Recipe for crispy-skinned salmon with dill sauce – The Mom 100
Dill sauce for salmon
There’s a reason why salmon with dill sauce appears on menu after menu – it’s downright delicious. And because dill sauce is so easy to make and salmon is so simple to cook, this sophisticated dish is very doable on a weeknight, although of course it’s elevated enough to serve guests. This is one of the most classic fish/sauce pairings in the US (and perhaps parts of Europe). You can also pair the sauce with other types of fish; fresh or smoked trout is another popular combination with dill sauce.
Consider this for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s or Father’s Day, New Year’s Eve, or to impress that amazing person in your life with a home-cooked meal that feels extra special.
This is how you know when the salmon is done
How well you like your salmon is entirely personal and should not be judged by anyone at any time. If someone tells you that you want your salmon cooked a certain way, politely tell them, “Good for you! Not for me,” which is a phrase I learned from listening to Amy Poehler’s memoir, “Yes , Please!,” and one that I think applies to cooking and eating in general.
The basic rule of thumb for how long to cook fish is 10 minutes per empty. It’s a good starting guideline no matter how you cook your fish: on a pan, on a grill, poaching, broiling, frying, etc. But this is only a starting point and not a hard and fast rule.
Salmon can definitely be pink in the middle and still be safe to eat. But rare salmon isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so if you’re cooking for a crowd, aim for somewhere in the middle range. Or, if you’re feeling confident and have the time, ask people how they like their salmon cooked. Make sure your salmon is very fresh if you serve it on the medium-rare side with a significant amount of translucent pinkness in the middle.
Internal temperatures for salmon
Medium-rare salmon should be slightly translucent in the middle, but opaque on the top and bottom. The internal temperature (using an instant read thermometer) will read between 120 and 125 degrees.
Medium salmon will be a light dark pink in the middle, but not completely translucent. An internal temperature will read between 125 and 130 degrees.
Medium-well salmon will be opaque pink throughout. The temperature will be around 130 to 135 degrees.
Salmon with dill sauce is a classic dish ideal for special occasions or everyday dinners. This recipe shows how easy it is to make at home.
No matter how rare or well done you like your salmon, don’t forget about transfer cooking. This is the name given to the extra cooking that your fish will do even when removed from the pan due to the residual heat in the fish itself. The temperature will rise slightly and the fish will fry a little more in a few minutes after you take it off the heat.
This applies to all meat and seafood and fish (and everything else to some extent), regardless of how you prepare them. Take that into account when deciding when to remove the fish from the pan (and know that if the fish is sitting in the hot pan, it will definitely continue to cook more).
How to make crispy salmon
Cooking crispy skinned salmon on the stove without it falling apart is quite a challenge to be honest. For starters, make sure you buy salmon with the skin still on. And note that this method also works for other skinned fish fillets. There are various ways to do this, but the following is the most foolproof way I have found. This method involves leaving the fillets alone and not flipping them, which is where the fish usually hits the pan.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy frying pan (preferably nonstick) over medium-high heat. Put the salmon (possibly in portions) with the skin side down in the pan and fry for about 4 minutes, so that the fillets mix a little while you put them in the pan, so that they don’t stick to the bottom.
Reduce the heat to medium and cover the pan. Let the salmon cook for another 3 to 8 minutes or so, until cooked to your liking.
The bottom skin should be browned and crispy, and the center of the salmon should have a bit of dark pink inside (unless you prefer your salmon well done; then give it another minute or two). Remember that the salmon will continue to cook slightly once removed from the heat.
Serve warm or warm with the dill sauce.
What to serve with salmon and dill sauce
Other sauces for salmon
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- 4 (6 to 8 ounce) salmon fillets (skin on)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
- 2 tablespoonfuls olive oil
- Dill sauce
Pat the fish dry and season with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy frying pan (preferably nonstick) over medium-high heat. Put the salmon (possibly in portions) with the skin side down in the pan and fry for approx. 4 minutes, giving the fillets a little shuffle as you place them in the pan so that the skin does not stick to the bottom.
- Reduce the heat to medium and cover the pan. Let the salmon cook for another 3 to 8 minutes or so, until cooked to your liking. The bottom skin should be brown and crispy and the center of the salmon should have a bit of dark pink inside (if you prefer your salmon well done, give it a minute or two more). Remember that the salmon will continue to cook a bit after it is removed from the heat.
Serve warm or warm with the dill sauce.
Calories: 399kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.3g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated fat: 7g | Monounsaturated fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 128mg | Sodium: 111mg | Potassium: 1124mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 0.3g | Vitamin A: 140IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 2mg