Perfect Seared Salmon

Perfect Seared Salmon

Ok, ok, I give in...I'll share all my salmon secrets. 

But honestly, there's really no secret. Just a little patience and some tried and true technique. 

I get asked weekly, if not more, over on my Instagram, what my secret is for getting my salmon so perfectly crispy crunchy. And I am more than happy to share what works for me, I promise it's E-A-S-Y. 

I don't discriminate when it comes to salmon sides, although I'm partial to a big bowl of greens and veggies. 

I don't discriminate when it comes to salmon sides, although I'm partial to a big bowl of greens and veggies. 

Like so ridiculously easy I sorta feel like dedicating a whole blog post to it may seem extreme, but at least my fool-proof directions will be here all tied together with a neat little bow, 'cuz I just love ya guys that much!

First thing is first - your salmon. You want a nice thick fatty piece, don't waist your time with little baby filets, get yourself a big ass piece of salmon and portion it out yourself if you'd like. The thicker the better, because that'll leave you with the desired texture of a crispy skin and medium-rare delicious meat on the inside. 

If buying frozen, which I honestly often do, make sure your salmon is COMPLETELY defrosted. I like to rinse my filet under cold water too, that will gently remove any ice residue and also clean your fish a bit. I then pat my filet as dry as I can with paper towel, especially the skin. 

Next is your pan. Honestly anything will work, I've used both a fancy cast iron as well as a $5.99 small frying pan I've probably had since college...honestly the thing is old as hell I can't even remember. The key here is keep it small so your filet is contained and your oil will stay well heated and hot AF. 

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That's the other important link - your oil. Always opt for a high-quality olive oil or avocado oil. I have also used ghee before too, just make sure it's the good stuff. No using your grandma's fake butter-but-not-butter crap or that olive oil spray from a can {although I don't hate, I use spray oil often, just not for this!}. Get yourself some fancy oil and coat the bottom of the pan well. Really swirl it around as you preheat the pan over your stove burner. You want the oil to shimmer and you should feel heat as you hover your hand over the pan. I like to heat my pan over medium-high heat -- and remember to turn on your overhead fan, because things can get SMOKAAAY!

Alright so let's run through the checklist again quick:

  1. Good fat, thick piece of salmon {I prefer wild caught btw}
  2. Small pan or cast iron to keep that filet contained
  3. Good {aka not cheap ass} olive oil, avocado oil or high-quality ghee

Once you have your tools assembled season your filet. I love to keep it simple with sea salt {again, the good shit you guys, not that fine crystal crap} and fresh cracked black pepper. Often I will also sprinkle on some turmeric, paprika and sometimes even ginger if I'm feeling extra sassy.

Once seasoned, you cook.

Are you ready for this?

Start with the flesh side down and cook for 4 minutes. DO NOT TOUCH IT. At all, for the entire 4 minutes. Let it crackle, pop, sizzle, and do it's thaaang. Resist all urge to touch.

Once those first 4 minutes are up, flip and cook skin side down for another 4 minutes

That's it. 

Seriously. 

About 8 minnutes total and you really only flip once. Little effort, huge reward. 

Now keep in mind this is SEARED salmon, so it's meant to be crunchy on the outside and rare-ish on the inside. The salmon will continue to cook a bit on the inside as it cools and you plate, so it honestly ends up being a solid medium to medium rare. 

I always go with my gut. If the filet is extra thick, I tack on another few minutes of cook time, perhaps 5 miutes per side. But rarely do I exceed that. 

Honestly this is the easiest, most flavorful way to make a fool-proof filet everytime. 

Hope you enjoy!

-Xo Kelly

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