Simple Pan-Seared Salmon with Crispy Skin

I should begin this by confessing that this was actually my breakfast this morning. I know. So weird. I didn't even add an egg on top, which seems to be the way other people justify eating whatever the heck they want for breakfast: "Just put an egg on it!"

See: Breakfast pizza, breakfast spaghetti, steak and eggs, crab cakes benedict, breakfast brownies... maybe egg-topped breakfast brownies aren't really a thing.

I just like to start my day with protein, but I was sick of eggs, and I had this gorgeous salmon in the fridge so I went for it. At first I felt a little bit guilty, thinking that I should probably save the salmon for dinner so that Eugene could have some, too.

But I really really wanted it, so I just made. And then (it gets worse) I made the other piece for my lunch.

Eugene got chicken for dinner.

The secret to delicious salmon is making sure you let the outside get super crispy. That means you need to rinse your salmon and then pat it very dry before cooking to remove any extra moisture. You also need to get your pan really hot, you need to let the oil get hot, and then after you put the fish down, you need to get the heck away from the pan and just LET IT COOK.

Whenever I do fish in my cooking classes, I find myself having to swat the students away from the pan. Everyone seems to have this irresistible to urge to fuss with the fish. Don't fuss with the fish! Depending on how thick your fish is, just let it go for 2-3 minutes, then quickly flip it to the other side and let that side go for about the same amount of time.

And for the love of God, do NOT remove the skin. The skin is the good stuff.  The skin is where all the nutrients and good fatty acids that people love about salmon live. It also tastes like a delicious ocean cracker when you cook it the right way. (And it will keep the salmon from falling apart in the pan.)

Simple Pan-Seared Salmon with Crispy Skin
Serves 2

Grapeseed or olive oil
2 4-6oz salmon fillets
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add enough oil to just coat the bottom.

While the oil heats, rinse the fish fillets and pat very dry with paper towels or a clean dishcloth. Sprinkle both sides generously with kosher salt and black pepper.

When the oil is hot, lay the fish fillets, skinless-side down, in the hot oil. Let cook for 2-3 minutes without touching. Use a spatula to flip the fish over to the skin side, and continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes until the skin is very crisp and the fish is cooked to desired doneness.

Remove from pan and let drain on a paper-towel lined plate for a few seconds before serving with desired accompaniments. (Can also be chilled and served cold in a salad or sandwich, if desired.)

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