Simple Pan Seared Salmon

pan seared salmon plated with quinoa.

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5 from 11 reviews

Simple Pan Seared Salmon with a Ginger Soy Marinade. Easy, tasty and healthy seafood recipe!


  • 12 ozs wild salmon fillet
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce, preferably lower sodium
  • 1 tbsp canola or similar oil
  • 1 tsp brown rice vinegar
  • tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • generous pinch ginger


  1. Get salmon ready: Take the salmon out of the fridge before you get ready to put the marinade together so it starts coming closer to room temperature.
  2. Make the marinade: combine the remaining ingredients, soy sauce through ginger, in a mixing bowl.
  3. Prep the salmon: Rinse and pat the salmon dry, then place it in a large bowl or plastic bag. Pour about 2/3 of the marinade over this fish. Set the remainder of the marinade aside. Turn the fish over gently a couple times so that it becomes well coated with the marinade. Let the fish marinate for 10 before cooking.
  4. Heat the skillet: After the salmon has marinated for 10 minutes, spray a skillet with cooking oil and heat the pan on medium high.
  5. Sear salmon skin side down: When the pan is good and hot, remove the fish from the marinade and gently shake off some of the excess marinade–but you’ll want to keep some to cook in with the fish. Place the fish skin side down, and cook for 4 minutes without moving the fish.
  6. Cook the flesh side: After 4 minutes, use a spatula to turn the fish over, so that the flesh side is down. Cook the salmon 2 minutes after turning it flesh side down.
  7. Finish the salmon: Turn the fish back to the skin side down one more time. Spoon a couple tablespoons of the reserved marinade over the fish after turning it, and let it cook in for 1 to 2 more minutes. At this point, gently cut open the fish at a thick spot to check for doneness. The actual time will depend on the thickness of your fillet, but it likely be done after the 8 minutes total cook time.
  8. Take salmon from heat: When the fish is cooked, remove from the pan to a plate, and loosely tent with foil. Let it rest a couple of minutes, letting it cook a bit more. The skin will sometimes come off during the cooking process. If it doesn’t, it can be easily pulled off with your fingers or a knife prior to serving.
  9. Serve the salmon: Portion the salmon and serve.


  • Use a non-stick skillet for this recipe.
  • I have a strong preference for the flavor of wild salmon. You could try farm raised salmon if you like, but the cooking time may vary a bit. I have only made this with wild salmon.
  • Not moving the salmon for the first 4 minutes it is on the pan is key. After 4 minutes, you should be able to turn the salmon over with the skin in tact. However, it is a good idea to have a 2nd pan ready as a backup to finish the salmon, if the skin gets seriously stuck onto the skillet.
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