Pan-Seared Salmon with Soy Mustard Glaze

5 stars based on 5 votes

pan-seared-salmon-with-soy-mustard-glaze

The glaze is the star of this easy and elegant salmon dish. It’s tangy and sweet like any good Asian-style glaze, but the addition of whole grain mustard takes it over the top. The little mustard seeds glisten in the sauce and “pop” in your mouth, releasing bits of intense, sharp mustard flavor when you bite into them.  

ingredients

Before we get started, a few words about the ingredients. First, most supermarkets now sell salmon pre-cut into individual portions, which makes it so easy to prepare. Try to find uniform pieces cut from the center that are narrow and tall rather than wide and flat — they’ll fit better in the pan and they make for a much prettier presentation.  Also, be sure they are cut into small portions (6 ounces or less), otherwise they’ll be difficult to cook fully on the stovetop. (If you want to use larger portions, it’s best to sear them on one side on the stovetop, and then flip them and finish cooking in a 350 degree oven.) Second, if you’re unfamiliar with whole grain mustard, it’s mustard in which the mustard seeds are mixed in whole instead of ground to create a rustic, grainy texture. I like Maille Old Style Whole Grain Dijon Mustard if you can find it. And, finally, mirin is a sweet Japanese rice wine that can be found in the Asian section of most supermarkets.

whisking-glaze

Begin by making the glaze, which is adapted from Cook’s Illustrated. Whisk together the brown sugar, soy sauce, mirin, sherry vinegar, whole grain mustard, water, corn starch and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan. Be sure to do this off the heat — the corn starch will not dissolve in hot liquid and you don’t want lumps.

bubbling-glaze

Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer until thickened, about a minute.

seasoning-salmon

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season the salmon fillets with kosher salt then place the salmon in the pan. Cook until golden brown on the first side, about 4 minutes.

sauteing-salmon

Turn the fish over with a spatula, reduce the heat to medium and then cook until the fillets feel firm to the touch, 3-4 minutes more.

sauteing-salmon-2

Transfer the fillets to plates and top them generously with the glaze. You’ll have plenty of extra glaze, as it makes a terrific sauce for whatever else you’re serving with the fish — in this case, simple roasted broccoli and jasmine rice.

spooning-glaze-over-salmon

Serve and enjoy!

pan-seared-salmon-with-soy-mustard-glaze

Note: I like to sauté the fish for a crisp top crust, but you can also bake, broil or grill it.

Pan-Seared Salmon with Soy Mustard Glaze

Servings: 6
Total Time: 15 Minutes

Ingredients

For the Glaze

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard, best quality such as Maille
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

For the Salmon

  • Six 5-6 oz fillets center-cut salmon, skinned
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, for cooking

Instructions

  1. Whisk together all of the ingredients for the glaze in a small saucepan. (Be sure to do this off the heat, as cornstarch won't dissolve in hot liquid.) Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to low and simmer until thickened, about 1 minute. Cover to keep warm and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season the salmon fillets with kosher salt. When the oil starts to shimmer, place the salmon, skin-side up, in the pan. Cook until golden brown on the first side, about 4 minutes. Turn the fish over with a spatula, then reduce the heat to medium and cook until the fillets feel firm to the touch, 3-4 minutes more. (If all of the fillets won't fit in the pan, cook the fish in two batches.)
  3. Transfer the salmon fillets to plates or a platter and spoon the glaze generously over top. Serve immediately.

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    i made this on Friday night for dinner. I substitued balsamic vinegar for Sherry and it was just fine. I love salmon and it was nice to find a new way to make it. 5 stars!

    - alison on December 7, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this last night for dinner. I paired it with “Balsamic-Glazed Roasted Beets”, and it was great. The two dishes kind of clashed a little with each other, but that’s on me. However, they were really tasty on their own! I didn’t have the mirin, so I substituted with a sweet, light white wine, and it was still really yummy! Tons of flavors – I like the sweet and salty combo. I could totally just mix the sauce with some rice and be happy. I made extra sauce so that next time, I can just cook the fish… I suspect I can keep the sauce in the fridge for about a week and still be ok using it. Happy cooking!

    - cool tree on December 5, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi Jenn, can I use light brown sugar instead of dark?

    - Masuda on November 11, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Masuda, Yes, it will work just fine.

      - Jenn on November 11, 2014 Reply
      • 5 stars

        I finally made this dish and it turned out great. I also made mirin glazed salmon, and between these two salmon dishes, mirin glazed salmon was everyone’s favorite. Thank you so much as always for your great recipes.

        - Masuda on December 5, 2014 Reply
  • Hi Jenn! The sauce didn’t thicken up like it looked like on the pictures. I boiled it a little longer and kept it on low a bit longer as well but it still seemed a bit too runny. Any suggestions? It tasted really nice on the salmon!
    Thanks!

    - Andrea on August 23, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Andrea, Sorry you had trouble with the glaze thickening up; it definitely should. Did you add the cornstarch? Next time you can always simmer a little longer to get the desired consistency or just increase the cornstarch to 1 tablespoon. Hope that helps!

      - Jenn on August 23, 2014 Reply
  • For me, the sauce didn’t thicken up like it looks like it was supposed to. I tried to boil it a little longer and then turn to low. I waited longer than the minute suggested also. Should it simmer (little bubbles) when on low? Thanks!

    - Andrea on August 23, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Easy to make , excellent flavors , another winner at my table….thank you Jenn.

    - Don on July 30, 2014 Reply
  • This was amazing! I had never made salmon before but this recipe inspired me! I used the left over sauce on chicken wings the next day and they were delish! I have already shared this with my friends and family!

    - Megan on November 7, 2013 Reply
  • The recipe was very easy to follow and I LOVE how easy it is to make such a nice sauce! The sauce went very well with the salmon and it tasted great mixed into my veggies as well!

    - jenni on November 5, 2013 Reply
  • This was AMAZING! & so easy!

    - Joy on October 29, 2013 Reply
  • This recipe for Pan-Seared Salmon with Soy Mustard Glaze was a big hit at my dinner table!! The Salmon was so sweet and just melted in the mouth. I have been trying to introduce more fish to our dinner table and this one was a hit. There wasn’t any left on the serving plate. Even my 5 year old granddaughter had seconds!
    Also it was so easy to make. I also cooked/braised brussell sprouts which complimented the salmon.

    - Jettebeen on October 25, 2013 Reply
  • It’s on our menu for next week!

    - Julie on October 24, 2013 Reply
  • Made this using fresh tuna. Amazing!

    - Rick on October 21, 2013 Reply
  • We need to eat gluten free…could I use tamari sauce instead of soy?

    - Sandy on October 18, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Sandy, Yes that would be fine.

      - Jenn on October 18, 2013 Reply
  • I tried it last night and it was awesome!!

    - Jenni on October 18, 2013 Reply
  • This looks yummy, is a different approach to salmon and has my favorite mustard, too! Gonna try it this weekend :D

    - Cindi on October 17, 2013 Reply
    • Hope you like it, Cindi!

      - Jenn on October 17, 2013 Reply
  • Sounds like another winner from your kitchen. Am looking forward to making this very soon.

    - Jane Palmer on October 17, 2013 Reply
  • Sounds great! Guess I’m making salmon tonight. Thanks.

    - Karen Purdy on October 17, 2013 Reply
  • Yummmmm looks lovely & sounds so good. Wish I was doing Salmon tonight now!

    - dogsmum on October 17, 2013 Reply

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