Pan-Seared Butterflied Salmon with Sesame Seed Crust

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. For heightened sesame flavor, rub the fish fillets with Asian sesame oil instead of canola or vegetable. To butterfly salmon fillets, slice down the middle of each fillet, cutting down to but not through the skin. Next, fold the halves away from each other so that each side lies flat. The skin should act like a hinge. Finally, the buitterflied fillet should look like a salmon steak. (See illustrations below).

Ingredients

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