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Pan-Seared Salmon with Soy Mustard Glaze

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Tangy and sweet, the glaze makes this easy but elegant seared salmon dish.

seared salmon

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.

What you’ll need to make seared salmoningredients

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.

How to make seared salmon


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.

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Pan-Seared Salmon with Soy Mustard Glaze

Tangy and sweet, the glaze makes this easy but elegant seared salmon dish.

Servings: 6
Total Time: 15 Minutes


For the Glaze

  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce (use gluten-free if needed)
  • 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, 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.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • 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.

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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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • 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!

    • — Cyndy on April 4, 2022
    • Reply

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