I love having salmon for dinner, as they make an easy, quick and healthy meal (it is a source of omega 3 amongst other valuable nutrients), ideal for busy days and weeknights. These are instructions on how to cook salmon fillets on a pan to perfection.
Can I use fresh or frozen salmon fillets?
Chilled salmon fillets are basically ready to be cooked as soon as possible after purchase.
You can also use frozen fish, however, I do recommend defrosting it before cooking. This way, the fish will stay flaky and juicy, and in general will cook better on a pan or under the grill.
How to defrost fish?
Remember to defrost fish overnight in the fridge, never at room temperature.
Normally, it takes about 12hrs for fish to defrost, depending on how big the cuts are. Make sure you cook and consume the fish within 24hrs from defrosting.
How to cook salmon fillets on a pan?
They key to pan-frying salmon is to get take them out of the fridge slightly before cooking.
This will allow them to reach room temperature, which means they will cook more evenly and won't overcook.
I like to season the pan with salt and black pepper before adding the fish fillets, and then sprinkle them with more seasoning later, when turning the fish.
You can also add some chili flakes to the seasoning, for a spicy kick.
What to serve with pan-fried salmon fillets?
There are many side dishes that go well with salmon.
Don't forget to add a slice of lemon on the side!
How to store this cooked fish?
These pan-fried salmon fillets will stay fresh in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
You can also freeze these cooked salmon fillets. Store them in an airtight freezer-safe food container in your freezer for up to two months.
Defrost and reheat them before serving.
📖 The Recipe
The perfect salmon fillets
- 2 x120g salmon fillets, fully defrosted
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 unwaxed lemon
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- chili flakes, optional
- Take the fillets out of the fridge 15 mins before cooking, so they reach room temperature.
- Using a large frying pan or a skillet, add olive oil and set on medium-high heat. Season the pan generously with salt and pepper (and chili flakes if using).
- When the pan is hot enough, add the salmon fillets, skin facing down. You should hear the familiar sizzling noise. This means the temperature is high enough.
- Cook them for 5mins from this side (skin down) without touching them.
- Turn the fillets upside down. Season and cook for 3 ½ mins and turn on one of the sides.
- Cook for 3mins before finally turning to cook the last side for another 3 mins.
- After that, the fillets should be beautifully brown from all sides and have crispy skin.
- Serve with a slice or wedge of lemon and a side dish of your choice
Nutritional Information (Estimates Only)