salmon skin crackling – how to get the perfect crispy skin every time

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Seriously, trying to be healthy is hard work and to be honest a little inconvenient and it’s not like I’m even trying to be healthy 100% of the time.  Let me take one example, since the new year I’ve been trying to increase my water intake to the recommended 2 litres a day. Well…I’m not sure how you people do it.  I’m fairly sure that this initiative has decreased my productivity by at least 25%.  I am constantly running back and forth from the bathroom and I’ve even downloaded an app that tells you where the nearest public loo is just in case I get into a little pickle, tragic!


I’ve even resorted to quite unlady like behaviour in my endeavour for perfect skin and a cleansed body.  Earlier in the week I was at the accountant and mid-way through the meeting, guess what, I needed to go, but there was just no appropriate pause in the conversation to excuse myself, the pressure was building and I thought I was seriously going to pee my pants.  With my handbag in my lap, I discreetly popped the button on my pants to ease some of the pressure (uh yeah, I really did that), seriously, how embarrassing!


So trying to be healthy may be a little challenging but making sure you get crispy skin on your salmon every time isn’t!  I have to say I am a little addicted to salty crispy salmon skin, it’s like the healthier cousin to pork crackling and whilst I understand there is oil involved to get it crispy at least you are getting some source of nutrition from eating salmon skin.  It’s so good and so easy and we all know that salmon is sooo good for us that I cook this at home once a week.

Crispy skinned salmon with a herbed sauce 

Serves 2

what you need:

  • 2 fillets of salmon, skin on
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of greek/natural yoghurt
  • a few springs of mint, leaves picked
  • small handful of parsley leaves
  • 1/4 bunch of chives
  • salt & pepper

What to do:

Start off by making your sauce.  Mince together your herbs and mix in with the yoghurt.  Add a little splash of olive oil and stir through.  Season with salt and pepper and taste to see if you need to add any more olive oil or seasoning.  If you have lost the acidity in the yoghurt from adding too much olive oil, then add a little squeeze of lemon.

Pat the salmon skin dry with paper bowl and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper an on the skin side and a touch on the flesh side.  Heat a non-stick pan on medium high heat and when hot add about 2 tbsp of olive oil in.  When the oil is hot (you can tell the oil is hot because it will glisten and have a faint haze), add the salmon skin side down first.  Push the salmon down with a spatula to ensure that it doesn’t curl and all of the skin has contact with the pan.

Cook the fish for about 4-5 minutes (may be longer or shorter depending on the thickness of your fillet), or until the skin is crispy and the flesh is cooked most of the way through the fillet.  You want to do most of your cooking with the skin side down to give the skin enough time to crisp up.  Turn the fish over, turn off the heat and let the fish sit in the pan for no more than a minute.  This should give you perfectly cooked salmon with super crispy skin and moist flesh that’s just a little pink in the middle.

Serve with the herbed sauce.

Note:  As you can see I served my fish with simple salad of shaved fennel, cucumber and julienned apple with just a lemon and olive oil vinaigrette.  Other suggestions could be with smashed peas or wilted greens, but this is entirely your call!


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  • Thomas

    Delicious, thanks!

  • stressing

    I do not understand Crispy Skin on fish. All those little fish scales are revolting to be floating around yr mouth, and you can choke on them. They’re like hard plastic.

    • Hi Stressing, the scales have been removed of course. You can ask your fishmonger to do this for you. Crispy skin on fish is delicious, you really should give it a go sometime.