Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

« Previous Post | Daily Dish Home | Next Post »

Test Kitchen tips: Crisp fish skin

February 22, 2012 |  9:00 am


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.

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or shoot me an email at noelle.carter@latimes.com.


Go behind the scenes at the Test Kitchen

134 recipes for your favorite restaurant dishes

Browse hundreds of recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

-- 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.