Bowen’s Sockeye Salmon Pipián Verde
By Bowen Close
This recipe is for an incredibly flavorful pipián, a type of molé sauce made with pumpkin seeds instead of nuts. Note that this can be used to top cooked salmon, prepared any way you like. Bowen suggests for a spicier pipián, roughly chop 2 jalapeños or 1 serrano pepper and add directly to the blender with the vegetables in step 4.
- 1¼ cups raw pumpkin seeds
- 3 cups of stock, divided
- 1 can or 6 medium tomatillos
- 5 large hearty lettuce leaves, torn into rough pieces (romaine works well)
- 1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- Handful fresh cilantro, tough parts of the stems removed
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1½ tablespoons neutral cooking oil, like sunflower
- 2 cloves (or a pinch ground cloves)
- 1-2 pounds cooked sockeye salmon, prepared as desired (poached, roasted, etc.)
TOAST PUMPKIN SEEDS
Toast pumpkin seeds in dry medium skillet over medium-low heat. Stir constantly once first seed pops, until browned and puffed. Remove from heat and cool.
Set aside small handful of seeds for garnish, then grind rest in spice grinder, food processor, or blender. Mix in small bowl with 1 cup of stock and set aside.
For fresh tomatillos, simmer in salted water until tender, about 10-15 min, then drain. For canned tomatillos, skip this step and simply drain.
Place tomatillos in blender with lettuce, onion, garlic, and most of cilantro (setting small handful aside for garnish). Add spices and blend until smooth.
Heat oil in large skillet at medium. Add pumpkin seed-broth mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens and darkens (about 5 minutes). Add vegetable puree and cook, stirring, for another few minutes.
Add the remaining 2 cups of stock to sauce and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Season with salt to taste.
Serve over cooked sockeye. Bowen suggests roasting the fish!
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Bowen Close is a home cook, cooking instructor, and advocate for community-based food systems in Madison, Wisconsin. She blogs about her cooking and original recipes at Bowen Appétit.