Recipe for a Wild Salmon Fillet

Recipe for a Wild Salmon Fillet
To come back from a day of fishing with a wild salmon catch deserves a celebratory meal. Salmon is delicious, looks beautiful on the plate and is nutritious with loads of Omega-3 fatty acids. Wild salmon, fresh out of the ocean or river, can be prepared in a number of ways. Pan-frying is a good, traditional method that lends itself to the home kitchen and the campfire. The salmon fillet can be cooked with or without the skin.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Large skillet, preferably cast-iron
  • Tongs and wide turning spatula
  • 2 tbsp. butter or olive oil
  • 2 salmon fillets, about 6 ounces each
  • Coarse salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp. lemon or lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. fresh herbs (dill, chives or parsley)
Step 1
Rinse the salmon fillets with a little water and pat dry with a paper towel. Lightly season with salt, pepper or a favorite seasoning blend and place to the side while you ready your pan. If the salmon has been stored on ice or in the refrigerator, allow it to come up to room temperature for about 15 minutes before cooking.
Step 2
Heat the butter or olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Give the pan a couple of tilts to make sure the entire surface is covered once the butter has melted. Don't allow the butter to brown or the oil to smoke. You don't want to put the salmon into a pan that is too hot, which can lead to uneven cooking.
Step 3
Place the fillets, skin side up, into the heated pan. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes uncovered. When the fish has started to lightly brown, it's time to flip it. The best tools for turning salmon are tongs and a wide turner, like what you would use for pancakes. Be gentle, salmon is delicate and you don't want to mangle it in the pan.
Step 4
Flip the salmon onto the skin side and allow to cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, until the flesh feels slightly firm but flakes easily with a fork.
Step 5
Remove the salmon from the pan and place it on the plate. Fresh, wild salmon doesn't need a lot of help in the seasoning department, it will taste delicious as is. But if you want to add an extra touch, sprinkle fresh herbs and squeeze the juice of a lemon or lime wedge along the length of the fish.

Tips & Warnings

If you want to experiment with flavors, try frying in a little coconut milk or fish stock.
Any fish that smells "off" or "fishy" could be spoiled and should not be eaten.

Article Written By Nikki Jardin

Nikki Jardin began freelance writing in 2009 and focuses on food and travel articles. She has been a professional cook and caterer for more than 20 years. She holds a degree in environmental science from Humboldt State University.

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