Pan-Seared Salmon with Soy Mustard Glaze

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Whip up this quick and elegant salmon with a soy-mustard glaze—full of flavor and ready in just 15 minutes!

Pan-Seared Salmon with Soy Mustard Glaze

This salmon recipe puts a fresh spin on the familiar teriyaki salmon, and it’s a breeze to whip up on a busy weeknight. The real highlight is the glaze—it’s tangy and sweet, reminiscent of classic Asian-style sauces, yet the addition of whole grain mustard and sherry vinegar takes it in a new and delicious direction. The mustard not only introduces a burst of sharp, intense flavor but also adds visual appeal as the seeds glisten in the sauce and literally “pop” with flavor. It’s perfect for when you want something simple yet sophisticated.

“Wonderful recipe, have used it several times for dinners with guests, with rave reviews each time. It’s simple, quick, and so classy and flavorful.”


What You’ll Need To Make Salmon With Soy Mustard Glaze

ingredients for pan-seared salmon with soy mustard glaze.
  • Dark brown sugar: Adds sweetness to balance the saltiness of the soy sauce and the tanginess of the vinegar.
  • Soy sauce: Provides the savory, umami flavor foundation for the glaze.
  • Mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine): Contributes a mild sweetness and helps to create a glossy finish on the glaze; found in the Asian section of most supermarkets.
  • Sherry vinegar: Introduces a slight acidity to the glaze.
  • Whole grain mustard: Adds texture and a piquant taste to the glaze, complementing the other flavors.
  • Water: Used to adjust the consistency of the glaze.
  • Cornstarch: Acts as a thickener to help the glaze coat to the salmon.
  • Red pepper flakes: Provides a hint of heat, adding another layer of flavor to the glaze.
  • Salmon fillets: Try to find uniform pieces that are narrow and tall rather than wide and flat—they’ll fit better in the pan and 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.
  • Vegetable oil: Used for cooking; it has a high smoke point, making it ideal for searing the salmon.
  • Jump to the printable recipe for precise measurements

Step-by-Step Instructions

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

soy mustard glaze ingredients in sauce pan.

Whisk to combine.

whisked soy mustard glaze in saucepan with whisk.

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

thick glaze on spoon over saucepan.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Meawshile, season the salmon fillets with salt.

seasoned salmon fillets on white plate.

Place the salmon in the hot pan. Cook until golden brown on the first side, about 4 minutes. Then turn the fish over with a spatula, reduce the heat to medium and then cook until the fillets feel firm to the touch, 3 to 4 minutes more.

partially seared salmon fillets in pan.

Transfer the fillets to a platter or plates.

seared salmon fillets on white platter.

Top them generously with the glaze. You’ll have plenty of extra glaze; it makes a terrific sauce for whatever else you’re serving with the fish.

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Pan-Seared Salmon with Soy Mustard Glaze

Whip up this quick and elegant salmon with a soy-mustard glaze—full of flavor and ready in just 15 minutes!

Servings: 6
Total Time: 15 Minutes


For the Glaze

  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ 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
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

For the Salmon

  • Six (5-6 oz) fillets center-cut salmon, skinned
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, for cooking


  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, presentation side-down, 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 to 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.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

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  • 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, 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.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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  • Absolutely delicious. I made a salmon bowl out of this, serving over rice with avocado and topping with your sauce and sesame seeds. So good.

    Question – can I freeze the leftover sauce?

    • — Kristina on May 5, 2024
    • Reply
    • Glad you enjoyed, Kristina – and yes I think it would freeze nicely.

      • — Jenn on May 5, 2024
      • Reply
  • The ingredients call for skinned salmon fillets, but the instructions say place salmon skin side up in pan. Please clarify. Thank you.

    • — Adele on April 20, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Adele, I just recently changed the wording in the recipe to make it less confusing. The salmon should begin cooking presentation side-down. Hope that clarifies and that you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 22, 2024
      • Reply
  • This is definitely a keeper! I generally find salmon boring when I prepare it at home. I am trying to incorporate it into our diet more because it’s so healthy. I halved the recipe and it came out perfectly. I made this for three adults and thought that two fillets would suffice–it didn’t! We could each have happily eaten one entire fillet because it’s just do delicious!!
    I *removed* the skin (recipe is a bit confusing on this since it says to cook skin side down first although it calls for skinned fillets). I liked this skinless method because I was able to do a light sear on both sides. I did not have sherry vinegar so I used unseasoned Mirin/rice vinegar as a substitute; I also used light brown sugar instead of dark. I served it with steamed broccoli and white rice sprinkled with JFC-Nori Komi Furikake.

    • — Julia C on April 17, 2024
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen

    I made the exact recipe. It was delicious. Thanks. Only thing I added was scallions on top of glaze.

    • — Poonam Sharma on December 16, 2023
    • Reply
  • Substitutes work, so don’t hesitate to try it. Half of the recipe for two people also works well. I had mirin, but used a raspberry balsamic which added an amazing flavor. Upped the red pepper a bit, kept everything else the same. Whole grain mustard is more fun and adds texture to the glaze. We had roasted cauliflower with it and the glaze was excellent with that too.

    • — Jeanne F on October 20, 2023
    • Reply
  • I wanted this salmon! Ok up front, I made substitutions! I substituted white wine for mirin and just increased the brown sugar a tad. I substituted sherry vinegar with balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard for whole grain. It was still the best salmon I have ever eaten. And I am talking restaurant quality. The technique to cook the salmon was spot on! I will never air fry it again! Jenn thank you for such amazing recipes!!!!! Jump in guys, don’t be afraid to substitute because the basics are amazing!!!!!!

    • — kathleen roe on June 7, 2023
    • Reply
  • I was looking for a different take on salmon for a quick dinner, and ran across this delicious version. Luckily I had everything in the pantry for the amazing glaze. So easy to prepare, and I served with some mixed asian-style vegetables. With the complex flavors and crispy skin, this is like a restaurant dish. I can think of several ways to use the glaze for other meals. Thanks!

    • — PaulainVA on September 25, 2022
    • Reply
  • This dish is so delish. Love the sauce. Can I use this sauce on chicken wings also.

    • — Bev on August 8, 2022
    • Reply
    • Glad you like it! Yes, this would work on wings, but keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. I’d love to hear what you think of it on wings!

      • — Jenn on August 10, 2022
      • Reply
  • So glad that I tried this tonight. Delicious!

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