The worst thing about cooking fish, in my humble opinion, is worrying about keeping it all in one piece. Of course, this can be solved rather easily by changing your cooking method: baking or steaming or even poaching can save the day here. But those methods aren’t very fun, now are they? I like a little fat in whatever I’m cooking, and insist upon the fact that good olive oil or flavorful butter can add depth to a dish and that fat-free can almost never live up to the real thing.
So, I’m going to share a little secret with you. A French secret. Called the unilateral cooking method. All it requires is that your fish still have its skin. It will change the way you cook, and it will make mouthwatering moist and put-together fish as simple as heating a pan, garnishing with oil or butter, covering and walking away, only to find the perfect end result a few minutes later when you remove the lid!
Pan-seared unilaterally cooked salmon filets
Fresh salmon filets
Spices: I prefer ground ginger and espelette or cayenne pepper, with salt and pepper
Olive oil or vegetable oil
Heat your olive oil over medium-high heat for about 2-3 minutes so it’s really hot. Place your salmon filets skin side down and don’t touch them again until it’s all over! Season with salt and pepper and whatever spices you like or have lying around. Turn the heat down slightly after about 5 minutes of cooking time. You want the skin of your salmon to crisp and brown, but not burn. Once this is done, cover with a lid and leave the heat on medium-low. Cook for about 10 minutes longer, checking often and removing once the salmon is cooked to your liking. I prefer when it’s barely cooked, perfectly tender and moist. Enjoy!