – can also use halibut, tilapia, cod, red snapper, etc
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground fennel
  • 2 tbs lime juice
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 -3 tbs butter or oil

For the pomegranate salsa

  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds or arils from ½ large pomegranate
  • 3 oranges peeled and cut into supreme style segments (all the skin/pith/membranes/seeds removed), plus any remaining juice
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • ½ onion finely diced
  • 2 tbs finely chopped cilantro
  • 1-2 serrano peppers seeded and membranes removed, finely diced – replace with jalapeños for a milder version
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Side dishes:

  • Quinoa with tomatillo and cilantro sauce
  • Fried ripe plantains or fried green plantains


  • Mix the crushed garlic, cayenne pepper, fennel, lime juice, white wine, olive oil, salt and pepper together to prepare a marinade for the fish.
  • Let the fish marinate for 1 to 2 hrs.
  • Meanwhile to prepare the pomegranate salsa, combine the pomegranate arils, orange segments, any juice squeezed from the orange membranes, lime juice, diced onion, cilantro, Serrano peppers, cumin seeds, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Mix the salsa well and let it rest refrigerated until ready to use.
  • Heat the butter or oil over medium high heat in a large sauté pan, add the salmon fillets and cook until browned on each side and cooked, about 3-5 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the fillets.
  • Serve immediately with the pomegranate salsa on top or on the side.
Pomegranates for salsa

Step by step preparation photos for fish or salmon with pomegranate and orange salsa

Ripe pomegranate
Ripe pomegranates for salsa
Cutting the oranges into supreme segments
Orange supreme segments
Pomegranate salsa ingredients
Making pomegranate and orange salsa
Pomegranate and orange salsa recipe
Marinate the salmon filets
Pan sear the salmon filets in butter
Pan seared salmon recipe
Pan seared salmon with pomegranate and orange salsa
Salmon with pomegranate and orange salsa

Other fish recipes you might enjoy:

Grilled salmon with avocado salsa

Grilled salmon with corn salsa

Grilled fish with seafood sauce

Grilled tuna skewers with salsa verde

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  1. Hi Laylita!..

    Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes ! I’m from Quito and I’m always looking to get inspired by your recipes and follow your secrets !

    I tried this salsa on top of your hornado for early Thanksgiving last week and it came out absolutely an amazing combination!

    This week I have 14 people and want to try it with the salmon, would you do the salmon in the oven to have a carishina method of not pan searing 14 pieces of salmon and avoid cooling and/or drying ? what temperature would you bake and for how long?


    And please! keep bringing the wonders of your table to ours!

    Un abrazo!


    Hi Joanna – I would bake it a high temperature (425-450F) for about 15 minutes, more or less based on the thickness of the fish.

  2. This dish turned out to be amazing. I made both the salmon and the quinoa. So easy and fast to make. The flavors blend very well together….very delicious. Thanks for all the amazing recipes you are posting!

  3. This is unbelievable!!! I never like fruits in these kind of recipes but after trying some other recipes of yours that I loved, I saw this picture and said it must be delicious! I am making it again tonight and the whole family loves it! I put much less cilantro and cumin because my family is not used to eating it but it is still scrumptious!!

  4. Fairly easy and delicious recipe with a fabulous presentation. I made it with tilapia as that was all I had on hand and the salsa was just incredible and beautiful. I can’t wait to try your salsa verde quinoa soon.

  5. This is a really great meal. I made the whole thing twice. Some stores carry frozen pomegranate arils now, including Whole Foods. I would say I like a little more cilantro in the salsa, and I never found ground fennel (used the seeds instead), but otherwise the salmon, quinoa and plantains are pretty perfect!

    One question, any technique suggestions for making orange supremes? I end up mashing the oranges when I try to get the inner membranes off.

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