Perfect Pan Seared Juicy Salmon with Crispy Skin

Perfect Pan Seared Juicy Salmon with Crispy Skin

Nothing pains me more than overcooked fish. Fish is so healthy, so delicious, so quick and easy to make, yet it’s barely edible when overcooked.

I remember my rant on my Grandma’s overcooked pork chops. Well, fish falls in the same category for me as I’m sure it does for many. Way way way too many times, many of us had dry, tough, flavourless fish.

None of that here! Salmon is one of the world’s heathiest foods and a fantastic nutritional addition to any diet. It’s good for the brain, eyes, skin, bones, heart while some studies indicate it may also be good for fighting/preventing cancer. Not all salmon is created equally. Farmed salmon or genetically modified salmon is not the same as wild caught salmon. This is not a nutritional blog so I won’t go into much more detail, but go ahead and research it for yourself, if desired.

The salmon in the picture is wild salmon, which is considered to be more nutritionally healthy. The problem with the wild salmon is that it has a lot less fat than a farm raised salmon. As a result it becomes extremely easy to overcook it. (Not with our technique!) In addition, it’s harder to get and depending on where you live, it’s often sold frozen. No problem there! I would take frozen wild salmon over fresh Farm-raised salmon any day!

Look how moist and tender this wild salmon filet looks!

Hope you give this easy, quick and nutritious meal a try!

DifficultyBeginner

Yields2 Servings
Prep Time5 minsCook Time10 minsTotal Time15 mins

 2 skin-on salmon fillets (*see note)
 2 tbsp oil
 kosher salt to taste
 freshly ground black pepper to taste

NOTE:
1

Cooking salmon with skin-on is key for moist, juicy, tender and not overcooked salmon. You don't have to eat the skin, if you don't want to; it will be exceptionally easy to peel it once the salmon is cooked. However, the skin protects the fillet during the cooking process to yield exceptional results.

Feel free to use wild salmon, farm-raised salmon or even skin-on trout, depending on your personal preference and what is available in your local supermarket.

Scale this recipe up as many times as desired!

2

Heat oil over medium high heat in a cast iron pan. I personally wouldn't use non-stick pan here. Heat the oil until shimmering. This should take at the very least 3 minutes.

3

While the pan is heating, dry your salmon with the paper towels, especially focusing on the skin. This step is very important as if the skin is wet, you will end up steaming your salmon instead of searing it and crisping up the skin. When dry, generously season your fillets with salt.

4

Place skin side down in a hot pan and press down with kitchen utensils or even your hands. You want the skin to adhere really well to the pan. Cook the salmon without moving it. If it starts smoking, turn down the heat, but do not move, lift or flip your fillets. We will be cooking the fillet until it's 90% cooked. You will observe the flesh of the skin starting to become opaque and cook. When you feel it's getting close, measure the internal temperature of your fish. There's a lot of debate as to what temperature to cook the salmon to. As always, I stick to the government suggested minimum temperature, which is 145°. This really won't take long, around 3-8 minutes depending on the thickness of your fish.

As you get close to 138, 140° - flip the salmon and cook on the other side for a minute or so, maybe even less. Check the internal temperature - make sure it has registered 145 and remove your salmon to a plate, with the skin side up. You may wish to line the plate with a paper towel do drain all the fat.

Note, at 145 the salmon is still quite pink on the inside. If you are used to overcooked salmon - it may be quite a shock for you. It will be juicy, delicious but may appear underdone to those not used to it. If desired, cook to a higher temperature that will make you happy.

5

Serve right away with your favourite sides. As discussed in the note, feel free to remove the skin if you wish. However, the skin will be crisp and absolutely delicious!! What an accomplishment this dish is!

Ingredients

 2 skin-on salmon fillets (*see note)
 2 tbsp oil
 kosher salt to taste
 freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

NOTE:
1

Cooking salmon with skin-on is key for moist, juicy, tender and not overcooked salmon. You don't have to eat the skin, if you don't want to; it will be exceptionally easy to peel it once the salmon is cooked. However, the skin protects the fillet during the cooking process to yield exceptional results.

Feel free to use wild salmon, farm-raised salmon or even skin-on trout, depending on your personal preference and what is available in your local supermarket.

Scale this recipe up as many times as desired!

2

Heat oil over medium high heat in a cast iron pan. I personally wouldn't use non-stick pan here. Heat the oil until shimmering. This should take at the very least 3 minutes.

3

While the pan is heating, dry your salmon with the paper towels, especially focusing on the skin. This step is very important as if the skin is wet, you will end up steaming your salmon instead of searing it and crisping up the skin. When dry, generously season your fillets with salt.

4

Place skin side down in a hot pan and press down with kitchen utensils or even your hands. You want the skin to adhere really well to the pan. Cook the salmon without moving it. If it starts smoking, turn down the heat, but do not move, lift or flip your fillets. We will be cooking the fillet until it's 90% cooked. You will observe the flesh of the skin starting to become opaque and cook. When you feel it's getting close, measure the internal temperature of your fish. There's a lot of debate as to what temperature to cook the salmon to. As always, I stick to the government suggested minimum temperature, which is 145°. This really won't take long, around 3-8 minutes depending on the thickness of your fish.

As you get close to 138, 140° - flip the salmon and cook on the other side for a minute or so, maybe even less. Check the internal temperature - make sure it has registered 145 and remove your salmon to a plate, with the skin side up. You may wish to line the plate with a paper towel do drain all the fat.

Note, at 145 the salmon is still quite pink on the inside. If you are used to overcooked salmon - it may be quite a shock for you. It will be juicy, delicious but may appear underdone to those not used to it. If desired, cook to a higher temperature that will make you happy.

5

Serve right away with your favourite sides. As discussed in the note, feel free to remove the skin if you wish. However, the skin will be crisp and absolutely delicious!! What an accomplishment this dish is!

Pan Seared Salmon

Happens to be Keto, Paleo, Low Carb, Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free: as with all gluten-free recipes, ensure all your ingredients are gluten free and not cross-contaminated.

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