This easy and healthy Pan-Fried Teriyaki Salmon takes less than 30 minutes to put together but tastes just like it came straight from a Japanese restaurant. Seared salmon portions covered in a sweet homemade teriyaki sauce, topped with sesame seeds and chopped scallions.
This quick and easy Teriyaki Salmon will be your new favorite weeknight go-to meal.
Perfect pan-seared salmon portions enrobed in a thick and sweet homemade teriyaki sauce, topped with sesame seeds and fresh chopped scallions, then served with steamed rice.
Our family eats a LOT of salmon and this is one of our favorite ways to enjoy this healthy fish. There’s no marinating required so this dish comes together in no time.
It will taste just like it came straight from a Japanese restaurant and nobody will guess that it took you less than 25 minutes to put together (and at a fraction of the price of takeout!)
How to Make Pan-Fried Teriyaki Salmon
We’ll need 4 salmon fillets (3 – 4oz each) for this recipe.
Take the salmon out of the fridge and leave them at room temperature for about 15 minutes before you start cooking. Getting the fish closer to room temperature will ensure a nice sear when you place them into the hot pan.
Season the salmon fillets generously with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
I like salmon with the skin on, but if you prefer skinless, that works too.
When cooking any sort of fish, it is super important to make sure that your pan is screaming hot before you add the fish to the pan to prevent it from sticking.
Heat a frying pan or a skillet over medium-high heat.
To test if the pan is hot enough, pour about half a teaspoon of water into the frying pan – it should bead up and almost dance and glide around the pan. If it starts to boil and evaporates almost immediately, it’s not ready. If the water disperses into tiny little beads right away, it’s too hot – remove the pan from the heat for about 30 seconds to cool it down, then try again.
When the pan is at the perfect temperature for frying (and there is no more water residue), add 3 tablespoons of cooking oil to coat the entire surface of the pan. Give it about 10 – 15 seconds for the oil to heat up, then place the salmon portions into the pan, skin side up.
Sear the salmon for 3 – 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of your salmon portions. Flip the salmon over, then sear for another 3 – 5 minutes.
Be careful not to overcook your salmon. It should flake easily and be slightly firm to the touch.
Set the cooked salmon aside to allow them to rest.
I usually start working on the teriyaki sauce while the salmon is cooking to save time.
Make sure to stir well till there are no more cornstarch clumps.
Bring the sauce to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.
The cornstarch will cause the teriyaki sauce to thicken fairly quickly; after about 2 -3 minutes. As soon as the sauce thickens, remove the saucepan from the heat. This sauce should be about the same consistency as maple syrup.
Place the cooked salmon portions on a serving plate, then drizzle a good amount of the teriyaki sauce over each piece.
Top with sesame seeds and chopped scallions, then serve immediately with steamed rice.
Frequently Asked Questions
The sugar in the teriyaki sauce will burn too quickly, giving the dish a burnt, bitter taste. Searing the fish on its own then adding the teriyaki sauce later ensures that each fillet is cooked to perfection without tainting its flavor.
Marinating the salmon in teriyaki sauce works best if you are baking this dish. For searing, it’s best to keep the sauce separate from the fish until you are ready to serve the dish.
Store leftover cooked teriyaki salmon in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days. If you have any leftover rice, you can add some rice to the container so that it can absorb some of that yummy teriyaki sauce.
Reheat in the microwave on high for 1 – 2 minutes.
Easy Pan-Seared Teriyaki Salmon
- 4 salmon fillets 3 – 4 oz each
- Garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- Sesame seeds for garnish
- Chopped scallions for garnish
- Season both sides of each salmon fillet with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Heat a frying pan or a skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is at the proper temperature for pan-frying (see notes), add cooking oil to coat the surface. Allow the oil to heat up (about 10 – 15 seconds).
- Carefully place the salmon portions into the pan, skin side up first.
- Sear for 3 – 5 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of your salmon. Be careful not to overcook your salmon. It should flake easily and be slightly firm to the touch.
- Remove the salmon from the pan and set aside to rest.
- Prepare the teriyaki sauce by combining the water, soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar and cornstarch. Make sure to stir well till there are no more cornstarch clumps.
- Bring the sauce to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. As soon as the sauce thickens (it should be about the same consistency as maple syrup), remove the saucepan from the heat.
- Place the cooked salmon on a serving plate, then drizzle the teriyaki sauce over each piece.
- Top with sesame seeds and chopped scallions, then serve with steamed rice.
Jumped straight here to the recipe? Please consider coming back to read the whole post when you have the time as I have included step-by-step instructions with photos.