How to Sauté Salmon with Skin

How to Saute Salmon with Skin

One of the best aspects of a nicely seared salmon steak is the crispy skin attached to it. Some people do not like the skin on fish and usually remove it. But when salmon skin is cooked properly on the fish it becomes crispy and delicious. It also helps to insulate the fish to keep it moist during the cooking process.

Choosing the Best Ingredient

As far as choosing the best salmon product for the recipe, it really just depends on what is available to you. Most salmon you will end up buying in the local grocery store will already be cleaned and portioned. So, you may have to just go with the salmon you can acquire with the skin still on. Try to get a pre portioned salmon steak so you don’t have to clean the fish yourself.

Preparing the Ingredients

Start with a salmon steak that is no more than ½ inch thick and about 5 or 6 ounces in size but still has the skin on it. Season the salmon on all sides with salt and pepper generously. You will only need a little vegetable oil to sear the salmon in the pan, but not much else.

During the Cooking Process

Before cooking the salmon, make sure the pan is very hot. This will help to gain a nice sear on the salmon initially and keep it from sticking to the pan. If you place the salmon in the pan and wait for it to heat up, there will be no color on the sear and it will stick to the pan which will tear the salmon up and break the filet apart ultimately. Salmon cooks very quickly, so you will only need to cook it for about 6 minutes total. Only flip the salmon once as well. There is no need to keep flipping the salmon over and over.

The Final Touches

Once the salmon is done cooking, remove it from the pan and allow it to rest for a few minutes before serving. Even though it is a fish, salmon is more steak like and will retain some juices after it is done cooking. Once plated, you can squeeze some fresh lemon wedges over the fish to brighten up the flavors.


  1. Season the salmon with salt and pepper on both sides. Place a pan on stovetop and heat to high with a little vegetable oil in the pan.
  2. Once the pan starts to smoke slightly, gently lay the salmon in the pan, the side without the skin first, away from yourself so you don’t get burned by the hot oil. Once you lay the salmon in the pan, gently shake the pan back and forth to keep the salmon from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Sear the salmon on one side for a couple of minutes, then gently flip over to the skin side and cook for an additional 5 minutes until finished cooking to your liking. (If the salmon is a very thick cut, you can sear on the sides as well to get a more even cook)
  4. Remove the salmon from the pan and transfer to a plate. Allow the salmon to rest for a couple of minutes before serving.

Serve with some fresh lemon wedges and enjoy!

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