• Salmon with whole lemon dressing (Adam Liaw)Source: Adam Liaw

"A whole piece of salmon always looks impressive, and it's a simple crowd pleaser or weeknight meal to have in your repertoire. A browned butter and harissa sauce adds a kick to this classic dish, and I love adding sturdy green leaves that can hold up to a little heat, for crunch and freshness."






Skill level

Average: 3.9 (7 votes)


  • 650 g piece of salmon, skin on, bones removed
  • salt flakes and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 - 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 - 2 tbsp harissa paste
  • 60 g mix of baby gem or baby cos lettuce and wild rocket
  • 1 small red Asian shallot, thinly sliced
  • ½ bunch parsley, leaves picked

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.


Resting time: 5 minutes

  1. Preheat the oven to 160˚C. Place the salmon, skin-side down in a large baking dish and season with salt and pepper. Finely grate the zest of half the lemon and juice the whole lemon. You will need about 125 ml (½ cup) juice.
  2. Place the butter in a small saucepan over low–medium heat and cook until light brown. Add the garlic and cook until starting to turn translucent. Add the olive oil, then the harissa paste, whisking a little with a fork to combine well and cook for 2-3 minutes or until it looks delicious. Remove from the heat, then use your fork to whisk in the lemon zest and half the lemon juice. Pour the sauce over the salmon and place in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until the salmon is pink in the middle (it will continue to cook a little more while it rests).
  3. Meanwhile, prepare a little salad on each serving plate with lettuce, shallot and parsley. The salmon should be the dominant feature of your plate - this is not an official salad.
  4. When the salmon is done, let it sit 5 minutes to rest, then break up a little into 4 portions, leaving the skin behind. Arrange the fish on top of the salad, reserving the pan juices.
  5. Pour the juices into a small bowl, add the remaining lemon juice, check the seasoning and whisk to combine with a fork. Pour the dressing over the warm salmon and serve immediately.

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

Photography by Adam Liaw.