Easy maple glazed salmon is a restaurant-quality dinner at home. Simple ingredients and options for baking or pan-searing make it effortless. Serve with noodles, rice or vegetables for a quick and healthy dinner.
⭐️ Why this recipe works
- Balanced flavors: The natural sweetness of the maple syrup is perfectly offset by the umami-rich soy sauce, creating an indulgent and light glaze.
- Versatility: Though salmon is the star here, this recipe works wonders with other fish like trout or halibut, making it adaptable for different palates and availabilities.
- Simple ingredients: With just a handful of ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your pantry, this recipe is accessible and straightforward.
- Health Benefits: Salmon is known for its high omega-3 fatty acid content, making this dish delicious and nutritious.
🧾 Ingredients overview
In this section, I've outlined the key ingredients and why they're essential in the recipe. For precise measurements, refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- Maple syrup: The star ingredient that adds a natural and refined sweetness.
- Soy sauce: Brings a depth of flavor, balancing the sweetness with its salty, umami character. *Use tamari for a gluten-free option.
- Fresh garlic and ginger: These aromatics add a punch of flavor, enhancing the overall taste profile.
- Salmon: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, it's the perfect canvas for the maple glaze. Optional: Try using trout or halibut instead of salmon for a twist.
👩🏻🍳 How to make maple glazed salmon step by step
- Prepare the marinade: Whisk together maple syrup, soy sauce, minced garlic, and ginger in a bowl.
- Marinate the salmon: Place salmon fillets in a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over, ensuring each piece is well-coated. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Cook: Cook the salmon until the flesh is flaking away easily with a fork. *See cooking methods below.
Baked salmon vs. Pan seared salmon
There are two ways you can cook this salmon. This recipe has been tested both ways many times, and both are amazing! Below are some points to help you choose the best way for you.
- Baked Salmon
- Uniform texture: Baking salmon in the oven offers a uniformly tender and moist texture. The gentle, even heat ensures the fish is cooked without drying out.
- Flavor: The slower cooking process of baking is ideal for allowing the flavors of marinades or sauces, like a maple glaze, to infuse into the salmon.
- Convenience: Baking is a more hands-off cooking method, allowing you to prepare sides or sauces while the salmon cooks in the oven.
- Time factor: Baking salmon typically takes about 15-20 minutes, making it a bit slower compared to pan-searing.
- Pan-Seared Salmon
- Crispy skin and texture: Pan-searing salmon results in deliciously crispy skin and a slightly firmer texture due to the direct high heat.
- Flavor: The direct contact with the hot pan creates a caramelized, crust on the salmon, enhancing its natural flavors.
- Quick cooking: Pan-searing is a faster cooking method, usually taking about 8-10 minutes total, which is great for quick meal preparation.
- Control over doneness: This method offers more control over the cooking level of the salmon, allowing for a range from just-cooked and tender to well-done and flaky.
💡 Chef's Guide: Expert Tips
Drawing from a decade in Michelin-starred kitchens and Cordon Bleu training, here are my top tips for recipe success.
- Choosing the right fish: While salmon is ideal, trout or halibut can be excellent substitutes. Look for fresh, sustainably sourced fish for the best flavor and texture.
- Marinating time: For a deeper flavor, marinate the fish for up to an hour. However, avoid over-marinating as the soy sauce can overpower the delicate fish flavors.
- Oven temperature: Baking at the right temperature is crucial. 400°F is ideal for a beautifully glazed and moist salmon.
- Pan Searing Tips:
- Preheat the pan: Preheat your pan. A hot pan is crucial for that perfect sear and crispy skin.
- Skin side first: Start with the skin side down to get it nice and crispy. This also helps the salmon retain its shape and moisture when you flip it.
- Control the heat: If the pan gets too hot, lower the heat slightly. You want a consistent sizzle without burning the glaze.
- Baking Tips:
- Even thickness: When baking, try to use even thick fillets. This ensures uniform cooking, preventing thinner parts from overcooking.
- Marinade: Allow enough time for the fish to marinate for baked salmon. This enhances the flavor, especially since baking is a gentler cooking method.
- Use parchment paper: Baking on parchment paper can help prevent sticking and makes cleanup easier, especially when dealing with a sweet glaze like maple.
🍯 Storing and reheating leftovers
- Fridge: Place cooled salmon in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to two days.
- Reheating: Reheat in an oven preheated to 350°F, covered with foil, for about 15 minutes.
Yes, thaw the salmon completely before marinating for best results.
Salmon is perfectly cooked when its flesh becomes opaque and flakes easily with a fork. The internal temperature should reach 145°F when checked with a meat thermometer.
To thicken the glaze, you can simmer the marinade in a small saucepan over low heat until it reduces and thickens to your desired consistency.
Absolutely! Grilling adds a delightful smoky flavor. Just be sure to oil the grill grates and cook over medium heat to prevent burning the glaze.
If you tried this maple glazed salmon or any other recipe on my website, please let me know in the comments below. I love hearing from you. Also, please leave a star rating while you're there!
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The BEST Maple Glazed Salmon
- 1 pound salmon fillets
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
- salt and pepper to taste
- Optional garnish: Fresh chopped cilantro and sesame seeds
- Prepare the Marinade: In a bowl, combine maple syrup, soy sauce, minced garlic, grated ginger, garlic salt, and black pepper. Place salmon in a dish or resealable bag, pour marinade over, ensuring even coverage. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 12 hours.
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Place salmon skin-side down on a lined baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until it flakes easily with a fork.
- Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat with a bit of oil.
- Place salmon skin-side down, sear for 4-5 minutes until skin is crispy. Flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Garnish and Serve: Garnish with parsley or green onions. Serve with your preferred sides.
- Marinating Time: Longer marination intensifies flavor but should not exceed 12 hours.
- Doneness Check: Salmon is done at an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) or when it flakes easily.
- Thickening the Glaze: To thicken, simmer the remaining marinade over low heat until it reduces to your desired consistency. Drizzle over the cooked salmon for extra flavor.
- Pan Heat for Searing: Ensure your pan is hot to achieve a good sear and crispy skin.
- Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Reheat gently.