This pan seared Crispy Skin Salmon is simply seasoned and takes less than 10 minutes to cook. It's perfect served with pasta, risotto, a side of vegetables or over a salad.
This pan seared salmon is so easy to make, with a tender flaky inside and a crisp skin you are sure to love. Seasoned simply with just salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon, this simple and quick protein is perfect for weeknight meals and special occasions alike. It works perfectly served over risotto or pasta, or on a salad or served simply with a few veggie sides. Enjoy!
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While I know it can be tempting, I do not recommend cooking this salon in a nonstick pan.
My personal preference is cooking this salmon in a well seasoned cast iron skillet, such as this Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Skillet.
If you don't have a cast iron skillet you can also use a stainless steel pan such as this All Clad Stainless Steel Pan.
- Salmon fillets: You want to purchase salmon fillets that have already been descaled. Most butchers do this regardless but it's important to make sure as it will impact how crispy you can get the skin.
- Salt and pepper
Crispy Skin Salmon Recipe FAQs
The number one issue I concern when it comes to cooking salmon in a cast iron pan is sticking. There are two fail-safe ways to prevent this.
The first is making sure your pan is hot enough before adding the salmon. The oil should be shimmering, but not smoking. If you want to test the heat you can (very carefully) flick a little water into the pan. If it immediately sizzles then you are ready to cook.
The other is to let the salmon cook undisturbed for at least 5 minutes. This means no nudging or moving around, just letting the heat take care of business for you.
You want 90% of the cooking to be done while the salmon is skin side down. A good indicator of how cooked the salmon is is watching the flesh change colors. It will go from being a bright red or pink to a softer pink as it is cooked.
When the softer pink color reaches about half way to ¾ths of the way up the salmon then it is time to flip it over.
As with any meat, the best way to know when it is cooked to your liking is by using a meat thermometer. I love this meat thermometer from Oxo. Salmon is typically cooked from around 125 degrees for a rarer piece, to 145 degrees for more well done piece depending on your preference.
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Made this Crispy Skin Salmon Recipe? Let me know what you think in the comments!
Crispy Skin Salmon
- cast iron skillet or stainless steel skillet
- 2 skin on salmon fillets (4-6 ounces each) Make sure the salmon is descaled
- 1 tbsp olive oil Can substitute with avocado oil or other high smoke point oil.
- salt & pepper
- lemon wedges
- Take salmon out of the fridge about 15 minutes before cooking to allow to come closer to room temperature. Pat both sides dry with a paper towel.
- In a cast iron skillet heat about 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat until hot and shimmering (but not smoking). *Note: It is very important to get the pan hot before adding the salmon. If you're not sure if the pan is hot enough you can flick a few drops of water into it. If they sizzle then you are good to go. If not, heat it a little longer.
- Season both sides of the salmon with salt and pepper. When the pan is hot and the oil is shimmering, place the salmon skin side down into the pan. You should immediately hear a sizzle (if you don't, the pan is not hot enough). Allow the salmon to cook undisturbed for about 5-7 minutes. Then use a thin, metal spatula to carefully flip the salmon over. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until the fish is no longer opaque inside and the internal temperature reaches around 140 degrees F.
- Remove the fish from the heat and serve skin side up (to prevent it from getting soggy) with a wedge of lemon. Enjoy!