Pan Fried Salmon With Sun Dried Tomato Couscous & Avacado Yoghurt

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Perfectly cooked pan fried salmon served with a vibrant sun dried tomato couscous & a zingy avocado yoghurt.

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pan fried salmon, sun dried tomato couscous & avocado yoghurt

A super simple yet impressive main course!

Here, we’re serving perfectly cooked, pan fried salmon fillets with sun dried tomato & couscous salad and a fresh & zingy, avocado yoghurt. There’s crispy salmon skin, moist & tender meat, a flavourful salad and a punchy avocado yoghurt. What’s not to like?

Ingredient Notes

The full, printable recipe card for this dish can be found at the bottom of this post!

  • Salmon – You’ll need four 125g – 150g salmon fillets for this recipe. Make sure that the skin has been left on but any scales or bones have been removed. If you haven’t got any salmon or you’d prefer something else, feel free to use a different fish instead.
  • Sun Dried Tomatoes – We’re using both the tomatoes & the oil for the couscous. If you’d prefer you can use regular tomatoes & olive oil instead.
  • Couscous – Regular dried couscous is what we’re using for our salad. This needs to soak in boiling water for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Couscous Veg – Feel free to use whatever veg you like in the couscous. I went with red onion & cucumber (technically a fruit but you know what I mean!) but peppers, spring onions and carrots would work as well.
  • Avocado – Make sure to use a large avocado that is nice & ripe.
sun dried tomato couscous

How To Pan Fry Salmon

Frying salmon in a pan has to be one of the best cooking methods! Do this properly & you’ll have super crispy skin & perfectly cooked meat. Here’s how!

  1. Place a large frying pan over a medium heat then add in a tbsp of vegetable oil.
  2. Dry the salmon’s skin with kitchen paper then season the fish all over with salt & pepper.
  3. Let the pan heat up for 2 minutes, or until the oil is shimmering then add in your salmon, placing it skin side down in the pan.
  4. As soon as the fish hits the pan, press it down firmly for 10-15 seconds, using a fish spatula. This stops the fish from curling up & helps crisp up the skin.
  5. Let the salmon cook undisturbed for 4-5 minutes, until the skin is crisp then add a knob of butter into the pan & flip the fish over.
  6. Continue cooking the salmon for another 3-4 minutes (or until the salmon is just cooked), basting regularly with the butter then transfer to a plate & leave to rest for a couple of minutes before serving. You’ll know when the salmon is cooked because it will flake easily when pressed with a fork. If you take the internal temperature with a digital food probe it should be 50°c-60°c (122°f/140°f), depending on how well cooked you like your fish.
    Salmon at 50°c/122°f will be more of a medium cook & 60°c/140°f will be more well done (but not dry!).
pan fried salmon

The Easiest Way To Make Couscous

We’re using regular dried couscous which doesn’t actually need cooking, just a short, 10 minute soak in boiling water.

To prepare the couscous, place equal quantities of dried couscous & boiling water (200g of each) into a bowl, along with a pinch of salt & a tablespoon of sundried tomato oil (or olive oil). Give everything a quick stir then cover the bowl with clingfilm & leave to soak for 10 minutes. Then once soaked, fluff the couscous up with a fork & mix in sundried tomatoes (+oil), diced onion, sliced cucumber, fresh herbs, salt & pepper.

This is probably one of the easiest salad going but also one of the tastiest!

Avocado Yoghurt

Fresh, creamy & zingy! To make this avocado yoghurt we use a food processor to blitz together avocado and Greek yoghurt with lime juice, olive oil, coriander & mint. This one’s sort of like a guacamole flavoured yoghurt & it works great with the salmon & couscous!

Avocados have a tendency to discolour pretty quickly! Because of this, the avocado yoghurt should be served within an hour of being made. Covering the yoghurt’s surface with clingfilm helps delay any discolouration.

avocado yoghurt

Frequently Asked Questions

How to stop salmon from sticking to the pan

First, make sure that you’re frying pan is hot & that there is a thin layer of oil completely coating the bottom. When you add the salmon to the pan, place it skin side down then press the fish down firmly for 10-15 seconds. This stops the salmon curling up!
Lastly, let the salmon cook undisturbed for at least 4 minutes before flipping over. Flip too soon & the skin will stick to the pan.

How long does salmon take to pan fry?

Depending on the thickness of your salmon fillets, they will take between 8-10 minutes to pan fry, in total.

How will I know when salmon is cooked?

You’ll know when your pan fried salmon is cooked because it will flake easily when pressed lightly with a fork. If you take the internal temperature with a digital food probe, it should be between 50°c-60°c (122°f/140°f), depending on how well cooked you like your fish.

Does couscous need cooking?

Regular dried couscous is so small, it doesn’t actually need cooking! A 10 minute soak in boiling water is all it needs. If you were to use giant couscous instead, you’d need to cook this on the stove in water/stock.

Cooking Pan Fried Salmon On An Aga

With all of my recipes, I include cooking instructions for conventional ovens, fan ovens & also Agas. Here’s how to cook this recipe in an Aga…

To pan fry the salmon on an Aga, use the boiling plate. If your pan gets too hot at any point, move over to the simmering plate.

Equipment Used

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More Main Course Recipes To Try!

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Pan Fried Salmon With Sun Dried Tomato Couscous & Avocado Yoghurt

Perfectly cooked pan fried salmon served with a vibrant sun dried tomato couscous & a zingy avocado yoghurt.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Moroccan
Servings: 4 Portions
Author: Ben Racey

Equipment

  • Food Processor
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Large Frying Pan
  • Digital Food Probe
  • Fish Spatula

Ingredients

  • 4 Salmon Fillets See Notes
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 20 g Butter

Avocado Yoghurt

  • 1 Large Avocado
  • 50 g Greek Yoghurt
  • 20 g Olive Oil
  • 1 Lime Zest & Juice
  • tbsp Coriander Leaves
  • 1 tsp Mint Leaves

Couscous

  • 200 g Dried Couscous
  • 200 g Boiling Water
  • 8-10 Sun Dried Tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp Sun Dried Tomato Oil
  • 1 Red Onion
  • ½ Cucumber
  • 1 tbsp Coriander Leaves
  • 1 tsp Mint Leaves Torn

To Serve

  • 4 Lime Wedges

Instructions

Avocado Yoghurt

  • Halve the avocado, remove the stone then scoop out the flesh & place into a food processor.
  • To the avocado, add the Greek yoghurt, olive oil, lime, coriander & mint. Season with salt & pepper then blitz until smooth & creamy.
  • Transfer the yoghurt to a bowl, cover the surface with clingfilm then refrigerate until needed.
    Covering the yoghurt's surface stops the avocado from browning quickly. It will start to discolour after a couple of hours so it's best to serve it as soon as possible!

Couscous

  • Place the dried couscous into a large mixing bowl & add in 1 tbsp of sun dried tomato oil, a pinch of salt & the boiling water. Give it a stir then cover the bowl with clingfilm & leave to soak for 10 minutes.
  • Whilst the couscous is soaking, roughly chop the sundried tomatoes, peel & finely dice the red onion & half the cucumber lengthways, scoop out the seeds then slice thinly.
  • Once soaked, fluff the couscous up with a fork then add in the tomatoes, onion, cucumber, coriander, torn mint leaves & 2 tbsp of sun dried tomato oil.
  • Season the couscous with salt & pepper then give it a good mix. Set aside until needed.

Pan Fried Salmon

  • Place the salmon fillets onto a plate & dry the skin with a piece of kitchen paper. Season each fillet all over, with table salt & freshly cracked black pepper.
  • Next, add the veg oil to a large frying pan then set over a medium heat.
    Let the pan heat up for a minute or two (until the oil is shimmering) then add in the salmon fillets, skin side down. As you add in each piece of fish, press down firmly with a spatula for 10-15 seconds (this stops the salmon from curling up & helps crisp the skin up).
    You might need to cook the salmon in two batches, depending on the size of your frying pan. Make sure to add in more oil, if necessary.
  • Cook the salmon for 4-5 minutes, until the skin is crisp & golden then add in the butter & flip the fish over. Turn the heat down to medium-low.
  • Continue cooking the salmon for another 3-4 minutes, basting the fish regularly with the butter. Once cooked, transfer to a plate & leave to rest for 2 minutes.
    You'll know when the salmon is cooked because it will flake easily, when pressed gently with a fork. The key to perfectly cooked salmon is to pan fry it until it just cooked then let it rest for a couple of minutes before serving.
    If you take the salmon's internal temperature with a digital food probe it should be 50°c-60°c (122°f/140°f), depending on how well cooked you like your fish.

To Plate

  • Take four plates & spoon a quarter of the avocado yoghurt into the centre of each. Use the back of a spoon to spread the yoghurt out into a medium sized circle.
  • Next, spoon a generous amount of couscous onto each plate (place it onto one side of the yoghurt) then place the salmon on the yoghurt next to it.
  • Add a lime wedge to each plate then serve immediately.

Notes

1. Cooking On An Aga – To pan fry the salmon on an Aga, use the boiling plate. If your pan gets too hot at any point, move over to the simmering plate.
2. Salmon Fillets – For this dish, salmon fillets that weigh around 125-150 grams provide a great portion size. The skin should be left on & any scales or bones removed. Feel free to use a different type of fish if you’d prefer.
3. Couscous – We’re using regular dried couscous for this recipe. This is available in most supermarkets & needs to be soaked in boiling water before eating. 
4. Avocado Yoghurt – To prevent the avocado from turning brown, we need to serve the avocado yoghurt almost straight away. Cover it’s surface with clingfilm & storing it in the fridge means that it can be made around an hour in advance.

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