Grilled salmon is my absolute favorite way to cook salmon. I love the smokey flavor that is imparted on the fish. However on busy weeknights when I don’t want to hassle with the charcoal grill I do a quick pan-sear. Pan-seared salmon is a ridiculously quick, super simple and incredibly delicious.
Perfect & Simple Pan-Seared SalmonAdapted, slightly from Cooks Illustrated I like the salmon with just a simple squeeze of lemon or lime, but you could also do a quick herbed pan sauce. In the summer I like to take fresh cherry tomatoes and do a quick bursted tomato sauce with a little linguine on the side. For Quinoa Pilaf with Herbs and Lemon pictured above click here. 4 salmon fillets (skin-on), each about 6 ounces and 1 to 1 1/4 inches thick (see illustration below)
Salt Fresh ground black pepper 1 teaspoon canola oil or vegetable oil
Heat a 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet for 3 minutes over medium to medium-high heat. Sprinkle salmon with salt and ground black pepper.
Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. When oil shimmers (but does not smoke) add fillets skin side down and cook, without moving fillets, until pan regains lost heat, about 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium; continue to cook until skin side is well browned and bottom half of fillets turns opaque, about 4 1/2 minutes. Turn fillets and cook, without moving them, until they are no longer translucent on the exterior, firm (but not hard) when gently squeezed – 3 minutes for medium-rare and 3 1/2 minutes for medium. Remove fillets from pan and let stand 1 minute. Pat with paper towel to absorb excess fat on surface, if desired.
Serve immediately, with squeeze of citrus or pan sauce of your choosing.