You will actually never put a piece of salmon in the oven again after eating this nothing but salmon, salmon.
What to know going in: the majority of the cooking happens on the skin side for anywhere between 10-20 minutes. You may have to adjust the temperature as you cook, likely lowering the flame. Think low and slow as to not burn the skin but slowly crisp it over time. The salmon will tell you when it's ready to be flipped, be patient with it, it will release from the pans surface at ease. Since its being pan seared and not baked, it will be fully cooked but not dried out. —Meredith Schwartz
- Cook time 15 minutes
- Serves 2
skin on salmon slab/ filet
- Pat the skin side dry with paper towels and season the skin side of the salmon with a sprinkle of kosher salt.
- Set a heavy bottomed pan, cast iron or stainless steel skillet with a small drizzle of extra virgin olive oil over a medium high flame to pre-heat until very hot, about 3 minutes. Test the pan with a splash of water, if the water bounces back on the surface the pan is ready for the salmon.
- Place the salmon skin side down in the pan and turn the heat to medium-low. Season the top, flesh side, of the salmon with a sprinkle of salt. Cook the salmon at medium-low to crisp the skin slowly without burning it over a high flame. After about 5 minutes check the cross section of the salmon. Once the flesh has turned opaque half way up to the top of the filet and the edges of the salmon have a golden crisp and even peeled away from the pan slightly, carefully nudge a fish spatula under an edge, IF it slips under with ease continue to swirl and lift the pan to move the oils rendering off the skin to slip under more toward the middle of the piece of fish to help it release over time. If there is resistance, WAIT another minute and try again. Only working near the edges of the salmon here.
- Let the salmon be for another 3-5 minutes over a low flame. Once the salmon appears opaque almost to the top of the flesh check on it again carefully with a fish spatula around the edges and closer to the middle. If there is resistance toward the middle, stop, wait another minute. After a minute, try again - the goal is to scooch your fish spatula under the entire piece of salmon, once it slides under at ease it's ready to be flipped. You should only touch the salmon all in all 2-3 times before flipping it.
- When the salmon skin releases easily from the pan, flip the salmon and let the top side finish cooking until lightly golden, pressing down on the filet to ensure nice contact with the pan, about 2 minutes. Poke the salmon with your finger to feel for done-ness; it should almost flake apart when fully cooked.
- Remove the salmon from the pan and sprinkle with flakey salt. Serve over rice or greens with lemon wedges.