The secret to pan-fried salmon, plus three different glazes


Pan-fried salmon

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Salmon is, according to Seafood Health Facts, an excellent source of protein, vitamins and minerals. And it’s an excellent way for omnivores to get their omega-3 fatty acids. Preparing it yourself, however, might pose a bit of a challenge if you’re not used to it. After shelling out those hard-earned dollars for a gorgeous salmon steak, the last thing you want to do is overcook it or end up with otherwise disappointing results. Don’t worry, though. We’ve got your back.

HellaWella contributor and food blogger Judah Kelber shows us how to pan fry salmon without having it all go wrong, and shares three of his favorite glazes for some variety.

“Some people shy away from cooking salmon on the stovetop, because either the skin doesn't get crispy enough or the salmon gets overcooked,” says Kelber.

The secret: “Get the pan and oil extremely hot before you put the salmon in, then turn the heat down as soon as you put the salmon in the pan,” explains Kelber. “The skin gets nice and crispy (and for those who don't like eating the skin, it peels off easily), and the salmon cooks at the lower heat to get evenly cooked throughout without overcooking.”

Pan-fried salmon


Pan-fried salmon



  • 1 salmon fillet

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • Seasoning to taste (I used salt and Rogan Josh)



  1. Pat the salmon dry, then sprinkle seasoning on top.

  2. Pour the oil in a pan and heat over medium-high heat until the oil just starts to smoke.

  3. Add salmon, skin down and reduce heat to medium-low.

  4. Cook, without turning, until the top of the salmon starts to change from raw to slightly cooked.

  5. Flip over and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

  6. Remove from pan, serve and enjoy!



You can use just about any seasoning you'd like. The classic lemon, dill and salt is always a crowd pleaser.


And now for the glazes.


Maple-soy glazed salmon

Maple-soy glazed salmon

Kelber puts The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook’s recipe to the test, and these are his results.


Mustard and brown sugar glazed salmon

Mustard and brown sugar glazed salmon

Kelber then uses the maple-soy glaze recipe as a jumping-off point to create this mustard and brown sugar glaze.


Pomegranate-glazed salmon

Pomegranat-glazed salmon

Last, Kelber uses this recipe of pomegranate glaze by The Way the Cookie Crumbles for mouthwatering results. Check it out.


Judah Kelber is a father, husband, Marine and, in his free time, a systems administrator for the State of Oregon. He also really likes cooking. His cooking blog can be found at HeyJude.typepad.com. He's currently in the midst of a pressure cooker addiction, but don't let that scare you away.