Many people are intimidated when it comes to cooking fish – I was too, at first. It can be very delicate and messing up can be costly – literally. However, sticking to a very simple method with this particular fish can be basically fool-proof. Salmon is sold in many forms, but I like the cuts with the skin still on as it tends to be the most “sturdy” to work with when searing in the skillet. Serving a plate of this beautifully colored, rich tasting fish is sure to impress anyone that graces our table. Don’t be scared – just be gentle and take your time.
Simple Seared Salmon
- 4 6 oz Atlantic salmon fillets (I use those with skin on, but you can use skinless if you prefer.)
- 4 tbsp coarse Kosher salt
- 2 tbsp cracked black pepper
- 2 – 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (I use a robust flavored to add to the rich flavor)
- Add oil to non-stick skillet and heat over med/med-high heat while you prep the fillets.
- Simply add 3/4 tbsp and 1/4 tbsp pepper to each fillet. (May seem like too much, but this will really create a crust for you.)
- When oil is slightly shimmering in skillet, carefully add fillets – top side down. You should hear a good sizzle as they go into the skillet.
- Sprinkle remaining salt/pepper on skin side of fillets.
- Sear first side for at least 7 – 8 min before checking for desired doneness. To check for level of sear that you want, gently grasp each side of the fillet with tongs and lift. You’ll just want to check this every couple of minutes until the fillet is to your liking as far as darkness. I leave mine until there are bits of a char on them – a heavy crusting.
- Once they reach the level of sear that you want, gently turn them over so the skin side is down. You should hear the sizzle again.
- Sear on this side for at least 5 min before you begin to check for doneness. You will most likely start to see the salmon crack a little – that’s a good thing. It means your fish is cooking through.
- The salmon is done when the side coloring is a darker pink/coral color and it has a gently push back to your finger when touching the top. (It shouldn’t be spongy if you’re looking for med-well done.) This should be somewhere between 5 – 7 minutes after turning over the fillets.
- Gently remove fillets from the skillet and place on wire rack with paper towel underneath to allow for any excess oil to drip for about 2 – 3 min and you’re ready to serve.