Glazed Salmon with Saffron Rice and Beets

By Marcus Samuelsson |

This recipe comes from Episode 3 of my new show The Feed, where Max Gail and I are challenged to create something beautiful with food.  This salmon dish was inspired by an American flag painting I made using only food.

You can check out the episode here an tune into The Feed on Thursdays at 10PM on EST on FYI Network.


1 piece salmon skin, from a full side of salmon

2 salmon filets

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 cups saffron rice (recipe below)

1 roasted beet, peeled and cubed

2 teaspoons balsamic reduction

4 pickled scallions

6 sprigs fresh dill

Saffron Rice

2 cups white basmati rice

3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1.5 to 2 tablespoons fish sauce

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon saffron threads

¼ teaspoon berbere

squeeze of lemon or lime juice


Photo by FYI Network

To make the salmon skin:

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Lay salmon skin on a parchment-covered baking sheet. Bake until dried and crisp. Break up skin into large pieces.
Warm up the rice and stir beets into rice .

To make the salmon:

Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. When oil in hot, sear salmon skin side down until skin is crisp. Flip and cook to medium rare. Brush salmon with balsamic glaze.
Form rice in a 3-inch ring mold. Place salmon next to rice. Serve with pickled scallions, 2 pieces of salmon skin and garnish with fresh dill.

To make saffron rice:

Pour stock into a medium-size pot (you will also need a tight-fitting lid). Place pot on the stove over high heat. While stock is coming to a boil, add the turmeric, saffron, berbere, and a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. Stir well.

Add the rice, plus 1.5 Tbsp. fish sauce (or 1/4 tsp. salt) and stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low (just above minimum) and cover tightly with a lid. Cook 12-15 minutes, or until liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Tip: Insert a fork or knife straight down into the pot and push the rice aside. If you see liquid, it still needs more time to cook.

When most of the liquid is gone, turn off the heat and place lid on tight. Allow the pot is remain on the burner another 5-10 minutes, or until you're ready to eat. The residual heat inside the pot will finish steaming the rice. The rice will stay warm in this way for 1 hour or more (great if you're having guests!).

Before serving, remove the lid and fluff rice with chopsticks or a fork (some of the chili may have risen to the surface - just stir it back into the rice). Taste-test for salt, adding 1/2 Tbsp. more fish sauce or a little more salt if needed (how much will depend on the saltiness of your stock). If too salty, add another squeeze of lemon juice.