Pan-Fried Salmon with a Tangy Thai Sauce

Pan-Seared Salmon with Special Thai Sauce - Exquisite!
D. Schmidt
  • 25 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Yield: Serves 2-4
Ratings (31)

Learn how to pan-fry salmon simply and easily, searing in the flavors and omega-3 goodness of the fish. What makes this recipe so special is the tangy Thai lemongrass-honey sauce that marries so perfectly with salmon's natural flavors. An extremely delicious recipe that can be made in under 30 minutes!  Great for an everyday dinner entree that even your kids will love.

What You'll Need

  • 2 to 4 salmon fillets (if making more, double the marinade/sauce) - if frozen, thaw in a bowl of cool water
  • 1 to 3 tbsp. canola oil (or other vegetable oil) for frying
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar (or substitute white vinegar or apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 fresh red chili, minced or finely sliced, OR substitute 1/2 to 1 tsp. cayenne pepper (omit for mild salmon)
  • 1 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. dark soy sauce (or substitute 1 more Tbsp. regular soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp. minced lemongrass (see link for lemongrass how-to)
  • Optional garnish: toasted sesame seeds

How to Make It

  1. To make the marinade/sauce, place all marinade ingredients together in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir as you bring the sauce to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and allow to simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered. The sauce will gradually thicken (the smell of the vinegar is rather pungent as it cooks). When sauce has thickened, place in the refrigerator or freezer to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Place salmon fillets in a flat baking pan so that fillets aren't piled on top of each other. When the sauce/marinade has cooled (warm instead of hot), spoon 2 tbsp. over each fillet, 1 per side, slathering it over the flesh (reserve the remaining sauce for later). Marinate in the refrigerator 10 minutes.
  1. Place a frying pan or wok on medium-high heat, allowing it to warm up for at least 1 minute before adding the oil - this will help prevent salmon from sticking.
  2. When ​the pan is hot, add 1 to 2 tbsp. oil, lifting and turning the pan to distribute evenly. Now place fillets in the pan.
  3. Allow salmon to fry at least 2 minutes undisturbed before turning. If you turn too soon, it will stick. Instead, allow it to "sear", and it will come freely away from the bottom of the pan.  While salmon is frying, cover with a lid.
  4. Fry a total of 3 to 5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the fish. Salmon is done when inner flesh is no longer transparent and it begins to flake easily.
  5. To serve: arrange salmon on a serving platter or plates. Reheat sauce briefly and spoon some over each fillet. Any remaining sauce can be served as a side dish - delicious spooned over rice or vegetables!
  6. Serve with Thai jasmine rice, potatoes, or salad. Enjoy!