Crispy Skin Salmon

Skin on fish is highly contentious! Some people love it, and some people absolutely loathe it. I’m in the former category- I absolutely love cooking fish with the skin on. Full disclosure, I used to not like it so much until I had a really, really, really good piece of skin on sea bass at a restaurant. The skin was so perfectly crisped; the texture was light but the flavor reminded me of eating a nice piece of bacon. I was in heaven, and ever since then I have been on the quest to make the same dish at home. 

There are a number of fish that you can buy with the skin on- and should buy with the skin on! Black cod, salmon, arctic char, trout, sea bass (branzino), Chilean sea bass, and sometimes grouper are just a few fishes that I prefer to buy with the skin on. Sometimes the skin is there to protect the delicate filets, oftentimes it’s there simply because removing it can be difficult. In any case, if it’s on there why not cook it up? Ultimately, as someone who loves to cook I really love the texture change that crisping the skin affords. Hate it, love it, but seriously give it a shot if you’re looking to impress someone!

Also, when it comes to fish- I would say develop a relationship with a solid fishmonger. Seriously, you probably read it all the time, but if you develop a relationship with your food purveyor, you will always get the best stuff- and sometimes even a really sweet deal. I’ve known my fishmonger for close to 10 years if not more. He knows I’m serious, and it cuts out the B.S.- he’s not going to sell me something sub-par, or lead me the wrong way. 



  1. Prep your fish. Cut it into the appropriate servings. Always dry it very well with a kitchen towel or paper towels.
  2. Once it has been dried thoroughly- season the fish with salt, on the skin side and opposite the skin side, or flesh side.
  3. Heat your pan over medium high and add your Traditional Full Circle Ghee. Let it warm and liquify.
  4. I start cooking my fish skin side down. This is purely for aesthetics on the back end. I typically flip the fish when cooking, so if you started with the fish flesh side down you would end up having to flip the fish again before plating. Ultimately, you worked really hard on your crisped skin so that’s what should be seen on the plating. 
  5. Check on the heat level of the pan and doneness of the fish after about 4 minutes. Adjust accordingly. Using a spatula, check the filets. If they are sticking still, wait about 30 seconds and try again. The proteins in fish cook fast, but you really want to avoid ruining the skin and the flesh for your presentation. Once the filets are easily dislodged from the pan, flip your fish carefully and continue cooking. 
  6. Cook with the flesh side down for an additional 2 minutes. 
  7. Once the fish has turned mostly opaque, you can plate the fish and serve alongside the rest of the meal . 

Serving Suggestions:

I’ve served crispy skin fish along with many things like purees and sauces so feel free to choose what works best for you. I think the salmon alone is the star, but serve it alongside something that magnifies its greatness.

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