Beautiful crispy coated pan seared salmon fillets made to order with a touch of extra virgin olive oil, salt, black pepper, and smoked paprika.
These salmon fillets are crispy on the outside and moist and tender on the inside. Once you've mastered the art of searing, this simple dish will become a dinner staple in your home.
With Springtime in full swing, I thought it would be appropriate to share this quick recipe that you can whip up for your family or as an intimate dinner for two.
Although it uses minimal ingredients, add your personal touch with your favorite ingredients or spices. Salmon is one of those proteins that pair beautifully with a variety of veggies, sauces or unique salsas as in this pan seared salmon with pineapple mango salsa.
- Kosher salt
- Smoked paprika
- A good oven-safe skillet perfect for searing
How to pan sear salmon
It only takes 5 minutes to get a gorgeous sear on salmon fillets. With that being said, after I flip the salmon fillets over, I immediately place the pan in a preheated oven for an additional 4 to 5 minutes to continue the cooking process. Let's highlight some key elements to get the most flavor:
Seasoning: Lightly season with kosher salt, black pepper and smoked paprika. In my opinion, salmon doesn’t need a lot of salt. You do not want to mask the delicate taste of the salmon with a ton of salt.
Searing: Place the salmon in a lightly oiled oven-safe skillet over medium high heat with the skin side up. Avoid flipping the salmon over too early. This step is important and should only take 5 minutes or so to develop a gorgeous sear. Flip the salmon over so that the skin side is down and transfer to a preheated 400° oven.
Bake in oven: Allow the salmon to cook for an additional 4 to 5 minutes. It's crucial that you do not overcook the salmon as it will cause dryness. I recommend that you set the timer on your oven or smart phone.
Topping: (Optional): Top with pineapple mango salsa for a gourmet styled dish. This adds a wonderful unique and refreshing taste that’s quite addicting.
There's an art to searing, it’s not complicated, but it does require a few simple tips in order to get the best possible sear:
- Always use a clean paper towel and lightly pat dry your protein even after marinating – This will allow the paper towel to absorb as much liquid from the protein as possible.
- Add oil and/or butter to a pan or skillet and place over medium-high heat. The pan doesn’t have to be smoking hot, but it should be hot enough to create a beautiful caramelized outer crust on the salmon.
- Depending on the size of the pan, do not place more than 2 salmon fillets in the pan at once. This will ensure that you get the best possible sear. In other words, do not over-crowd the pan. Cook in batches if necessary.
- Resist the urge to move or flip the salmon fillets too early. This defeats the purpose of searing. Try your best to be patient. Walk away from the pan if necessary (keeping safety in mind of course). For this recipe, I didn’t touch or flip the fillets for 5 minutes from the time I added them to the pan.
You may also like these sides to compliment this dish:
For comments or questions, leave them in the comment section below.
Thanks for visiting,
Pan Seared Salmon Recipe
- 2 salmon fillets (or use a whole piece of salmon and cut into fillets)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt (more or less to taste)
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Wash salmon fillets and pat dry with clean paper towels.
- Season each fillet with kosher salt and smoked paprika. Set aside.
- In an oven-proof pan or skillet, drizzle in extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Once pan is hot, add salmon fillets. Do not add more than 2 fillets at a time depending on the size of your pan. This will allow for a perfect sear.
- At the 5 minute mark, using a spatula gently lift a little portion of the edge of the fillet and peak underneath to ensure that you have a beautiful sear on the underside of the fillet. If so, gently flip the fillets over. Place in preheated oven for an addition 3 to 5 minutes.
- Remove the salmon fillets from the pan and plate.
- Make sure salmon fillets are completely dry before searing. Pat them dry with a paper towel.
- Skillet should be hot before adding the salmon fillets, it doesn't have to be smoking hot.
- Do not place more than 2 salmon fillets in the pan at once. This will ensure that you get the best possible sear. Cook them in batches if necessary.
- Resist the urge to move or flip the salmon fillets too early. This defeats the purpose of searing. Try your best to be patient.