Pan Seared Salmon

This is one of my all-time favorite recipes. The easiest and best way to cook salmon in my opinion. I don’t normally use sockeye salmon, but it was the freshest I could find at my local fish market. There are several differences in sockeye salmon. It has more of a red hue, usually thinner cut and it has less fat than a regular salmon. I prefer fatty salmon, but there are many perks to the sockeye. Like it is much better on the grill then a farm raised salmon because of the fat content.

Prep Time: 10 minutes                Cook Time: 10-15 minutes


  • Fresh dill
  • S&P
  • 1 lemon
  • Fresh salmon (Skin on!)

Pull your salmon out of the fridge and rinse it off. Run your fingers over the meat of the salmon and check for pin bones. If you find any you should be able to pull them out with your nails.

Next pat your fish dry and place skin up on a plate or board. Find your sharpest knife and make 3 cuts diagonally on the skin. Now you do not want to go deep, you just want to cut through the skin and barely into the meat. Next mince your dill and zest your lemon in a small bowl. Heavily season your fish with the S&P, lemon zest and dill. Make sure you get it inside the cuts you made.

Let the salmon sit and rest for 5-7 minutes until it is almost room temp. The reason you made the cuts is to draw out some of the liquid when the fish is sitting and when it is cooking.

When your time is up, put a nonstick sauté pan on your stove at about a 7 or medium high heat. When you pan is hot lay your fish down skin side first and lay it away from you (towards the back of your stove, so the oil splashes away from you). Leave this fish alone for 1-2 minutes on the heat and then move it to another burner and set it on about 4 or medium low. This is the key part you are going to wait and let it cook. The skin will protect it from burning and you will watch the heat rise through the fish slowly cooking it.

Once the fish looks like the bottom half is cooked turn the heat on another burner back up and carefully flip the fish. Now push the fish towards the sides of the pan so you sear the sides of the fish. Then move it back to the middle of the pan and leave it for about a minute. Then do the same thing as the beginning and move it to another burner. Give it about 3 minutes and temp it. Good quality salmon can be eaten raw and I like mine on the rarer side. The proper temp for cooked fish is 145 Fahrenheit. I wish I could describe how it feels when it is cooked properly but that is just something you pick up over time.

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