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Pan Seared Salmon with Butter Soy Sauce

Flaky butter based salmon drizzled with a light soy sauce dressing. This dish is ready in just 15 minutes and guaranteed to be a weeknight staple! Enjoy with salad greens or a bed of steam rice.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 3 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Cantonese
Servings 2 people


  • 8 or 9 inch non-stick fry pan


For Salmon Preparation

  • 1 lb fresh salmon filet with skin on norwegian or atlantic
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper (optional)

For Cooking Salmon

  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter

For Pan Sauce

  • 2 sprigs green onion cut into 2 inch sections
  • 2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth or water
  • 2 tsp corn starch mixed with 2 tbsp water to make slurry
  • chopped green onion for garnish (optional)


  • Cut salmon length wise into two portions - each piece should be less than 2.5 inches thick for easy flipping
  • Sprinkle salt, garlic powder and black pepper evenly on all sides of the salmon. Rub in seasonings
  • Turn heat on medium. Heat 9 inch non stick fry pan. Add olive oil
  • Place salmon skin side down on fry pan. You should hear a satisfying sizzle! Lower heat to low immediately
  • Pan fry salmon skin side down on low heat till the pink flesh is pale 1/2 up from the bottom. You should see the skin change from light (cooked) to dark (uncooked). This should take approximately 7-10 mins depending on how thick your salmon piece is. In the meantime mix the corn starch slurry if you haven't already
  • Gently flip and cook the top of the salmon for 1 min. The middle of the salmon should still be a darker pink color and the fat shouldn't be rendering out (i.e. white juices coming out)
  • Gently flip back skin side down
  • Add the 2 tbsp butter to the pan. As it melts down and starts to foam, spoon it over the salmon. Spoon for 1 min
  • Remove salmon and put it on your serving plate. Squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice using the lemon wedge and sprinkle a pinch of salt. Let rest while you work on the pan sauce
  • Change heat to medium. On same pan add green onions and fry for 30 secs
  • Add chicken broth/water, soy sauce and let simmer till gently bubbling
  • Turn heat to low. Add corn starch slurry, stir until sauce thickens (about 1 min). If sauce is too thick add a bit more liquid
  • Mix in sesame oil
  • Pour sauce over salmon. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with green onions
  • Serve immediately
Keyword panseared salmon, soy sauce salmon, weeknight dinner
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