Salmon fillets skin side up and down on parchment paper with lemon
The Foolproof Pan Searing Technique For The Crispiest Fish Skin
Getting crispy skin on pan-seared fish can be a frustrating experience, but with the right temperature control and prep work, you can achieve golden fish skin every time.
The most important aspect is in modulating your temperature: Your pan should be hot but also not scorching. You also need to watch for visual cues to know when it’s time to flip.
Before you heat the pan, remember to always dry your fish to the best of your ability. Dab your fish skin dry and let it sit on a wire rack for about an hour at room temperature.
After the fish is dry enough, you can heat your pan with a few tablespoons of oil. Once the oil smokes, drop the fish gently, skin side down, into the hot pan.
This first sear should take you anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds, and then you can lower the heat to medium-high.
Wait around 4 minutes for the fish to cook, and the skin will curl so that it loosens up from the pan. This means the fish’s moisture has evaporated and the oil is crisping the skin.
Once there's no resistance, you can easily flip over the fillet and finish off that last bit of cooking for a couple of minutes to about 75 percent doneness.