Maple & Ginger Glazed Salmon

It’s Tuesday afternoon- do you know what you’re having for dinner? How about salmon? This Maple & Ginger Glazed Salmon is one of my go-to weeknight dinner recipes. It has a short ingredient list, it takes less twenty minutes to make, and best of all, it’s absolutely delish!

The maple-ginger glaze has so much flavor, thanks to fresh ginger, maple syrup, minced garlic, soy sauce and rice vinegar, and has even won over salmon skeptics. Case in point: my boyfriend Joe, who claims that no one ever really wants to eat salmon, loves this recipe.

Salmon has a reputation for being difficult to cook at home –  it sticks to the pan, it falls apart, and worst of all, there are only a few seconds between perfectly cooked and overcooked. There are few sadder foods than a piece of overcooked fish.

I wanted to figure out a way to avoid these sad-salmon pitfalls once and for all, so I did some research and cooked salmon using a bunch of different methods. This recipe uses the one I found to be the easiest, the most reliable, and the most delicious. I think you’ll find that if you follow a few important rules, the technique is actually very easy to master. You got this!

First, I always use a cast-iron skillet. It retains heat the best and helps give the salmon that perfect, restaurant-quality sear. You can also use a stainless steel saute pan, but I don’t recommend a nonstick skillet. It may be tempting, but the salmon never sears as well, and also tends to move around too much.

Second, don’t be tempted to check on the salmon too early and give it a nudge in the pan. The skin needs uninterrupted direct contact with the smoking hot pan in order to become crispy, and to release from the pan when it’s time to flip the fish.

Finally, keep in mind that cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your salmon fillets. If you have cooked the salmon according to the recipe and it’s still rare in the center, transfer it to a plate and cover it with foil for 5 minutes. The salmon will continue to cook as it rests.

One final note, while the recipe serves 4 as written, it’s very easily cut in half if you’re only cooking for two. I don’t love leftover fish 🙁  so I only make as much as I need that night.

You’re ready to get cooking!  I hope this recipe becomes a regular in your weeknight dinner rotation – it’s definitely one in mine!

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4.19 from 16 votes

Maple & Ginger Glazed Salmon

Servings: 4


  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh garlic
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 (6-ounce) center-cut salmon filets, skin-on
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Thinly sliced scallions, for serving (optional)


  • In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Set aside.
  • Heat a large (12-inch) dry cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for 3 minutes, until it’s extremely hot (a drop of water flicked onto the pan should turn to steam almost immediately.) Meanwhile, pat the salmon fillets dry with paper towels, brush both sides with olive oil, and season all over with salt and pepper.
  • When the pan is ready, place the salmon fillets skin-side down in the pan and cook over medium-heat heat without moving for 4 minutes. Using a pair of tongs, wiggle the fillets to loosen the skin from the bottom of the pan, then carefully flip. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 4 to 5 more minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets. Insert a small knife into the thickest part of the salmon to check for doneness. The salmon should be slightly opaque in the center.
  • Transfer to a rimmed plate or serving dish, and pour the glaze over the salmon, making sure to coat the fillets. Sprinkle with the scallions if using and serve hot.
    Note: I grate the ginger and garlic on a microplane zester. If you don't have one, you can finely mince them with a knife instead.
    Copyright 2018, Lidey Heuck, All Rights Reserved
  1. 5 stars
    Thanks Lidey. Heard about you thru my daughter. This dish made my weekend.
    Told a few friends and will tell more.

  2. 5 stars
    I loved this recipe. Lately I’ve been using steelhead trout instead of salmon because my husband prefers it. I think the timing for both fish are about the same. Delicious – I served with wild rice and sautéed green beans.

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve used this recipe several times and it never fails me. Thanks, Lidey, for the super clear directions.

  4. 5 stars
    I used this salmon recipe for a quick and easy weeknight dinner and it did not disappoint! I’ve always had some trouble with recipes that call for cooking fish and meat in a cast iron, but the careful instructions here in your recipe led me to cook my salmon just right. I wish more recipes had this level of care and detail!

  5. Hi Lidey,
    I was hesitant about this recipe because the sauce is not used during the cooking process. I must say your recipe exceeded our expectations, thank you. I did bake the salmon, started the salmon on the stove to crisp the skin and baked 425 degrees 15 minutes. Topped with this delicious sauce after cooking. The magic was using the microplane for the ginger and garlic. Reminded me of a wonderful salmon skin roll! Topped ours with scallions and sesame seeds. Company worthy! Myrna

    1. Hi Myrna, Thanks so much for your comment! I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe! It is unusual that the glaze isn’t used until the end, but I love getting a nice sear on the salmon before adding any sauce/flavoring. And the microplane is such a great tool (the only hard part is cleaning it!!)

  6. This sounds delicious but I’m confused – the recipe says to pour the glaze on the cooked fish *after* it comes out of the pan, but a reader questioned whether the glaze would burn if cooked in the oven. So is there glaze on the pan-cooked fish while it’s in the cast iron?

    1. Hi Nancy, I think I got mixed up when responding to that comment- I’ll correct that! The glaze is not brushed on the salmon until after it is cooked. I’m sorry for the confusion!! I hope you decide to try this recipe – it’s one of my favorites!

  7. So good. I put some of the glaze on the fish and some back in the hot pan to carmalize a bit to pour over roasted broccoli. The broccoli with the sauce was fantastic!

  8. This does sound easy and delicious. Is there any reason to keep the skin on? I prefer to remove it before cooking.

  9. Oh so easy and delicious !! Served it with sushi rice and roasted cauliflower..
    I had never cooked salmon on the stovetop …loved how the skin came off when it’s turned and it was slightly pink in the center not the least bit dry .

  10. I have been pleased with your recipes that I make. Often I print them and write comments or changes my family would prefer. There is nothing on the print out that shows the recipe is yours!
    You should correct that:)

    1. Hi! Thanks for writing! I noticed that too and am actually working on adding the site name to printed recipe. Good catch!

  11. This is the way I prepare salmon weekly. It is the best flavor for salmon in my opinion. Our local restaurant served it and I recreated the recipe. I bake mine on top of shiitake mushrooms. I had to comment and tell your readers how great this recipe is!

    1. Hi Alexa, I haven’t tried making this salmon in the oven, but I would worry that the glaze would burn. You could bake the salmon with olive oil, salt and pepper in the oven, and then drizzle the glaze over it just before serving! If you try that, let me know how it turns out!!

4.19 from 16 votes (11 ratings without comment)

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