Living On Food

Pan-fried Salmon


Today I tried a new (to me) method of cooking salmon. I read about it in Serious Eats. There's some extra information about the best way to salt the fish, how to lay it in the pan, etc, but the upshot of frying it is as follows:

Get the pan good and hot. Put the fish in skin side down and don't flip it. Turn the heat down and let it cook slowly. The skin will get very crispy, and the layer of fat between the skin and the flesh protects the rest of the meat from drying out.

The website claims that six short minutes will bring the fish to about 120*F, but it took me a lot longer. Every time I turned the heat back up, the spattering and smoky smell from the grill became obnoxious.

Anyway, once the meat reaches 120*F, you're supposed to flip it and just do a quick 15-second top-off on the other side. Since my fish wasn't coming along as fast, I did a bit longer… only to find my fish ended up overdone.

So… maybe the author and I had different techniques with our insta-read? Maybe I needed to insert it more deeply into the fish?

Even though my results didn't perfectly match those of Serious Eats, Uly gave the fish rave reviews and told me to make sure to record my method.

Website link:

All material Copyright © 2009–2019 Ulysses Somers, except where otherwise noted.
Please don't send email to