easy pan seared salmon with green beans
easy pan seared salmon with green beans

Quick and Easy Fisherman Style Salmon

January 14th, 2018

Pan-Seared Salmon Is Easier to Make Than Fried Eggs

This recipe for pan-seared salmon is pared back to the essentials — the sort of simple, satisfying meal you'd enjoy as a fisherman on a boat, with only a hot plate, a skillet, and a spatula in tow.

Cooking with unfamiliar proteins or unforgiving species of fish can seem like an intimidating feat, leading home cooks to second-guess their skill level or default to ingredients that they’re more comfortable with. But contrary to popular belief, cooking salmon is literally easier than frying up an egg

With a few pro tips under your belt, you'll be a pan-searing pro in no time. For a step-by-step walkthrough, along with helpful pictures, hop over to our blog post on how to master pan-fried salmon. Otherwise, read on.

Pro Tips:

  • Start with room-temperature fillets: This helps fish to cook more evenly.

  • Pat the fillets dry: Before cooking, use a paper towel or tea towel to pat each fillet dry. Any excess moisture will cause fillets to stick and won’t give you that crispy skin effect.

  • Make sure your pan is really hot: Keep the flame around medium to medium-high, but before anything touches the pan, let it get really hot. After, pour in a thin layer of oil and heat until it shimmers and is sizzling hot.

  • Err on the side of underdone: Like other proteins, salmon continues to cook after taking it off the heat, so don’t worry if it looks a little underdone at first. It'll likely be perfect by the time you’re ready to feast.

Print Recipe

Quick and Easy Fisherman Style Salmon

By Wild Alaskan Company

Prep time

15 minutes

Cook Time

6 minutes

Total time

21 minutes




  • 1 (6-ounce) Sockeye or Coho Salmon fillet
  • Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon high-heat cooking oil (vegetable, canola, or ghee are good options)


1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, pat salmon fillet dry using a tea towel or paper towels. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

2. Add oil to pan and heat until shimmering. Place the salmon skin-down in the pan, the press down firmly with a spatula to ensure good skin to pan contact. Cook until golden brown on one side, about 3 minutes.

3. Carefully flip fish with a spatula. Cook until the fillet registers at 120F at its thickest part with an instant-read thermometer, or flakes easily with a fork, about 1 minute for thinner fillets and up to 3 more minutes for thicker ones.

4. Transfer to a plate and enjoy.

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.