Salmon and dill make for a perfect pair, and what better way to achieve that perfectly crisp skin than pan-frying it in a dill-infused butter?






Skill level

Average: 4.2 (5 votes)


  • 4 salmon fillets, about 180 g each, skin on, pin-boned, middle cut
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 60 g butter
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • lemon wedges, to serve

Dill butter

  • 15 g garlic
  • 10 g sea salt
  • 12 g anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 20 g capers
  • 18 g finely chopped French shallot
  • 20 g Dijon mustard
  • 20 g chopped dill
  • 20 g chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 tbsp chardonnay vinegar
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 250 g unsalted butter, softened

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. For the dill butter, place the garlic and salt in a mortar and pestle and pound into a paste. Add the anchovies, capers, shallot and mustard and pound into a smooth paste. Add the chopped herbs, vinegar and several grindings of black pepper. Finally mix through the softened butter. Refrigerate until ready to serve (see note).
  2. Remove the salmon from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Lightly salt the skin.
  3. Heat a heavy-based frying pan over medium - high heat. Add the butter and a drizzle of olive oil. When the butter starts bubbling, add the salmon, skin-side down. Place a weight on top (such as plate, then a saucepan), reduce the heat to medium and cook until the skin is crisp. Turn and cook for another couple of minutes or until cooked to your liking. You could also finish the salmon in a hot oven if you prefer. Remove from the pan and place on a warm plate to rest for a few minutes.
  4. Add about 80 g of the dill butter to the frying pan, stir to melt, then pour over the salmon. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.


This recipe makes more dill butter than you will need for the salmon. To store the remaining butter, place a large piece of plastic wrap on a damp workbench and spread the butter along the base. Roll up into a log and tie each end to seal well. Refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Danielle Abou Karam.