How to Fry Salmon in a Frying Pan: 8 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Fry Salmon in a Frying Pan: 8 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Fry Salmon in a Frying Pan: 8 Steps (with Pictures)

Cooking a whole salmon can be intimidating for most first-time cooks. Fortunately, it's pretty easy to cook salmon fillet on the stove. You can season it however you like and simply fry it in the pan to create a crispy skin and keep the meat moist. Try frying salmon and you'll have a delicious meal in just a few minutes!


  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil to heat the pan;
  • 2 150 g salmon fillets;
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil for basting salmon;
  • 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt;
  • Pinches of ground black pepper.


Part 1 of 2: Seasoning the Salmon

Pan Fry Salmon Step 1

Step 1. Heat the skillet

Place 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and spread well to prevent salmon from sticking. Heat until you feel the heat by placing your hand over the pan.

Use a non-stick or iron skillet to prevent the salmon skin from sticking together

Pan Fry Salmon Step 2

Step 2. Cut the salmon if necessary

The fish should be cut into fillets about 5 cm thick. If you have purchased a long filet, use a sharp knife carefully and cut the salmon into individual fillets. For this recipe, you will need two 150g fillets. Remove the pimples before cooking them.

To remove pimples, check the sides of the fillet for anything sharp or prickly. Use pliers to pull them from the fillets

Step 3. Season the salmon

Lightly beat the fillets with a paper towel to remove moisture. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Try to water it evenly so that both fillets are well covered with the oil. Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt and pinch of ground black pepper over the fillets.

The oil will keep the salmon meat from turning brown and will prevent the fillets from sticking to the pan

Pan Fry Salmon Step 4

Step 4. Try different spices

Use your favorite spices to add extra flavor to the fish. If you don't want a lot of seasoning (apart from salt and pepper) but would like to add color to the salmon fillets, put some paprika on them. This will give a reddish and brown color when cooking. If you want unique spices, try:

  • Dry barbecue seasoning;
  • 5 Chinese spices;
  • Garam Masala;
  • Ras el Hanout.

Part 2 of 2: Cooking Salmon

Step 1. Place the salmon in the skillet

If you want to make the skin more crunchy, place the salmon skin side down. If not serving the skin with the fillet, place the other side down. You should leave the salmon in the pan while it's frying as it will be easier to remove and will prevent prolonged cooking.

If you decide to make more than two fillets, be careful not to overfill the pan as this will lower its temperature. Fry the fillets in different batches

Step 2. Flatten the salmon with a fish spatula

Salmon will likely start curving early on, especially if the skin is down. To keep it straight when frying, press down with a spatula.

The fish spatula is made of metal and is wider at the tip. It's flexible and strong enough to lift delicate pieces of salmon without breaking them

Step 3. Fry the salmon

The 150g fillets will need to cook for about four minutes. If they are thinner, fry each side for two minutes. If the fillets are thicker at one end and thinner at the other, fry the wide pieces for a minute and a half on each side and 30 seconds on the narrower, thinner pieces.

  • It's a good idea to use a timer to fry the steaks. Thermometers may not be as accurate as the shape and size of the fillets vary and cook at different speeds.
  • Avoid turning the salmon over repeatedly as this prevents a good crust from forming.
Pan Fry Salmon Step 8

Step 4. Let the salmon “rest”

Remove from heat to a serving dish and cover with a piece of aluminum foil. Let it sit for five minutes. This allows the fish to finish cooking and the juices to redistribute into the fillets. Serve the salmon while it's still hot.

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