The glaze is the star of this easy and elegant seared 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.
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.
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.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer until thickened, about a minute.
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.
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.
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.
Serve and enjoy!
Note: I like to sauté the fish for a crisp top crust, but you can also bake, broil or grill it.
My Recipe Videos
Pan-Seared Salmon with Soy Mustard Glaze
For the Glaze
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce (use gluten-free if needed)
- 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
- 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.
- 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.)
- Transfer the salmon fillets to plates or a platter and spoon the glaze generously over top. Serve immediately.
- Calories: 426
- Fat: 26 g
- Saturated fat: 5 g
- Carbohydrates: 11 g
- Sugar: 9 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Protein: 33 g
- Sodium: 734 mg
- Cholesterol: 86 mg
This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.