Our pan fried salmon recipe can help you whip up a delicious, nutritious meal in under 15 minutes.
Do you crave a fine-dining experience but the typical small portions get in the way? We can help you recreate the experience right at home, guaranteeing a fulfilled belly and a satisfied palate.
In less than 15 minutes, you’ll have a tender, flaky salmon with crispy skin, and piled underneath a fresh mix of green bundles. It is a pleasing experience that asks for nothing in return.
If you’re in a hurry, click “jump to recipe” to see how this recipe unfolds in detail. Or, take your time reading on to learn about:
- How healthy salmon is;
- What to season salmon with;
- Tips to fry and serve salmon;
- All about storing salmons.
Is Pan Fried Salmon Healthy?
Yes, it is. Salmon is an all-time healthy food, and pan-frying is a cooking method that uses very little grease.
Different from other fish, salmon is the richest source of omega 3. This is a rare kind of good fat with scientifically proven health impacts, one of which is lower risks of heart disease.
Check our other salmon recipes to include more salmon into your diet:
- Salmon Burger Recipe: a less-cholesterol burger alternative that comes together in 30 minutes, tastes better and does the body good. The patty’s juicy and the greens are extra fresh.
- Broiled Salmon Recipe: a hassle-free eat that takes 20 minutes, packs nutrients, and nurtures the soul. Who knew quinoa can taste so good?
- Hearty Salmon Meuniere: an exotic dish with French roots. It takes only 25 minutes to make yet packs loads of zesty lemon flavor.
- Salmon with Lemon: There’s nothing like lemon and pepper to accentuate salmon’s plump flesh and flaky bits. Wine and butter help give this dish a top-notch, edgy finish!
But the benefits of this dish doesn’t stop here, as we don’t serve the fish alone like most recipes may. We’re whipping up a quick accompaniment with arugula, fennel bulbs and chickpeas, nutritious ingredients packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
This is not our first rodeo either, as we have a habit of serving delicious accompaniments with salmon. You can check out our baked salmon with mustard and honey, easy poached salmon, and this crispy garlic parmesan salmon for more ideas.
How Many Calories Are in Pan Fried Salmon?
As mentioned earlier, the “fried” part may give an impression of a greasy, unhealthy dish, but it does not. The fish alone requires little oil to fry, and only yields around 250 calories.
It is the salad that brings the meal’s total calories to more than 450. The added calories come from olive oil, a little bit of butter, dressing, chickpeas, and veggies.
Pan Fried Salmon Seasoning
The rule of thumb when it comes to seasoning delicate fish (like salmon) is not to overdo it. The herbs and spices shouldn’t be overwhelming, but instead, complementing.
Regarding what herbs to use, it’s a matter of experience really. Thyme is typically used, but we found oregano to be a lighter alternative, allowing other fragrances to shine through.
For that reason, our seasoning mix for this pan fried salmon recipe is just salt, pepper, and oregano. We keep it simple so the fish can pair with the aromatic salad— buttery chickpeas, fresh arugula, earthy fennel, pungent dressing.
“It seems a lot, but a little bit of everything comes together nicely as a Michellin delicacy”— said our chefs. And indeed, it did.
How to Cook Frozen Salmon
To cook frozen salmon (or any type of meat, really), you can either thaw it out first, or cook them using specific methods.
To thaw the fish, you can leave it on the counter to thaw gradually. Or, submerge the wrapped-up fillets in room-temp water to speed things up.
If you have a microwave, have it do the job for you. Be sure to set it to the lowest setting/thawing setting to avoid cooking the fish inside out.
If you don’t have time to wait, you can place the fish fillet in a baking dish, foil it, and bake in the oven. This brings its temperature up slowly, which allows it to cook evenly inside out.
There’s another cooking method called sous vide, where the food is wrapped, airtight-sealed, cooked in a warm, unchanging-temperature water bath. A special device keeps track of the water temperature, so your food is cooked evenly with just a tap of a button.
After cooking sous vide, you can take out your fish to sear it, which assures beautifully cooked salmon every time.
But again, if you don’t own a sous-vide cooking device, baking the fish in foil works just as well.
That said, here’s how to turn raw salmon into a delicious, restaurant-level dish with the best texture.
How to Get Crispy Skin Salmon
If a pan-fried salmon doesn’t come out with a golden, crisp salmon skin, it’s not done correctly. This pan fried salmon recipe will show you how to do it right, and it’s really easy.
Make sure the oil is heated over medium heat. When the oil gets all hot, slowly place the fillet into the pan, skin-side down.
You’ll notice that the skin will shrink a little, and the salmon turns from translucent to opaque from the bottom up. You’ll be tempted to flip it, but don’t; wait for 5 minutes and it should be cooked thoroughly without flipping.
To be sure the skin is crispy, run the tip of the knife over the skin, sort of lightly scraping it. You should hear a nice crisp sound; if not, give the skin some searing action until it’s crisp and golden.
You want the salad to be ready so the fillet can be served right away. The skin loses crispness as it sits.
Can You Eat Salmon Skin?
Crisp salmon skin is not just edible, but also a tantalizing experience. We did not understand why many people asked this question, until we came across this Healthline article.
It’s said that salmon skin may contain contaminants depending on where the fish has been. PCBs, methylmercury for instance, are harmful to pregnant or nursing women.
In other words, pregnant or nursing women should be cautious when consuming salmon skin. Other than that, it is a delicious part of the fish and should not ever be left out.
How to Make Pan Fried Salmon
Here is an overview of our pan fried salmon recipe, with pictures and short descriptions. You can refer to our recipe card below for the more detailed version of the steps.
- Thaw the fillets and make the dressing.
- Season the fillets.
- Cook the chickpeas.
- Mix the salad.
- Fry the salmon.
- Assemble and dig in.
What to Serve with Pan Fried Salmon
The dish already has protein and greens, so it’s only natural to pair it with a side of carbs, like pasta. Here’s what we have to recommend:
Among the pasta sides, we found sweet potato gnocchi to be a great fit. It’s tender, flavorful and slightly chewy, adding not only flavors to the table but a fun texture as well.
And to round off the meal, a refreshing juice that adds another layer of color/flavor is perfect. Our strawberry watermelon juice satisfies all of the criteria— an easy juice with a ruby hue that’s better than canned juices health-and-taste-wise.
Looking for other salmon dishes? There’s more fish to fry with these tasty salmon recipes featuring an authentic salmon piccata recipe, a salmon with maple syrup and soy sauce, and our miso marinade for salmon.
|Pan Fried Salmon||Main Course||452||5.5 g||597 mg|
|Sweet Potato Gnocchi||Side Dish||236||4.0 g||259 mg|
|Strawberry Watermelon Juice||Beverage||69||0.0 g||7 mg|
|Total||757||9.5 g||863 mg|
Pan Fried Salmon Recipe
- 26 oz boneless salmon cut into 4 fillets, thawed
- 1/2 tsp salt divided into 2 equal portions
- 1/2 tsp pepper divided into 2 equal portions
- 3 tbsp olive oil divided into 2 and 1 (to make dressing and sear salmon)
- 1/2 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp traditional Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 8 oz canned chickpeas
- 1 oz arugula washed
- 0.5 oz radish sliced
- 8 oz fennel bulb sliced
- 0.5 oz grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp parsley chopped
- If you’re using frozen salmon, thaw it by placing it in the microwave or submerge it in room temperature water while it’s still in saran wrap. Meanwhile, make the salad dressing by combining 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tbsp honey, 1/2 tsp mustard, and lemon juice. Prep the fennels, arugula, and chickpeas if you haven’t.
- Marinade salmon with 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, and oregano for 5 minutes.
- While it’s marinating, melt butter in a pan over medium heat and stir in chickpeas. Cook them for 2 minutes or until it’s tender and fragrant.
- Place the chickpeas aside and in that same pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over low heat until it’s hot. Place the salmon skin side down and cook for 5 minutes or until the skin is crisp and golden brown. It helps to keep the slices close to each other so it doesn’t fall on its side. When it’s golden, turn off the heat and allow the residue heat to cook the fish thoroughly.
- In a large bowl, toss arugula, radish, fennel, and chickpeas with the dressing made earlier.
- Plate by placing a measured amount of salad in the middle of a serving dish. Grate parmesan on top of the salad. Place one salmon fillet on top and decorate with parsley. Serve hot, with fork and knife.
Eating freshly cooked food is the best experience, but sometimes it’s just impossible to do so. We’ll show you the best way to store this pan fried salmon.
First of all, leaving your food out at room temperature is a big no-no. Bacteria in the air can cling on to the food and spoil it, and they multiply fast in hot weather.
To optimize the lifespan of cooked salmon, you should store it in an air-tight container, and either freeze it or refrigerate it. “Cooked salmon can be stored up to 4-6 months in the fridge, and 3-4 days in the fridge”, says the USDA storage chart.
To reheat the fillet, place the fillet in the microwave or oven. If the fillet is frozen, it’s best to foil the fillet and bake it for around 30 minutes.
It’s also a good idea to cook chickpeas beforehand and store them along with arugula, sliced fennels, and dressing in the fridge. You’ll save a lot of time doing so.