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Orange Beurre Blanc Sauce

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Orange Beurre Blanc Sauce

Citrus and seafood = a synergistic pairing. Sweetness in seafood marries harmoniously with citrus without being overpowered by it. Those flavors work and play well with each other. Lemon is the usual go-to seafood citrus, but orange is also beautiful, especially fresh bright oranges in season.

And of course, butter and seafood is a no-brainer.


Starting with fresh oranges is optimal. When oranges are in season, this is a great way to celebrate their flavor.

Orange zest adds a nice full flavorful layer to the sauce. Using organic oranges is best if you would like to avoid pesticides and chemicals. If you cannot find an organic orange, the sauce will still be delicious without the zest.

When you zest, be sure that you get only that yummy orange peel, and no white bitter pith.


As the sauce reduces and thickens, keep a close eye on it. Adjust heat as needed. It will take longer on a lower heat, but it will also be less likely to burn.



At this point, your sauce is ready for butter. That is AMAZING concentrated flavor.


You can certainly use a clarified butter with milk solids removed, if preferred.

Gradually pour in melted butter as you vigorously whisk to emulsify the sauce.


Salt and pepper, to taste. And that’s it!

Here is the sauce served with a very tender octopus. You can see a simple method for cooking octopus here.

tender octopus with orange butter sauce

tender octopus with orange beurre blanc sauce

Orange Beurre Blanc Sauce

A natural accompaniment to seafood.


  • 1/2 T finely minced shallots (or onion, but shallot milder)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • zest of one orange (preferably organic)
  • orange juice, about 3/4 cup (usually 2 oranges will yield this amount)
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (and up to one cup, to taste)
  • salt and pepper, to taste


Place shallots, wine, orange juice, and most of the zest into a sauce pan or skillet. (Reserve a little zest for garnish.) Cook on medium-low heat until shallots are tender and mixture is reduce to almost nothing. It will be a thick concentrated paste. Be careful to not brown the sauce, turning down heat as needed. Gradually whisk in melted butter; whisking vigorously will emulsify the sauce, bringing everything together to a smooth consistency.

If you want a stronger citrus flavor, use only 1/2 cup butter. For a milder flavor (and a cup of sauce), whisk on a cup of butter.

Salt and pepper to taste. (either black or white pepper) Serve garnished with orange zest.


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