Crispy Skin Salmon with Cilantro Pear Salsa

 In Aphrodisiac, Dairy Free, Date Night, Dinner, Lunch, Paleo, Seafood, Summer, Under 1 Hour

What is the secret behind the elusive, crispy skin on salmon? “Crispy skin” is like a magic phrase that turns ordinary salmon into a delicacy and seems to make sense out of the $5 upcharge tacked onto a typical dinner.

Well hold onto your hats because I’m about to let you in on the secret; It’s salt. You know how when you pour sugar over strawberries and let it sit, the strawberries will break down and release their juice (this is what goes on strawberry shortcake). Well, the sugar broke down the cells in the strawberry and pulled out the water.

In a very similar fashion, the salt is going to pull some moisture out of the salmon. Not a lot, mind you, but enough that when you sear the salmon, there is no water coming out. This lets you achieve a crispy skin where’s if you skip this step when you cook the salmon the heat breaks down those same cells which releases their water and then you have steamed salmon skin, which will be soft and soggy. (Ick!) Once you’ve achieved your perfectly crispy salmon skin, DO NOT cover the salmon. Just let it sit uncovered, skin side up until you’re ready to serve it. Covering it will trap the heat and ruin your crispy, beautiful skin.

That’s it! Definity easier than I imagined it to be. This is one of my favorite, quick, weeknight dinners to make. Fancy enough for a date night or company, and easy enough to make on a Monday. Check out the Learn the Lingo section below the recipe for more details on cooking your salmon to perfection!

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HOW TO MAKE – CRISPY SKIN SALMON

Crispy Skin Salmon with Cilantro Pear Salsa

Difficulty: Easy

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 8 min

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Fresh, Skin-on Salmon
  • ¼ Cup Salt
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Pepper
  • 1 Ripe Pear
  • 1 Small Red Onion
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • ¼ Cup Cilantro (¼ Bunch)
  • 1 Lemon or Lime

Directions:

Lay your salmon skin-side down on a large piece of foil. Generously coat the salmon with salt, using far more than you would want to eat. Flip the salmon skin-side up and generously salt the skin. Let the salmon sit, skin-side up while you prepare the salsa, about 15 Minutes.

Finely dice the pear, onion, and jalapeno, remove the ribs and seeds if you like it less spicy. Mince the cilantro and toss all the ingredients together in a bowl. Juice the lemon or lime into the mixture and add salt and pepper to taste. Toss again, cover and set in the fridge to chill and slow the pears oxidization.

Heat a cast iron skillet to medium high heat with enough oil to generously coat the bottom. Rinse all of the salt off of the salmon and pat it very dry on both sides with paper towels. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste on the skin and when the oil is very hot (smoking is too hot), lay the salmon skin-side DOWN in the skillet.

Let the salmon sit undisturbed until you see it cooking halfway up the sides. When it’s ready to be flipped the salmon should peel easily off the skillet. To flip, scoot a spatula gently and firmly under the skin so it doesn’t tear and plop it on its other side, being cautious of oil splatters.

Cook an additional 2-4 minutes, then remove the salmon to a plate and let it rest, uncovered. Serve the salsa on the side so it doesn’t ruin the crispy skin. Enjoy!

 Here is a list of the tools you’ll need to complete this recipe. If you don’t have these already, you can click on the photo and purchase it on Amazon.

  • Large Cast Iron Skillet
  • Metal Spatula
  • Chefs Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Mixing Bowl – Small
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Aluminum Foil

We keep Cleaver Cooking in business through affiliate links that you see here and we get a small percentage when you purchase an item through our links.
We do our best to recommend quality products but please note that not all products have been tested and we can’t guarantee your satisfaction.
If you already own similar items feel free to use those tools instead.

Recipe:

Crispy Skin Salmon with Cilantro Pear Salsa

Difficulty: Easy

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 8 min

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Fresh, Skin-on Salmon
  • ¼ Cup Salt
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Pepper
  • 1 Ripe Pear
  • 1 Small Red Onion
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • ¼ Cup Cilantro (¼ Bunch)
  • 1 Lemon or Lime

Directions:

Lay your salmon skin-side down on a large piece of foil. Generously coat the salmon with salt, using far more than you would want to eat. Flip the salmon skin-side up and generously salt the skin. Let the salmon sit, skin-side up while you prepare the salsa, about 15 Minutes.

Finely dice the pear, onion, and jalapeno, remove the ribs and seeds if you like it less spicy. Mince the cilantro and toss all the ingredients together in a bowl. Juice the lemon or lime into the mixture and add salt and pepper to taste. Toss again, cover and set in the fridge to chill and slow the pears oxidization.

Heat a cast iron skillet to medium high heat with enough oil to generously coat the bottom. Rinse all of the salt off of the salmon and pat it very dry on both sides with paper towels. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste on the skin and when the oil is very hot (smoking is too hot), lay the salmon skin-side DOWN in the skillet.

Let the salmon sit undisturbed until you see it cooking halfway up the sides. When it’s ready to be flipped the salmon should peel easily off the skillet. To flip, scoot a spatula gently and firmly under the skin so it doesn’t tear and plop it on its other side, being cautious of oil splatters.

Cook an additional 2-4 minutes, then remove the salmon to a plate and let it rest, uncovered. Serve the salsa on the side so it doesn’t ruin the crispy skin. Enjoy!

Tools You'll Need

 Here is a list of the tools you’ll need to complete this recipe. If you don’t have these already, you can click on the photo and purchase it on Amazon.

  • Large Cast Iron Skillet
  • Metal Spatula
  • Chefs Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Mixing Bowl – Small
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Aluminum Foil

We keep Cleaver Cooking in business through affiliate links that you see here and we get a small percentage when you purchase an item through our links.
We do our best to recommend quality products but please note that not all products have been tested and we can’t guarantee your satisfaction.
If you already own similar items feel free to use those tools instead.

Tools to help you get the job done!
For a full list click on Tools You’ll Need at the top of the recipe card.

Learn the Lingo & Pro Tips

Crispy Skin Salmon with Cilantro Pear Salsa 4 Servings 1 lb Fresh, Skin-on Salmon ¼ Cup Salt Grapeseed Oil Pepper 1 Ripe Pear 1 Small Red Onion 1 Jalapeno ¼ Cup Cilantro (¼ Bunch) 1 Lemon or Lime
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Showing 2 comments
  • Margo from Illinois
    Reply

    Salmon delicious! Also loved the Grapefruit Fros.

    • Savannah
      Reply

      So glad you’re enjoying the recipes! I’ve been loving those for end-of-summer dinner/drinks.

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