An herbed crust on salmon helps with one of the most difficult parts of pan cooking fillets: the fish sticking to the pan. The crust creates a delicious, crispy barrier between the salmon and the pan, making flipping the fish easier. Make sure, however, you still use a delicate touch to prevent the fillet from breaking apart as it gets turned. Cooking times will vary quite a bit depending on how thick the fillets are and how rare you prefer to serve them. For larger fillets, you may want to reduce the temperature a little and increase the cooking time. A good rule is 4 to 5 minutes per half-inch thickness of the fillet.

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  • ½ cup (55g) bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ¼ cup (½ stick / 57g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 (8-ounce / 225-g) salmon fillets, rinsed and patted dry
  • Braised Brussels Sprouts, for serving



  1. In a bowl, combine the bread crumbs, tarragon, basil, salt, and pepper. Pour in the butter and mix well.
  2. Spread the mixture evenly over both sides of the fillets.
  3. Heat a sauté pan over medium–high heat. Add the salmon to the pan; if the fillets still have the skin on, place them skin side down first. Sear for 2 to 3 minutes, then flip the fillets over.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for another 2 to 4 minutes, until the fillets are cooked to your preferred doneness.
  5. Serve warm with braised Brussels sprouts alongside.