Make perfect, restaurant-quality crispy skinned salmon at home in under 10 minutes. This foolproof technique is essential for any home cook and can work on almost any kind of fish, but just be aware that cooking times may need to be adjusted.
Pat the salmon filets dry with a paper towel. Rub a bit of olive oil directly onto both sides of the salmon, and season both sides with salt, pepper and spices to taste.
Preheat olive oil in a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, reduce heat to medium-low and carefully place the salmon filets, skin side down, in the pan to avoid hot oil splatter.
Using a fish spatula, immediately press down on the filets so that the entire piece is flat in the pan. This ensures even crisping of the skin.
Cook without disturbing for 6-7 minutes, or until the salmon appears to cooked about 75% of the way through. Carefully flip the salmon and cook the other side, between 15 seconds and 1 minute, depending on preferred level of doneness.
Remove from heat, and let sit skin side up on a paper towel-lined plate to blot the oil. Serve skin side up, with all sauces underneath so that the skin remains crispy.
This recipe works well for medium to medium-rare salmon, without a meat thermometer. The most accurate way of cooking fish is to insert a meat thermometer in the very center of the filet. Flip and briefly cook the other side once the internal temperature registers your desired level of doneness: 110 F - very rare, 120 F - medium-rare, 130 F - medium.