Introduction: Pan-fried Salmon

About: I helped start Instructables, previously worked in biotech and academic research labs, and have a degree in biology from MIT. Currently head of Product helping young startups at Alchemist Accelerator, previous…

Easy salmon fillets in less than 10 minutes.

Step 1: Prep Pan

Preheat a non-stick pan, spray it with canola oil, and add the spices of your choice. This layer of spice will adhere to the underside of your fish, avoiding the messy procedure of seasoning on the counter.

I used fresh ground black pepper and some cajun seasoning.

Step 2: Prep and Add Fish

Rinse your salmon and pat it dry.

Holding the fish over the sink, lightly rub it down with a thin layer of cornstarch. Give your fish a gentle shake to remove any excess cornstarch; this is intended to be an extremely thin layer. The cornstarch will help seal moisture into your fish, and help form a slightly crispy exterior.

Drop it skin-side down in the pan and cook over medium-high heat.

Step 3: Spray and Season

Spray the top surface of the fish with the canola oil. This will ensure it has enough oil to prevent sticking when you flip it later, and will help spices stick to the surface.

Add the same spices that you originally added to the pan. I added black pepper and cajun seasoning, trying to get roughly the same ratio as I dd in the pan.

Step 4: Flip

Keep an eye on the thick end of the fillet to see how far through it's cooked. You want to flip the fish when it's slightly less than 1/3 of the way through the fish.

After flipping watch until it has cooked slightly less than 1/3 of the way from the other side. The center will continue to cook after you remove the fish from the hot pan; if you wait until there's no pink left in the center the fish will overcook on the plate. Fish are delicate.

If you like, press the thick end up against the side of the pan to sear it before removing the fish.

Step 5: Serve

Let the fish sit off the heat for 2-5 minutes to finish cooking and redistribute juices, then plate and serve quickly.

Serve with lemons and the side dishes of your choice.