Crispy Skin Salmon with Creamy Cucumber Salad

salmon copy

When I see salmon at the supermarket with the skin removed my heart feels heavy and I tear up a little bit. It’s just so sad—what kind of fishmonger would take off the best, most delicious part of the salmon!?!?! I’m getting emotional just typing this.  I guess you’ve  figured out by now that I’m a big fan of crispy skin salmon. I love it so much that I get a little rush of joy when someone who doesn’t like it comes over for dinner because I know that I’ll be getting extra skin on my plate.  The important thing about crispy skin salmon is that the skin has to be… wait for it…. Crispy!  In order to do this you want to make sure that the skin is as dry as possible before you season it and once you get the fish in the pan try not to move it at all for 5 minutes.

For the cucumber salad you want to use English cucumbers if you can find them. They’re the really long ones that you’ll usually see wrapped in plastic in the grocery store. They’re best for a salad like this because the skin is pretty thin and they have fewer seeds.

This dish is incredibly simple and delicious. It’s a perfect meal to make for yourself on a weeknight when you’re in a rush to finish dinner before Real Housewives of Beverly Hills starts. Oh… and its pretty healthy.

Crispy Skin Salmon with Creamy Cucumber Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 2 fillets of salmon with the skin on
  • 1 large English cucumber or 2 regular cucumbers
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped dill
  • ½ cup of sour cream or creme fraiche (if you’re feeling fancy…)
  • 1 tablespoon of mayo
  • 1 teaspoon of red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  1. Pat the fillets down with a paper towel to dry the skin as much as possible and then sprinkle the skin with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a large skillet on high heat until the pan is almost smoking. Coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil. After the oil is completely heated through (about 30 seconds) lay the fish skin-side down in the middle of the pan and hold the fish down for a minute with a spatula to prevent the skin from curling up. Most of the cooking time should be on the skin side, so watch the side of the fillet as it turns from bright pink to a softer peach color. When its about ¾ of the way up (5-7 minutes) season the flesh side of the fish with salt and pepper and turn the fish over to cook for 2 more minutes. This should give you a fillet cooked medium. Add another 2 minutes for medium-well and 4 for well done.
  3. To prepare the salad cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and then slice it into thin half-moon slices.
  4. Mix the sour cream, mayo, vinegar and dill in a small bowl and toss with the cucumber. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste.



  1. Taylor Lindsay says

    I finally had a chance to make the Crispy Skin Salmon dish with cucumber salad. It was great! I panicked when I couldn’t find dill at the store but my fav cousin Lauryn saved the day and said we had some at the house! Thanks Deems for such a light but tasty dinner.

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