Seared Salmon

Salmon skin is delicious when pan-seared—it becomes as crisp as a potato chip—and it’s even tastier when it’s crusted with spices. Those same spices surround the salmon while searing, encasing the flesh to balance its richness. When the spices sear onto the salmon, they toast in the process and become more fragrant and flavorful. Cooking salmon to the perfect degree of doneness (I like mine medium-rare) is easy because the fish has its own built-in thermometer—just look at the side of the fillet to see when the flesh becomes opaque all the way from bottom to top. As soon as the sides lose their translucence, I pull the pan off the stove so the salmon doesn’t overcook—that means the center’s still nice and pink for medium-rare (for extra assurance, you can always insert a thin-bladed knife into the thickest part of the fish and peek at the center; it should still be slightly translucent).

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