Pan Seared Salmon

Pan Seared Salmon

I think a lot of us have some fear when it comes to cooking fish. I know that I used to. Granted, for many of us in Wisconsin, we are so used to the Friday night fish fry, where as the label states, it is fried fish. I will admit that even the fish fry is not that easy at times as you have to have the oil at the right temperature, the batter has to be right, and well, the fish has to hold up to the fry. Then again, there are other ways to prepare fish whether they be baked, grilled, poached, or often times what I prefer, pan seared.

There has got to be something said about crispy fish skin. It’s almost as good as that of that bite of crispy pork skin you might get when making something like crispy pork belly, and so when my wife had suggested we have salmon for dinner, I was up for setting my challenge of making not only a killer salmon filet, but one that was perfectly cooked with crispy skin. I think I nailed it.

Pan Seared Salmon Recipe

Now salmon is typically not a fish we are eating on a regular basis, however I do love a good salmon. I’ve made things such as a salmon salad, a baked salmon with olive salsa, and heck, even a cedar planked salmon. To me, salmon is a bit delicate, and it takes some thinking in getting it cooked right. After baking, and grilling salmon, I’m thinking that pan searing it, with skin on, might be the best way to cook it.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 fresh salmon steaks, skin on, about 1 1/2 pounds total
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • salt to taste

That’s it. What could not be simpler, other than having someone else cook it and serve it to you, right?

Pat your filets with paper towel, removing any moisture from the fish. Wet fish in a heated skillet equates to no good.

How to make pan seared salmon filets

Add the oil to a large, non stick skillet on medium, heat. Let this pan get nice and hot, and as soon as you see the oil begin to shimmer, roughly after 2-3 minutes, add the salmon filets, skin side down. Using a thin spatula, preferably a fish spatula, apply a bit of pressure to each filet. The goal here is to flatten out the filet, preventing the skin from shrinking. Yes, there could be cause for alarm for shrinkage.  After a couple of minutes of applying that pressure, feel free to let go of the pressure, and reduce the heat to a medium low temperature. Continue cooking the filets for about 4 minutes.

Flip the fish with your spatula. The skin should not be sticking, and it should easily be flipped. Continue cooking another couple of minutes.

Use a digital thermometer if you have one, and check the temperature, but like you would for any type of meat. The temperature should be around 130 degrees before removing the filets. The fish will continue to raise in temperature, and if you go over 140 or so, well, you’ve overcooked the salmon. It’s not the end of the world if that happens, but it will be a bit drier than you might have expected. Crispy skin, yes, dry, yes.

Remove the filets and plate. Season with a touch of salt. I served mine with a garlic and asparagus Israeli couscous, along with sautéed asparagus.

The end result is nothing short of delicious. You get that crispy skin (I would have a food truck dedicated just to fish chips if I could) and that succulent salmon that is just perfect during the week. Salmon is packed with all sorts of goodness, that eating it once a week is just perfect. I hope you enjoy.

Pan Seared Salmon
Author: 
Recipe type: Fish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Easy pan seared fish recipe with crispy skin.
Ingredients
  • 2 fresh salmon steaks, skin on, about 1½ pounds total
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • salt to taste
  • That's it. What co
Instructions
  1. Pat your filets with paper towel, removing any moisture from the fish. Wet fish in a heated skillet equates to no good.
  2. Add the oil to a large, non stick skillet on medium, heat. Let this pan get nice and hot, and as soon as you see the oil begin to shimmer, roughly after 2-3 minutes, add the salmon filets, skin side down. Using a thin spatula, preferably a fish spatula, apply a bit of pressure to each filet. The goal here is to flatten out the filet, preventing the skin from shrinking. Yes, there could be cause for alarm for shrinkage. After a couple of minutes of applying that pressure, feel free to let go of the pressure, and reduce the heat to a medium low temperature. Continue cooking the filets for about 4 minutes.
  3. Flip the fish with your spatula. The skin should not be sticking, and it should easily be flipped. Continue cooking another couple of minutes.
  4. Use a digital thermometer if you have one, and check the temperature, but like you would for any type of meat. The temperature should be around 130 degrees before removing the filets. The fish will continue to raise in temperature, and if you go over 140 or so, well, you've overcooked the salmon. It's not the end of the world if that happens, but it will be a bit drier than you might have expected. Crispy skin, yes, dry, yes.
  5. Remove the filets and plate. I served mine with a garlic and asparagus Israeli couscous, along with sautéed asparagus.

 



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