This easy pan seared salmon recipe transforms simple salmon fillets into a gourmet experience with a luscious honey garlic glaze in under 25 minutes!
Have you ever felt intimidated to make salmon at home thinking it is “too gourmet” and find yourself only getting to enjoy it when ordering at a restaurant? Well, not anymore! This easy-to-follow pan seared salmon recipe is tender on the inside and crisp on the outside, topped with a restaurant-quality glaze.
This quick honey garlic glaze with a touch of soy sauce and orange has an Asian flair that will make your tastebuds sing! Plus, you’ll be able to pan sear the salmon in only two minutes. Yes, I said it! Two minutes! This is all made possible by cutting the salmon fillets into thin pieces before searing. In Italian, this is considered Scaloppine/Scallopini (thinly sliced meat/fish).
Why You’ll Love This Pan Seared Salmon Recipe
- Quick and easy. Pan searing the salmon only takes 2 minutes and the whole recipe can be served in 25 minutes or less! Talk about easy and ready in minutes.
- Versatile. I love how flexible the flavors are. They pair beautifully with a whole spectrum of side dishes. Craving an Asian-inspired side? Try these Sesame Sugar Snap Peas.
- Restaurant-quality at home. We’re not stopping at plain pan-seared salmon. With a quick honey garlic glaze, this salmon tastes like it’s straight from the kitchens of a fine-dining restaurant!
How To Make Pan Seared Salmon
Learn how to make the perfect pan seared salmon. Full instructions in the recipe card; this is an outline!
Whisk together minced garlic, honey, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, orange juice, orange zest, salt, and red pepper flakes in a medium bowl until combined.
Preheat the saucepan over medium/high heat. Pour mixture into saucepan and let mixture caramelize and thicken for 5-7 minutes. Stir frequently. After the mixture changes from light brown to dark mahogany, cook for about another minute until a syrup consistency.
Remove glaze from heat. Let cool.
Cut salmon into ½ inch thick fillets by slicing them in half lengthwise.
Preheat a skillet at medium/high heat with a tablespoon of olive oil.
Add salmon fillets an inch apart and cook the first side for 1 minute.
Flip the salmon and cook another 1-2 minutes until the middle of the salmon is flaky.
Remove the salmon from the heat and drizzle glaze over the top. Garnish with scallions and fresh orange wedges.
Tips For Pan Seared Salmon
- Skinless salmon. Have the fishmonger skin the salmon for you, so you can easily scaloppini (thinly slice) your salmon at home!
- Use butter if preferred. Use a tablespoon of butter instead of olive oil to pan sear the salmon for a crispier exterior.
- Wait to add the salmon until the pan is hot. The key to a good sear is allowing the pan to fully heat up before adding the fillets. To check if your pan is ready, add a drop of water to the pan. If it sizzles and dances around the surface, it is ready!
- Use a large skillet. A large skillet helps the fillets to cook an inch apart from each other for proper searing.
- To store: store any leftovers in an airtight container after pan seared salmon has fully cooled for up to 3 days. I recommend storing the glaze separate from the salmon for easier reheating.
- To reheat: to reheat any leftovers, gently reheat in a skillet over low heat. If you only have access to a microwave, place the salmon and glaze in microwave-safe dishes, set a damp paper towel over the top to prevent drying out and heat in 30 second increments.
Pan Seared Salmon Variations
I love how the sauce for this honey garlic salmon is incredibly versatile! Here are a few yummy ideas to experiment with:
- Citrus swap: swap the orange juice and orange zest for lemon juice with lemon zest or even lime juice! The lemon variation would provide a citrusy and slightly tart flavor while the lime would bring a zesty, tangy twist!
- Extra spice: are you a fan of spice? Make sure to garnish with a generous amount of hot pepper flakes and add a teaspoon of Sriracha.
- Add fresh ginger: while it isn’t a hot sauce kind of heat, fresh ginger brings a warm and spicy element to the glaze.
- Garnishes galore: garnish to your heart’s content! My favorites are hot pepper flakes, fresh orange slices, and scallions! You can also consider toasted sesame seeds, fresh herbs like dill or parsley, or a touch of fresh citrus zest for a burst of freshness.
What To Serve With Pan Seared Salmon
The best part of this recipe is its versatility! With an Asian flair, the best way to serve this pan seared salmon is with other Asian flavors. Here are a few ideas:
- Noodles: make it a full meal and serve the pan seared salmon alongside Peanut Noodles or prepared sesame noodles.
- Side veggies: continue with the Asian-inspired flavors and serve with a side of Sesame Garlic Baby Bok Choy or Sesame Sugar Snap Peas.
- Sticky rice: keep it simple and serve with sticky rice or even jasmine rice! You can even season the rice with a touch of rice vinegar and chopped green onions.
- Fresh salads: serve alongside a salad with Creamy Asian Dressing or an Easy Asian Cucumber Salad.
More Salmon Recipes You’ll Love!
- Fresh Salmon Croquettes
- Salmon Salad (With Lemon & Dill)
- Asian Salmon Rice Bowl
- Simple Poached Salmon
- The Ultimate Smoked Salmon Avocado Toast
- 1 pound skinless salmon
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 large garlic cloves minced
- 2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice roughly half an orange juiced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ⅛ teaspoon orange zest
- Salt to taste
- Red pepper flakes optional
- Chopped scallions & fresh orange slices to garnish (optional)
- In a bowl, add minced garlic, honey, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, freshly squeezed orange juice, orange zest, red pepper flakes, and salt. Whisk until well combined.
- Pour mixture into a saucepan that’s been preheated to medium/high heat. Let glaze cook, caramelize and thicken for 5-7 minutes, stirring often. About 3 minutes in, mixture will begin bubbling rapidly. About 4-5 minutes in, the bubbles will start to turn color, from light brown to dark mahogany. After this color change, let mixture continue cooking for an additional minute or so, continuing to stir often. Mixture should be syrupy in consistency and darker in color.
- Remove glaze from heat and let cool.
- Cut salmon into roughly ½ inch thick fillets by slicing fillets in half lengthwise (see video below for step-by-step directions!).
- Preheat a large skillet over medium/high heat with a tablespoon of olive oil.
- Add salmon fillets, at least an inch apart from each other, to the hot skillet. Let salmon cook on side #1 for 1 minute.
- Flip salmon to side #2 (I use 2 spatulas to flip fillets without breaking them). Cook side #2 for 1-2 minutes until middle of salmon is slightly flaky and opaque, or the internal temp registers 135-145℉ depending on how done you like your salmon.
- Immediately remove pan from hot burner. Drizzle cooled glaze on salmon (the longer the glaze cools, the thicker it will become).
- Plate right away, garnishing with chopped scallions and fresh orange wedges if desired.