You can’t go wrong with this simple island-style Sweet and Sour Salmon! It’s quick and easy and perfectly delicious! Serve this sweet salmon dish with rice and a side of sauteed peppers, onions and fresh pineapple, and you’ve got a meal people won’t forget.
Pan Seared Salmon with Sweet and Sour Sauce
I’m loving skillet salmon lately, it has the perfect combination of sweet and sour flavor. And that crispy crust you get on the exterior of the salmon is just dreamy, not to mention it’s one of the quickest ways to cook salmon.
I actually made this sweet and sour salmon last week and I’m making it again tonight for dinner because we all loved it so much! Winner winner salmon dinner.
I love how easy it is, and don’t even get me started on that homemade sweet and sour sauce! It has the perfect balance of sweet and tart, it’s the perfect consistency and it highlights the salmon perfectly.
Bonus: you can also use this sweet and sour sauce recipe for grilled chicken or coated and fried chicken pieces. If you really love sauce and you want more for veggies and rice, I’d recommend doubling the recipe.
It just snowed outside, for like the 50th time this winter (okay maybe 20th, I tend to exaggerate sometimes), so instead of dreading the cold I’m just sitting inside in the warmth and eating this island-inspired salmon and pretending I’m somewhere tropical, and then I’ll finish it off with some hot cocoa.
Sweet and Sour Salmon Ingredients
For the pan seared salmon, you’ll need:
- Skinless salmon fillets
- Vegetable oil
- Green onions or cilantro
- Sesame seeds
And the homemade sweet and sour sauce ingredients you’ll need are:
- Soy sauce
- Pineapple juice
- Light brown sugar
- Rice vinegar
- Red pepper flakes
- Fresh ginger
How to Make Sweet and Sour Sauce
- In a bowl, whisk together cornstarch and soy sauce (the cornstarch is what will thicken up the sauce).
- Mix in soy sauce, pineapple juice, honey and brown sugar.
- Also mix in rice vinegar, ketchup and red pepper flakes.
- Then heat a little oil in a skillet and lightly saute garlic and ginger.
- Pour in the sauce mixture and let it thicken up and know you’ve got an incredibly delicious homemade sweet and sour sauce.
How to Pan Sear Salmon
- Let salmon rest on counter for 10 minutes to come to room temperature.
- Dab both sides of the salmon dry with paper towels, then season with salt.
- Heat oil in heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
- Once the oil is shimmering, cook salmon on one side for about 4 minutes, then flip and cook the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Plate salmon and spoon sweet and sour sauce over top, then garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.
Can I Make the Sweet and Sour Sauce in Advance?
Yes, the homemade sweet and sour sauce will keep in the fridge for up to a week, so you can prep it ahead of time and use it on other dishes as well!
What Should I Serve with Pan Seared Salmon?
I like serving this sweet and sour salmon with white rice and sautéed vegetables. You could also add steamed broccoli on the side, or serve atop cauliflower rice. This pan seared salmon is really versatile!
Tips for the Best Skillet Salmon with Sweet and Sour Sauce
- If you don’t want to buy one of those really big cans of pineapple juice, then just buy the mini cans or use the juice from a can of chunk pineapple or pineapple slices and serve the pineapple with the salmon. Or even use just a portion of a can of the frozen pineapple juice concentrate (and reconstitute the portion you use) and reserve the rest to make this again another time.
- Salmon doesn’t reheat well, but if you have leftovers you can enjoy the salmon with sweet and sour sauce cold atop salads.
- Make sure you’re using fresh ginger in the sweet and sour sauce recipe. It adds a lot more flavor than dried ginger!
More Salmon Recipes You’ll Love:
- Teriyaki Salmon
- Honey Glazed Salmon with Browned Butter Lime Sauce
- Balsamic Glazed Salmon
- Baked Lemon Salmon with Creamy Dill Sauce
- Grilled Salmon with Mango Avocado Salsa
- Maple-Soy Glazed Salmon
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Sweet and Sour Salmon
- 4 (6 oz) skinless salmon fillets
- 3 1/2 tsp olive oil or vegetable oil, divided
- 2 tsp finely peeled and minced ginger
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1/3 cup pineapple juice*
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 1/2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
- 3 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp ketchup
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
- Chopped green onion or cilantro
- White sesame seeds
- Remove salmon from refrigerator and let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes. Meanwhile prepare sweet and sour sauce.
- For the sauce, in a small bowl whisk together cornstarch and soy sauce, add in pineapple juice, honey, brown sugar, rice vinegar, ketchup and red pepper flakes.
- Heat 1 1/2 tsp of the oil in small saucepan over medium heat, add ginger and garlic and saute until lightly golden brown, about 30 seconds - 1 minute.
- Whisk pineapple juice mixture once more then pour into saucepan.
- Bring mixture to a boil stirring constantly, then allow to boil, stirring constantly until thickened, 1 minute.
- Remove from heat, cover and set aside.
- Dab both sides of salmon dry with paper towels, season both sides with salt (use about a heaping 1/2 tsp total).
- Heat remaining 2 tsp oil in a (heavy) 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
- Once oil is shimmering add salmon and cook about 4 minutes on the first side until golden brown on bottom then flip and cook salmon on opposite side until salmon has cooked through, about 2 - 3 minutes longer.
- Plate salmon, spoon sweet and sour sauce over salmon, sprinkle with green onions or cilantro, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve immediately.