Make perfect pan seared salmon at home, with a crispy top and tender center, just like at a restaurant. Impress with this restaurant-worthy meal in under 30 minutes!
Cooking salmon by quickly searing it in a hot pan is a top choice for us. We make this recipe a lot for our family.
With just a few ingredients, you get a lot of flavor while still letting the delicious taste of salmon stand out. This recipe is a winner, and it's quick to make, great for any weeknight.
😍 Why You'll Love This Pan Seared Salmon Recipe
- Crisp and Tender: Pan-searing gives salmon a beautifully crisp exterior while keeping the inside tender and juicy.
- Restaurant-Quality: Achieve a restaurant-quality dish at home without the need for special equipment.
- Quick and Easy: You can make pan-seared salmon in less than 30 minutes, making it a perfect weeknight meal.
- Versatile: Pair it with a variety of sides to make a well-balanced and flavorful meal.
- Moisture Lock: Pan-searing helps lock in the natural moisture of the salmon, preventing it from becoming dry.
✅ What You'll Need
- Salmon Fillets: Choose skinless salmon fillets that are about 4-6 ounces each and approximately 1 inch thick. This ensures even cooking and a juicy result.
- Salt and Black Pepper: Season the salmon fillets with salt and black pepper according to your taste. These basic seasonings enhance the flavor of the fish.
- Neutral Oil or Clarified Butter: Use a neutral oil like vegetable oil or clarified butter for searing. They have a high smoke point, which prevents burning and helps achieve a crispy crust.
- Fresh Cilantro and Lime Wedges: These are used for garnishing the dish after cooking. The fresh cilantro adds a burst of herbal flavor, while the lime wedges provide a zesty and tangy element.
- Unsalted Butter: For the Lime Herb Butter, use unsalted butter to have control over the level of saltiness in the dish.
- Fresh Ginger: Grate fresh ginger for a subtle warmth and a hint of spice in the Lime Herb Butter.
- Fresh Cilantro: Finely chop fresh cilantro to infuse the butter with its bright and aromatic flavor.
- Lime Juice and Zest: Use freshly squeezed lime juice and the zest of a small lime to add vibrant citrus notes to the butter mixture. Swap lime with fresh lemon juice for a similar citrusy flavor profile.
🔪How to Make The Best Pan Seared Salmon
We've got all the easy steps and tips to help you make deliciously crispy and tender salmon fillets right in your own kitchen. Whether you're a beginner or a cooking pro, you'll be making restaurant-quality salmon in no time.
Let the Salmon Come to Room Temperature
Allow the salmon to reach room temperature before cooking. This helps the inside and outside cook evenly, preventing overcooking. Take the salmon out of the fridge at least 10 minutes before cooking.
Pat It Dry
Water can affect the searing of salmon. Before cooking, make sure to use paper towels to dry the fillets thoroughly.
Season the Salmon Just Before Cooking
Salt can cause the fish to release moisture. For better crisping, hold off on seasoning until you're about to cook it in the pan.
How to Pan Sear Salmon
In a big skillet, warm up olive oil over medium-high heat until it's hot. (You can check by dropping a bit of water; if it sizzles, it's good to go.)
Put the salmon in the pan, skin side down, in a single layer. Use a fish spatula to press down for 10 seconds to avoid curling. Cook salmon without moving for 5-6 minutes until the salmon is mostly cooked and 80-90% opaque, with the top still slightly undone.
Flip and sear the other side for 3-4 minutes. When serving, add the lime butter on top of each fillet. Garnish with lime wedges and cilantro.
Lime Herb Butter
Mix together softened butter, grated ginger, finely chopped cilantro, lime juice, lime zest, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
👨🍳 Tips For Pan Fried Salmon Recipe
- Room Temperature: Let the salmon come to room temperature before cooking to ensure even cooking throughout.
- Dry Fillets: Pat the salmon fillets dry with paper towels to prevent excess moisture that can hinder searing.
- Season Just Before: Season the salmon with salt and pepper just before placing it in the pan to maintain its dryness.
- Hot Pan: Use a hot pan and oil to achieve a crispy sear on the outside while keeping the inside moist.
- Press Gently: Press down on the fillets with a spatula for a few seconds at the beginning to prevent curling.
- Don't Overcrowd: Cook in batches if needed to avoid overcrowding the pan, which can lead to steaming rather than searing.
- Hands Off: Allow the salmon to sear without moving it for a few minutes to develop a golden crust.
- Flip Once: Flip the salmon only once to maintain the crispy crust and tender interior.
🗄️ Storage Tips
Place the salmon in an airtight container and keep it refrigerated for up to 2 days. When reheating, do so gently by warming leftovers in a skillet over medium-low heat.
Sides to Serve with Pan Seared Salmon
Pairing the perfect sides with your pan seared salmon can elevate the overall dining experience. Here are some delicious options to complement the rich flavors of the salmon:
Mashed Potatoes: Creamy Boursin Mashed Potatoes provide a comforting contrast to the crispy salmon, making a balanced and indulgent meal.
Quinoa Salad: A light and refreshing Quinoa Salad With Feta Cheese adds a wholesome touch.
Wild Rice: Nutty and hearty wild rice pairs well with salmon and offers a delightful chewy texture.
Cauliflower Mash: For a low-carb option, whip up creamy Mashed Cauliflower.
Creamed Spinach: The rich and creamy texture of our Steakhouse Creamed Spinach complements the salmon's flavors.
Crispy Potato Wedges: Roasted Potato Wedges complement the salmon's taste, making a satisfying and well-rounded meal.
Yes, you can pan fry frozen salmon. Cook for 6-8 mins per inch, flipping halfway, until it's flaky and reaches 145°F (63°C) inside. Be sure to thaw salmon before cooking.
Salmon is done when it flakes easily with a fork and reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).
Start with the skin-side down. It helps protect the flesh and gives the skin a crispy texture.
Love Salmon? Try these recipes!
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Spicy Salmon Rice Muffins-Savory, satisfying, and easy to make. Perfect for a quick meal or snack!
Air Fryer Salmon Bites with Garlic Cream Sauce-Irresistibly crispy salmon bites paired with a creamy garlic sauce.
Miso Glazed Salmon-Tender salmon coated with a rich miso glaze. Perfectly satisfying and packed with flavor.
Baked Pineapple Salmon-A tropical twist on salmon! Juicy pineapple infuses sweet flavors into perfectly baked salmon fillets.
Air Fryer Salmon Burgers-Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside! Enjoy these flavorful salmon burgers made effortlessly in the air fryer.
Oven Baked Teriyaki Salmon-A quick and delicious meal that's full of goodness!
Baked Salmon and Asparagus in foil-A simple and flavorful dish ready in no time. Healthy, delicious, and mess-free!
Baked Salmon with Lemon Butter Cream Sauce-A divine fusion of flavors in one elegant dish. Perfect for a special dinner!
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