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Grilled Wild Sockeye Salmon with Lemon Herb Butter

Grilled Wild Sockeye Salmon with Lemon Herb Butter
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The following recipe and photography was provided by recipe developer and food photographer, Ashley Durand of Plate & Pen.

Fire up the grill in celebration of Sockeye Salmon season!

Cooking outdoors is one of the best things about summer and, if you’re a salmon lover, the excitement of cooking over the open flame is heightened by the arrival of fresh, wild-caught Sockeye Salmon to Heinen’s Seafood Department.

Wild Copper River Sockeye Salmon

You may be wondering what makes this salmon so special. It’s all in the location and seasonality! Alaska is home to one of the largest and healthiest wild salmon populations in the world, and it is strictly monitored by the Alaska Seafood Council to ensure the continued health of the fish and the environment. Because of this regulation, the icy Bristol Bay can only be fished during certain hours of the day from late May through September, so a fresh catch of wild Sockeye Salmon is a luxury.

Heinen’s works with their trusted Alaska seafood partner, Favco, to not only source fresh, wild-caught Sockeye Salmon, but have it delivered to their stores overnight so that it is in their seafood cases the next day! Seafood with that level of quality and freshness is extremely uncommon in the Midwest, which is why I only shop Heinen’s Seafood Department for salmon.

Grilled Wild Sockeye Salmon with Lemon Herb Butter

Salmon of all varieties is delicious on the grill, and wild Sockeye Salmon is no exception. Its bright red hue looks beautiful with crisp grill marks, and its rich, buttery flavor is beautifully complimented by the smokey essence that the grill provides.

For this recipe, I whipped up a quick homemade lemon herb butter and sliced it into medallions to place on the salmon during the last few minutes of cooking. The flavor is extremely light and refreshing, making it perfect for a warm summer evening.

Grilled Wild Sockeye Salmon with Lemon Herb Butter

I also paired this buttery salmon with coconut rice and a simple mango salsa for added color and flavor, but this is optional. Feel free to serve this salmon with any side you prefer. Heinen’s local produce selection reaches peak ripeness in the heat of the summer, so a fresh-grilled local veggie is a great option, too!

Grilled Wild Sockeye Salmon with Lemon Herb Butter

Grilled Wild Sockeye Salmon with Lemon Herb Butter


For the Salmon

  • 2-4 Wild-Caught Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon Fillets
  • Heinen’s extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • McCormick Grill Mates garlic butter seasoning, to taste

For the Lemon Herb Butter

  • 1 stick Heinen’s butter
  • ½ cup fresh parsley
  • Juice of 1 lemon

For the Coconut Rice (Optional)

  • 1 cup Heinen’s white rice
  • 2 cups Heinen’s coconut cream
  • ½ cup fresh mint, chopped

For the Mango Salsa (Optional)

  • Mango, chopped
  • Cucumber, chopped
  • Red bell pepper, chopped
  • Tomato, chopped
  • Red onion, chopped
  • Watermelon, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime


  1. Make the herb butter. Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth. Place the butter mixture on a sheet of saran wrap. Wrap the butter in the saran wrap and form it into a tube shape. Twist the edges to seal and place in the fridge to harden slightly.
  2. Prep the salmon fillets with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and garlic butter seasoning.
  3. Preheat the grill to high heat, between 450°F-550°F.
  4. Place the fillets, skin-side-down on the grates over direct heat for about 6-8 minutes. When you can lift the fillets without sticking, they are ready to flip.
  5. Once flipped, continue cooking the salmon for 3 more minutes.
  6. While the salmon cooks, remove the lemon herb butter from the fridge and slice it into medallions.
  7. Flip the salmon one more time and place the butter medallions on top. Cook for an additional 2 minutes until the butter melts.
  8. Remove from the grill and serve with coconut rice and mango salsa (below), if desired.

Instructions for the Mango Salsa 

  1. The amount of each ingredient used will depend on how much salsa you want to make. Add all of the chopped fruits and veggies to a large mixing bowl and toss with lime juice to preserve freshness. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Instructions for the Coconut Rice

  1.  Rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Add the rinsed rice to a medium-size pot and add the coconut milk and mint. Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat low and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and finish with additional fresh mint, if desired. If using a rice cooker, add the rinsed rice, coconut cream and mint to the rice cooker on the white rice setting. Once cooked, fluff with a fork and add more fresh mint, if desired.

Grilled Wild Sockeye Salmon with Lemon Butter

Ashley Durand

By Ashley Durand

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