Simple Pan-Seared Salmon

Published March 1, 1999.

Why this recipe works:

When we wanted to find an effortless salmon recipe that would exploit the fish’s high oil content and natural moistness while also creating a crisp, even, deeply golden crust, we turned to pan-searing. We preheated the pan to make sure it was hot and used a scant teaspoon of canola or… read more

When we wanted to find an effortless salmon recipe that would exploit the fish’s high oil content and natural moistness while also creating a crisp, even, deeply golden crust, we turned to pan-searing. We preheated the pan to make sure it was hot and used a scant teaspoon of canola or vegetable oil, turning down the heat once the salmon was in the pan. For our pan-seared salmon recipe, we cooked the salmon in the pan until it was almost cooked through, then allowed residual heat to finish cooking the fish off heat.

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Serves 4

With the addition of the fish fillets, the pan temperature drops; compensate for the heat loss by keeping the heat on medium-high for 30 seconds after adding them. If cooking two or three fillets instead of the full recipe of four, use a 10-inch skillet and medium-high heat for both preheating the pan and cooking the salmon. A splatter screen helps reduce the mess of pan-searing. Serve salmon with a sweet and sour chutney (see related recipe), a fresh salsa, an herb-spiked vinaigrette, or squirt of lemon or lime.

Ingredients

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