Salmonete Grelhado com Maionese Setubalense

Grilled Salmon with Orange and Black Pepper Aloli

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Mediterranean Kitchen

By Joyce Goldstein

Published 1998

  • About

This Portuguese fantasy is usually made with red mullet, but we have substituted more readily available salmon. Setubal is known for their bitter oranges. The original sauce was a wine-and-orange-flavored butter and the fish was covered with orange slices and baked. We like to rub the fish with orange zest, salt, and sugar and cure it for a few hours before grilling it. We have kept the original orange slices and added a little mint for garnish, although you could use cilantro for the Portuguese love both herbs. The first few times we served this we made the wine-and-orange butter, but then we tried it with an orange aioli seasoned with black pepper. That got the thumbs-up sign from our guests. Hope you agree.


  • 2 tablespoons (kosher) salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 6 salmon fillets, 6 to 7 ounces each


  • 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (or more to taste) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon pureed garlic (mash the garlic with a pinch of salt in a mortar with a pestle; it must be very smooth)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper (medium grind)
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive oil
  • 12 orange slices for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, cilantro, or parsley for garnish


To cure the salmon, mix the salt, sugar, orange zest, and pepper; rub over both sides of the salmon fillets. Refrigerate about 3 hours.

For the aioli, whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice in a mixing bowl or process with pulses in a food processor until blended. Gradually whisk or beat in the oil. The mixture should be thick and emulsified. Whisk or beat in the garlic, 3 tablespoons orange juice, the zest, and pepper. Season to taste with salt. If the orange flavor is weak, add more orange juice; if the sauce is too sweet, add lemon juice to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Heat the grill or broiler. Brush the fish fillets with a little olive oil. Broil or grill until just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes each side. Place on serving plates and top with dollops of the aioli. Garnish with orange slices and herb of choice.