pan fried salmon on cast iron
pan fried salmon on cast iron

How to Pan-Fry Wild Salmon

October 1st, 2018

The Recipe That’s as Easy as Frying an Egg

Perfectly pan-fried salmon is a textural masterpiece: a tender and flaky fillet crowned with shatteringly crispy, golden skin. It’s a preparation that’s just as perfect on the deck of a fishing vessel as it is for an intimate, special occasion dinner, and it’s part of a meal that every home cook should know how to make. 

Try mastering how to pan-fry wild salmon before making our recipe for Pan-Fried Salmon with Slaw and Pickled Mustard Seeds and Pan-Fried Salmon with Creamy Cauliflower Mash.


Simple Tips for Perfectly Pan-Fried Wild Salmon

  • Pat the wild salmon fillet dry to remove excess moisture.

  • Sufficiently heat your pan and oil (sizzling hot!) before adding the fillet. 

  • Ensure good skin to pan contact by pressing down firmly onto fillet with a fish spatula.


How to Pan-Fry Wild Salmon

Gather your materials: Your fillet(s), tea towel or paper towels, fish spatula, high-heat cooking oil, salt and pepper, skillet


prepping raw sockeye salmon

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, pat fillet dry with a tea towel or paper towel, then season with salt and pepper.


sockeye salmon frying in pan  

Add just enough oil to cover bottom of skillet, then allow to heat up. Once oil begins to shimmer (hot enough to sizzle) carefully place fillet skin side down into skillet. Using a fish spatula, press down firmly to ensure good skin to pan contact, holding for 30 seconds. 


pan fried sockeye salmon  

Sear undisturbed until fillet releases easily with the help of the fish spatula, about 3 to 4 minutes. Flip carefully, then allow to cook until internal temperature of fillet reaches 120F at its thickest part for medium-rare doneness. Thinner fillets may only need a minute more of cook time, while thicker fillets may need up to 3 minutes.


pan fried sockeye salmon with spinach


Wild Alaskan Company delivers wild-caught, sustainable seafood directly to your door. Get Started. 

*Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of food-borne illness, especially if you have a certain medical condition. The FDA recommends an internal temperature of 145°F for cooked fish.