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Pan-Roasted Sockeye Salmon

September 3, 2010

By Kath Dedon


The sockeye salmon runs in the Pacific Northwest are the largest they have been in decades! That means prices are very reasonable right now for this delicious fish.

I bought a couple of fresh local sockeye salmon fillets yesterday. The first place I looked for preparation ideas was my Ray’s Boathouse cookbook. Ray’s Boathouse has been a much-loved institution in Seattle for over 70 years. It actually started as a boathouse in 1939–a place to rent small boats and gear to go fishing on Puget Sound. Today it is a nationally recognized restaurant specializing in the finest Northwest seafood. Ray’s Boathouse: Seafood Secrets of the Pacific Northwest is an excellent collection of the restaurant’s recipes.

Since I wanted a very simple preparation, I decided against Ray’s excellent teriyaki salmon….even though it is one of my favorite salmon recipes of all time!

Grilled salmon would have been a great choice, but I was drawn to Ray’s technique for Pan-Roasted Sockeye Salmon. It’s a quick and easy recipe and was perfect for cooking the beautiful fillets. (And if you don’t own a grill, this is a great way to prepare salmon fillets!) Paired with a salad of spinach, small grape tomatoes, and avocado, it was a very satisfying summertime meal.

The recipe recommended using a nonstick ovenproof skillet. I chose to use my well-seasoned cast iron skillet which worked great!



Pan-Roasted Sockeye Salmon

(Adapted from a recipe in Ray’s Boathouse)


(print the recipe)


Serves 2


2 (6-oz.) fillets of sockeye salmon


Freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil


1. Preheat the oven to 350˚.

2. Heat a large cast iron (or nonstick) ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.

3. Salt and pepper the flesh side of the fillets to taste.

4. Add the olive oil to the hot skillet.

5. Put the fillets, flesh-side-down, in the skillet. (Stand aside and do it carefully; the oil will splatter a bit when you put it in.)

6. Cook for 3 minutes.

7. Turn the fillets over; the flesh should have a nice crust.



8. Put the pan in the preheated oven and cook for 3 – 5 minutes until done. (My fillets took only 3 more minutes.)

9. Serve immediately with the salad or side dish of your choice.


4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 4, 2010 6:29 pm

    This is my kind of dinner. I love it. Light and delicious.

    • September 6, 2010 6:57 am

      It really “hits the spot” on a warm summer evening, doesn’t it? Thanks for your comment, Lisa!

  2. Food girl permalink
    July 20, 2011 10:17 pm

    Mmmm. Thank you. I also used my cast iron and, based on your instructions, was able to make a perfectly cooked delicious sockeye!!

    • July 21, 2011 5:37 am

      Glad it worked well for you! It really is a great way to cook a salmon fillet. 🙂

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