*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
Salmon is the common name for several species of ray-finned fish in the family Salmonidae. Other fish in the same family include trout, char, grayling, and whitefish. Salmon are native to tributaries of the North Atlantic and Pacific Ocean.
The healthiest salmon to eat is Pacific salmon. Supplementation of fish products rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, during a weight loss program, can substantially reduce cardiovascular risk in overweight patients with high blood pressure.
If you’ve decided to start eating healthier and would like to try your hand at cooking salmon at home then you might be wondering if you can just fry salmon in a pan.
If you still want to fry some salmon the steps to do so are:
- Bring the salmon to room temperature 10 minutes before cooking.
- Warm a large nonstick skillet with oil over medium-low heat.
- Season the fish with salt and pepper.
- Raise the heat to medium-high.
- Place the salmon, skin down in the pan.
- Cook until golden brown on 1 side, approximately 8 minutes per inch of thickness.
- The skin can be served or removed easily with a knife or spoon.
To see the most popular fish batters just click here.
Tired of spending a small fortune on chicken, pork, beef, or seafood at the grocery store?
Why not order it direct from Perdue Farms instead?
Is It Better To Fry Or Bake Salmon?
Salmon is a popular dish for those trying to lose weight or eat more healthily. This is because it is low in calories (assuming it is baked or grilled). If you recently bought some salmon you will want to know how you should cook it.
When cooking salmon, baking is healthier than pan-frying because, as long as you cook it with simple seasonings, baking doesn’t add any extra fat or calories. So if you are concerned about your health then baking is definitely the way to go.
Did you know there are six types of salmon that are harvested in and around the waters of North America? Salmon from the Atlantic Ocean is, unsurprisingly, called Atlantic Salmon.
There are five types of salmon from the Pacific Ocean. They are Chinook, chum, coho, pink, and sockeye. Let’s break them all down so you can learn more about them individually:
Atlantic Salmon – Known also as the black salmon, this fish does not require salt water to live. This species is in decline in the United States and is listed on the Endangered Species List. The average size of the pink salmon is 8-12 pounds.
Chinook Salmon – This animal is the state fish of Alaska and is also known as the king salmon. It is the largest of the salmon species and can get up to 125 pounds. Chinook salmon can live a maximum of 7 years. Chinooks can be found in Alaska (mainly) and down the West coast. The average size of a Chinook is 10-15 pounds.
Chum Salmon – This fish is found in Alaska down to the Northwest tip of the United States. It occupies the broadest range of any other salmon. The average size of a chum is 10-15 pounds.
Coho Salmon – The Coho salmon, also known as “silvers,” is one of the most sought after species and can be found in Alaska and down the West coast. The average size of a coho is 6-12 pounds.
Pink Salmon – Also known as “humpies,” the pink salmon is the most abundant, yet smallest in size of the species. The average size of a pink salmon is 3-5 pounds.
Sockeye Salmon – Also known as “reds,” this is the most colorful of the species and can survive being in lakes and other freshwater. They sometimes even spawn in rivers and lakes. The average size of a sockeye is 5-8 pounds.
Whether your salmon is Atlantic, chinook, chum, coho, pink, or sockeye, one serving of salmon is normally considered to be 3 to 4 ounces and contains only 200 calories. Salmon is very low in saturated fat and a good source of protein. It’s also one of the best sources of vitamin B12.
Furthermore, it is bursting with potassium and other nutrients like iron and vitamin D!
Do You Flip Salmon When Frying?
When you decide to fry up your salmon you might be wondering if you should flip it over. Afterall, you flip steaks and burgers so should you flip salmon as well?
When you’re feeling as hungry as a Grizzly, remember there is no need to flip salmon while you are pan frying it. Keep in mind that unless you have a well seasoned cast iron grill or one of the really cheap portable grills with thin grates, the flesh of the salmon will most likely stick to the pan.
To avoid this, the best way to pan fry your salmon is to cook it skin side down and DON’T FLIP.
Here are some fascinating facts about salmon:
Atlantic salmon that is sold in the U.S. are all farm raised. To get wild salmon, buy Pacific salmon.
Salmon are anadromous, which means they are born in freshwater, they migrate to saltwater, and then they return to freshwater to spawn.
Grizzly bears love to feast on salmon when they are migrating upstream.
Salmon is a keystone species in Northwest America.
Spawning is usually the last act of a salmon before it dies.
How Should Salmon Be Cooked?
Whether you’ve caught your own salmon or purchased it from your favorite grocer. You’ll want to make sure you cook it to perfection.
For medium cooked salmon, the internal temperature on salmon should measure between 125 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit in the center. Make sure you insert the thermometer probe into the thickest spot of the salmon.
Keep in mind that the fish will continue to cook even after you remove it from the heat. If you prefer your salmon to be medium rare, you can stop cooking at 120 degrees internal temp.
If you’re the outdoorsy type you might have considered skipping the seafood counter and catching your own salmon. If so, here are some tips for a successful salmon fishing trip:
Salmon feeding habits depend on a variety of different factors such as weather, season, and time of day.
Use brightly colored lures and add bait and scent to them.
Fish for salmon early in the morning or late at night.
Salmon tend to stay at the bottom, so use weighted lures.
Remember to acquire a fishing permit. Fishing without a permit is illegal and could result in a fine.
Each state’s fishing regulations vary so it is important that you know your state’s fishing regulations before your trip. Your state’s regulations will tell you:
- When you are allowed to fish for salmon.
- Most states have a length limit for their fish. (If you catch a fish that does not measure the minimum, it is required that you return it to the water so it can continue to grow.)
- Most states have daily limits for the amount of a certain fish you can keep.
How Do You Know When Salmon Is Done?
Salmon can be tricky to cook perfectly. Not enough cooking time and the inside is raw, but cooking it too long leaves your salmon dry and mealy. There are many different thicknesses and varieties of salmon and all of them cook a bit differently.
Here’s how to tell when salmon is done, and a helpful cook time chart for the most popular ways to cook this healthy and tasty fish!
If you’re cooking salmon at home and don’t have a food thermometer, keep in mind that you should cook the fish until the salmon just starts to flake when pricked with a fork.
There are several popular salmon cooking methods. Our favorites are seared, baked, broiled, and grilled. Because each piece of salmon is a bit different in thickness, the cooking time will differ.
However, here is a guideline of cook times for each method:
Salmon Cooking Method Cook Time (depending on thickness)
Pan Seared Salmon
Approximately 8 minutes per inch of thickness on medium-high heat, until golden brown on 1 side
13 to 16 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit
4 to 5 minutes for very thin, or 7 to 10 minutes for 1-inch thick salmon
7 minutes on medium high heat (375 to 450 degrees)
(5 minutes skin side down, then flip for 2 minutes more)
What Is A Good Side Dish For Salmon?
Now that you know a few different ways to cook salmon, your next thought might be what side dish(es) to serve. Whether your meal is being served as lunch or dinner, here are 23 popular side dishes for salmon including vegetables, pasta, potatoes, rice, and salads.
- Lemon Roasted Baby Potatoes
- Coconut Rice
- Sautéed Garlic Green Beans
- Lemon Kale Salad
- Air Fryer Asparagus
- Mashed Red Potatoes
- Cacio e Pepe
- Roasted Brussel Sprouts Salad
- Cilantro Lime Rice
- Baked Sweet Potato Wedges
- Tomato Cucumber Avocado Salad
- Sauteed Garlic Mushrooms
- Pesto Penne Pasta
- Garlic and Herb Roasted Carrots
- Creamy Parmesan Risotto
- Vegan Soba Noodle Salad
- Roasted Garlic Parmesan Baby Potatoes
- Creamy Cucumber Salad
- One Pot Rice Pilaf with Carrots
- Hasselback Potatoes with Garlic Herb Butter
- Pesto Green Beans
- Oven Roasted Corn on the Cob with Garlic Butter
- Crispy Smashed Potatoes