How to cook salmon

Cooking salmon is relatively simple and can be done using various methods, such as baking, grilling, pan-searing, or poaching. Here, I’ll provide you with a basic guide on how to pan-sear salmon, which is a popular and quick method:


  • Salmon fillets
  • Olive oil or cooking oil of your choice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional seasonings (e.g., lemon, garlic, herbs)


  1. Prepare the Salmon:
    • Start by ensuring that your salmon fillets are at room temperature, which helps with even cooking. Pat them dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
  2. Season the Salmon:
    • Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper. You can also add other seasonings like lemon zest, garlic, herbs, or your favorite spices for extra flavor. Be creative, but keep it simple for your first time.
  3. Heat the Pan:
    • Choose a non-stick or cast-iron skillet. Place it on the stove over medium-high heat. Allow the pan to become hot but not smoking.
  4. Add Cooking Oil:
    • Add a tablespoon of cooking oil to the hot pan and swirl it around to coat the bottom. Olive oil or a neutral oil like canola or vegetable oil works well.
  5. Place the Salmon in the Pan:
    • Gently lay the seasoned salmon fillets into the hot pan, skin-side down. If your salmon doesn’t have skin, it’s fine to place it with the presentation side down.
  6. Sear the Salmon:
    • Cook the salmon for 4-5 minutes on the skin side. Do not move the fillets during this time; let them develop a nice crust.
  7. Flip the Salmon:
    • Carefully flip the salmon fillets using a spatula. If the skin sticks to the pan, it’s usually a sign that it’s ready to be flipped. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes on the other side.
  8. Check for Doneness:
    • The salmon is done when it flakes easily with a fork. The internal temperature should reach 145°F (63°C). Cooking times may vary depending on the thickness of the fillet.
  9. Serve:
    • Once the salmon is cooked to your desired doneness, remove it from the pan. It’s ready to be served. You can garnish it with fresh herbs, lemon wedges, or a drizzle of olive oil if you like.

Pan-seared salmon can be served with a variety of side dishes, such as steamed vegetables, a simple salad, rice, or quinoa. It’s a versatile and delicious option for a healthy meal.

Keep in mind that you can adjust the seasonings and cooking time to suit your taste. The more you cook salmon, the better you’ll become at determining the perfect level of doneness for your preference.