My daughter has asked how to cook salmon on the stove so many times that I figured it might just be easier to write it down instead of having to keep telling her the same thing over and over. It’s really not very hard and I’m a little embarrassed to even be including this on my website!
On my food blog at www.ThoughtfulCooking.com I’ve walked through some of the decision making I processed as I decided what kind of fish to use, farmed vs wild. I think it’s pretty clear that wild salmon is a more healthy choice, but taste wise, my whole family prefers farmed salmon. That might very well be because that’s what we always ate before we knew enough to know we should be asking these kinds of questions.
My basic approach is contrary to the advice I’ve heard from most cooking shows or have read in most books. Usually the expert advises that you start the salmon with the skin side down. But that doesn’t work for me. I prefer to start my salmon with the skin side facing up, finishing with the skin side down.
I think that I end up with a better crust on the flesh side of the fillet by allowing it to cook first in the hot pan. And since I don’t really care what the skin side looks like when I serve the dish up, I’m fine with turning that side over onto a possibly dirty cooking surface. I’ve tried it both ways, and I’m sticking with my skin side up routine.
There is a fair amount of grease that splatters out, but nothing that a little cleanup can’t handle. If my pan is already heated up, I would guess that cooking several fillets in the pan would take about 15 minutes, turning only once when the surface of the salmon looks like the picture above, nice and golden with a little crunch!