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Wild Caught Recipe: Pan Seared Steelhead with Jalapeño Blueberry Sauce

Be sure to try this recipe for pan seared steelhead if you are lucky enough to catch one this fall.

Steelhead fishing can be fast and furious with amazing battles of aerobatics and powerful runs that put any fisherman to the test.

If you happen to be one of the fortunate few that put a few pounds of wild steelhead in the freezer, this recipe for pan searing, accompanied by a delicious jalapeño blueberry sauce, will bring back every memory of the fight.

Of course, you don't need to include jalapeños if you find them a little too hot for your taste, but the sweet and spicy flavor that surrounds each bite might make you change your mind.

Must Try Recipe: Easy Poached Salmon

Pan Seared Steelhead with Jalapeño Blueberry Sauce


  • Steelhead Salmon Fillets
  • Salt, Pepper, and Sugar
  • Apple Juice
  • Blueberries
  • Jalapeños
  • Vegetable Oil

If you can't tell by the small list of ingredients, this recipe is very easy. To start things off, add about 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to a 12" pan and turn the heat to medium high.

Make sure your steelhead fillets are patted dry. Pan searing fish requires the meat to be as dry to the touch as possible. This is necessary because the moisture on the fish will just steam once it is added to a hot pan, and not create the sear we are looking for.

Next, sprinkle salt and pepper on one side of your fillets, followed by a small sprinkling of sugar. When the fillets are added to the hot pan, the sugar will caramelize, creating a nice brown spotty crust.

At the same time, add about a 1/2 cup of apple juice to sauce pan and turn the heat to medium high.

Once the oil is shimmering, add the two fillets, sugar side down. Salt, pepper and sugar the side facing up. Place a lid on top of the pan and allow them to sear for about 1 to 2 minutes, depending on the thickness. Use a spatula to gently flip the fillets and allow the other side to sear by covering the pan once again for 1 to 2 minutes.


By this time the apple juice should be boiling. Add in about 2 tablespoons of sugar and stir until it dissolves. Toss in a small carton of blueberries, followed by several finely diced jalapeños. Turn the heat down just a little bit and allow all this to slowly boil together. Use a wooden spoon and try to break up as much of the blueberries as you can to release their juice and mix with the sauce.

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Once all the fillets are done, allow them to rest for a few minutes on a covered dish. Fish tend to cook for a few minutes longer after they are removed from heat.

By this time, the jalapeño blueberry sauce should be turning into a nice thick mixture of awesome. Be sure to turn the heat off before the sauce gets too thick, otherwise it will burn on the bottom of the sauce pan.

When the sauce cools, use a spoon to pour a little bit over your salmon fillet and dig in. I would recommend having a cup of water nearby, but that is up to you. Enjoy!


More excellent recipes from Wide Open Spaces

Give this recipe a try and let us know what you think in the comments below.

Images via Brad Smith

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Wild Caught Recipe: Pan Seared Steelhead with Jalapeño Blueberry Sauce