Test Kitchen tips: Crisp fish skin
At first thought, fish skin may not sound like the most appealing thing to eat -- it's often the slimy thing we push to the side of the plate as we finish our dinner. But, on the right fish, properly cooked skin can be downright magical. Sear a thin layer of skin on a thick, meaty fillet and you can have a wonderful play on textures -- crisp crackly skin contrasting the silky, rich fillet.
To properly sear fish skin, follow the simple step-by-step after the jump. The trick is removing as much moisture as possible from the surface of the skin before cooking, and then searing the skin in a very hot pan. The technique was featured in our first Master Class by Thomas Keller.
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-- Noelle Carter
Photo credits: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times
1. Rinse the salmon and dry well.
2. "Squeegee" moisture from the surface of the skin using a knife or metal spatula.
3. Moisture from the fillet as it is removed.
4. Heat a skillet over high heat until hot. Add a thin film of oil and heat until hot.
5. Place the fillet skin-side down in the hot oil to crisp quickly.
6. Flip the salmon and cook the other side until the fillet is cooked through.