The joie de vie of a beautifully pan seared salmon


…fancy shmancy in a pan

The salmon filet is one of the most versatile, luxurious and yet simple filets that are around. As it has it’s own strong flavor, it needs to be, almost always as the key and most important part of the dish. Salmon is a very fatty fish, as such, as we have always said – too much of a good thing is not good.

Today we will not explore anything fancy, nor we will do something very very hard. We will just go through the process of cooking a salmon filet right.

Before we start, let’s focus on some very important components. The primary one is the skin. As we will be pan-frying it, the skin is the key component to keep this delicate filet together. Additionally, once you cook it, becomes crunchy and delicious. If by any chance your filet does not have the skin on, you should bake it.

The secondary is temperature. If you put a cold filet of anything in the pan, instead of cooking the meat/fish, it would just try to warm it up, and the extremities would just burn. So let the filet sit in room temperature for a while before you cook it.

The third would be seasoning. There are PLENTY of recipes out there, but if you are a bit scared of handling fish, then salt and pepper are enough.


  1. salmon filet
  2. salt
  3. pepper
  4. paprika
  5. olive oil

How to get it done:

  1. Take the salmon and cut it in portions.
  2. I would highly recommend a pierce the skin on the portions. It helps them cook much faster. Or at least Gordon Ramsay says so.
  3. Marinate with salt and pepper. I added a bit of spicy paprika for that extra spicy smokiness. I can’t stress the need of fresh ground pepper here. After cooking it adds a bit of complexity to the fatty salmon.
  4. Heat a non-stick pan with no oil. The reason here is that no one expects you to have multiple oils in the house. Chances are that all you got it olive oil and olive oil has a low burn point
  5. As you see that the pan got really hot, drizzle some olive oil, give it a second and then put the salmon skin side down. We shall make this skin crispy. 3 minutes on high heat and turn
  6. After turning, lower the heat a bit so that you do not burn the non-skin protected area.
  7. This should take about 3-4 minutes. In case the salmon is very thick, then maybe a bit more, but keep in mind that you should lower the temperature a bit not to burn it.
  8. Take it off the pan and put it in a plate. Let is sit for a couple of minutes, untouched – like any type of meat
  9. Eat it.
  10. If you want to be fancy, mashed potatoes and some sort of greens (like broccoli or asparagus) work.
  • Kitchenette Traveler

    Resident food drama maker

    I am just the average Joe, working in tech, that requires a lot of travel and at the same time, struggling to maintain a healthy lifestyle while trying to stay away from those delicious burgers... As such, my tips are lessons learned from failure, complete mess-ups and whatever experience I have gotten in the past.

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[…] They work perfectly if you have a steak that you need a side or even if you just want to have something with your chicken breast or a pan-seared salmon. […]


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