Salmon is a food that you would have never found on my plate, I loved the idea of how nutritious it was but I just could not stand the taste or texture of it. Then one glorious day when I live in North Carolina, I tried the salmon at my favorite healthy restaurant and it changed the way I thought about fish! I could tell it was seared at a high temperature giving it this amazing, crunchy crust like exterior while the interior stayed light and flaky. Sounds easy enough, however perfecting the technique took several practice runs, a few undercooked and overcooked fillets later and voila!
Okay so this next picture is kind of terrible as my kitchen does not have the best lighting, and my beautifully lit dining room has no stove, but this one’s not about aesthetics it’s to show you how the “crust” will look when it is formed on the fillet and it is time to flip…
Notice how you can see the very bottom edges getting nice and deep brown, and the sides of the fish are turning opaque.. that is what you are looking for! Once you’ve got that it’s time to give that fish a flip and let it cook a few more minutes and you’ve got this tasty, flaky salmon you see below! Just a heads up, salmon doesn’t take long to cook at all, I like to have my side dishes all ready before I start my fish so I don’t get distracted and end up with half burnt, half raw fish.. other than that it’s a piece of cake! Enjoy!
Pan Seared Salmon (Print Me)
Salmon fillets (good quality wild caught or responsibly farmed, 6-8 oz each)
Oil (good quality coconut, olive etc)
Garnish: Lemon wedges (optional)
Begin by lightly patting both side of salmon fillets dry with paper towels, then lightly salt and pepper both sides and set aside.
Pick a pan that will be large enough so your fillets have about an inch around them (or plan on cooking in batches), heat empty pan over medium high heat and add just enough oil to lightly coat the entire bottom of the pan. When oil is hot (glistening but not smoking), carefully place salmon fillets fish side down into the pan, being sure to leave plenty of room between fillets.
Now, this is the hard part, don’t touch or move the salmon! You will start to see a crust form along the bottom edges of the fish (no peeking underneath, you can see it by looking just along the edges), and the sides of the fish will start becoming opaque. Let the salmon cook until the crust that is forming is deep brown (about 3-5 minutes). When ready, carefully flip fillets over so the skin side is down and continue to cook until the sides are opaque (no longer shiny) and done to your preferred temperature (~2-3 minutes for medium, ~5 for well done).
Serve immediately, garnished with lemon wedge if preferred.
Source: See Brooke Cook Original