Spiced Pan-Seared Salmon

Spiced pan seared salmon over vegetables.

This inspired Asian Salmon Recipe is an easy, healthy, uber-flavorful dish that’s literally ready in minutes. The flavor for this pan fried salmon recipe comes from the unique spice blend that creates a tongue tingly crust you won’t get from other pan seared salmon.

spice mix for fish in a bowl with measuring spoons

I first stumbled onto this recipe for pan seared salmon on Epicurious.com about  10 years ago.  It was the spice blend that originally caught my attention, and we therefore,  made it strictly according to the instructions.  

Since then, I’ve taken some liberties with the spice blend, veg (strictly whatever’s in my crisper bin) and the sauce.

This Asian salmon recipe is great with  rice, however, we frequently skip the extra carbs and opt to bulk up on the veggies — especially as we get nearer to swimsuit season. Spiced Pan fried salmon recipe delivers layers of flavor and you’re going to want it on your table. The first layer is the spice blend.

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Spice Blend For Spiced Pan Seared Salmon

  • Black Pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Chili Powder
  • Dry Mustard
  • Kosher Salt 
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Ground Coriander
  • Curry Powder
  • Ground Cumin 
  • Paprika
  • Sugar

Despite the list of spice ingredients for this Asian Salmon recipe, I’m willing to bet you have 80% of them already lurking in your pantry, at least I did. 

Making Asian dressing for Asian salmon recipe in a small prep bowl with a whisk.

The second layer of flavor comes from the Asian sauce. It’s a really simple blend, but it adds that tangy, salty, sweet, umami to the fish and vegetables that takes this pan fried salmon recipe to the next level.

Pan Seared Salmon – The Secret Sauce

  • Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Sesame Oil
  • Fresh Grated Ginger
  • Lime
  • Sugar
  • Cilantro 
  • Green Onion

Blend the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl and set aside.

Note: it’s important to have these first two steps prepped because the rest of this dish goes pretty fast.

Prepping broccoli, mushrooms & bell peppers for spiced pan seared salmon.

Chopping Vegetables For This Asian Salmon Recipe

The most important part about chopping the vegetables is to chop the bell peppers and mushrooms into roughly the same bite sized pieces. With broccoli, you want to break down the florets to a very small (and bite sized) chunk. This will allow the vegetables to cook evenly and makes the pan seared salmon and vegetables easier to eat.

fillet of raw salmon on a cutting board.

Q: What’s The Best Type Of Salmon To Use For Pan Fried Salmon Recipe?

A: The Freshest Fish You Can Find

  • Coho Salmon
  • Sockeye Salmon
  • Steelhead Salmon
  • Atlantic Salmon
  • Farm Raised Varieties

The key to any seafood recipe is to use FRESH SEAFOOD. Depending on where you live, it might be harder to come by, but you can look for those times of the year when the salmon are running and plentiful (and less expensive) to stock up and freeze your favorite varieties. If you have a Costco near you, they usually carry a good selection of salmon and always have the Coho and Sockeye in the summer months. This is a farmed steelhead fillet that I found at Costco.  It comes skin-on with all the little pin bones removedthanks for doing the work for me, Costco!

Adding spice blend to cut fillets of salmon.

Seasoning the Spiced Pan Seared Salmon

  • Liberally sprinkle the spice blend over the fish, about 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons per fillet. 
  • Use your fingertips to rub the spices into the flesh, so that the flesh is completely coated.
  • Don’t worry about covering the skin side with the spice rub, it’s not necessary.
cooking veggies in a pan with a set of tongs

How Long Do I Stir Fry Vegetables?

  • Stir frying is a quick process and once the sesame oil is heated and giving that moire effect in the pan, it’s ready for the vegetables.
  • Start with the bigger vegetables like the peppers, mushrooms and broccoli. Saute them for 1-2 minutes before adding in the aromatics and a few tablespoons of the Asian sauce.
  • When the larger vegetables are crisp tender, add the ginger, garlic, green onions and sauce. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes then cover tightly with a lid and remove from the heat. When you cover thepan with the lid and let it rest, it actually continues to cook and steam the vegetables, consequently by the time the salmon is done, the vegetables will be perfect.
searing pan seared salmon in a hot skillet with oil.

3 Things You Can Do To Prevent Salmon From Sticking To The Pan

This is a common question and I think most people have trepidation about cooking seafood because of the “sticking factor”.  

  1. Use enough oil to cover the bottom of your pan. It doesn’t have to be a lot of oil, but there should be enough to evenly coat the area that the fish will cook in.
  2. Heat the oil in the skillet BEFORE you add the fish. This is SO IMPORTANT. If you add fish or chicken or anything to a cold skillet and heat it up, it will stick.  Preheating the pan AND the oil will give it that teflon-like coating so that you won’t struggle with a spatula trying to wrestle it out of the pan.
  3. Let the fish TELL YOU when it’s ready to flip. Wait, what??? Yes. The fish will let you know when it’s ready to flip. Pan seared salmon is ready to flip, when it easily releases from the pan. If the fish resists, let it cook for another 30 -45 seconds and try again.
Gorgeous Asian salmon recipe with spice crust on a sheet pan.

I wish we had a scratch n’ sniff website because the aroma of this pan fried salmon recipe is one that makes you want to grab a fork and eat it NOW. But you know… manners… So to serve, pile the veggies on a platter (or individual plates) and top with the pan seared salmon. Drizzle the extra Asian sauce over the salmon and vegetables and sprinkle on some cilantro and green onions to garnish.

Asian salmon recipe with stir fried veggies on a plate with green onion and cilantro garnish.

More Easy Salmon Recipes:

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Spiced Pan-Seared Salmon | Garlic + Zest
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4.15 from 7 votes

Spiced Pan-Seared Salmon

Not your every day salmon!  This one has loads of flavor from the spice blend and a delicious Asian Inspired vegetable medley!
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian Inspired
Keyword salmon
Dietary Restrictions Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low-Carb, Pescatarian
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4


For the Spice Rub

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

For the Asian Sauce

  • 1 ½ tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoon unseasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 lime zested
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 green onion white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced

For Salmon and Veggies

  • 1 pound salmon fillet skin on, pin bones removed
  • 3 cups bite-sized broccoli florets
  • 2 red bell peppers or yellow or orange bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1-2″ pieces
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms I used shiitake, but button and cremini work well too
  • 2 teaspoons ginger freshly grated
  • 1 large clove garlic minced
  • 2 green onions thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup cilantro fresh, for garnish (optional)


  • In a small bowl, combine all the spices for the rub and stir well and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the Asian Sauce, stir well and set aside.
  • Slice the salmon fillet, into 4 equal pieces. Sprinkle the spice rub over the flesh of the fish and use your fingers to pat and rub it in. Set aside.
  • Prep the vegetables, ginger and garlic and set aside.
  • In a large skillet (with a lid) over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon sesame oil. When pan is hot, add the bell peppers, mushrooms and broccoli florets, cook for 1-2 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. Add the garlic and ginger, green onions and 1-2 tablespoons of the Asian sauce. Stir to coat and combine. Place the lid on the pan and turn off the heat. Let the vegetables rest while you cook the salmon.
  • Add one tablespoon sesame oil to another pan over medium high heat. When pan is very hot, carefully place the salmon, flesh side down in the pan (be careful, it will splatter). Cook for 1-2 minutes, then using a spatula, carefully flip the fish and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, depending on how you like your fish cooked (we like ours rare in the middle). Remove from heat.
  • Mound the vegetables onto a platter or individual plates and top with a piece of fish. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with remainder of Asian Sauce.


Calories: 282kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 879mg | Potassium: 1198mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 2815IU | Vitamin C: 143.7mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 3.3mg

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Looking for a healthy Asian salmon recipe? This Spiced Pan Seared Salmon with stir fried veggies and Asian-style sauce is the BEST pan fried salmon recipe. #salmonrecipes #salmonrecipeshealthy #asiansalmon

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  1. Barbara Cain says:

    It would be great if you had your website referenced on your “recipe card” somewhere. I would like to refer back to the wonderful pictures when I get ready to make the recipe that I’ve saved as a pdf in my files.

    Thanks for sharing!


    1. There’s a lot of flavor in this dish – the kind that makes your tummy rumble!

  2. Michael Palombi says:

    Made this last night, delicious!

    1. So glad you enjoyed it Michael! We have it all the time!

  3. A Forks Tale says:

    What a beautiful combination of flavors for the salmon! This looks absolutely delish!

  4. yourcooktoria says:

    I am a huge fan of seafood and this Pan-Seared Salmon looks irresistible! It is a MUST TRY for me this summer!

  5. Pan fried is my absolute favourite way to enjoy salmon, so I’m always looking for different flavours to add; this looks fabulous, adding it to my “to make” list!

    1. Thanks, Annie! – I promise this one is a keeper!

  6. 5 stars
    This dish is amazing! I love the flavor combination in that spice rub! And that sauce is incredible too!

    1. You could use other types of fish, or shellfish if you prefer — I think the spice would even work with chicken!

  7. 5 stars
    My husband would go crazy for this recipe, he is a fish fanatic!

    1. We love fresh fish in this house too! Hope he enjoys it!

  8. vegetarianmamma says:

    My husband loves salmon! I am looking head to fathers day already and this would be a perfect dish for him! YUM

  9. 5 stars
    What a great recipe. Love the flavors of the rub alone but add the asian sauce and this is extraordinary. Yum.

    1. Thank you Ali! It’s one of our favorite weeknight meals.