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This honey garlic salmon recipe is an easy dinner that pleases everyone! Tender fish bursts with sweet and savory flavor from a sticky glaze.

Honey garlic salmon

Looking for easy salmon recipes? When it comes to flavor and simplicity, there’s nothing like this Honey Garlic Salmon recipe! The fish is pan seared for a brown, crispy exterior, then baked in the oven until it’s perfectly tender. Drench it all in a sticky honey garlic sauce, a sweet and savory glaze that adds layers of complexity. It’s one of our top salmon recipes to make at home, and a big winner with both kids and adults! (At least, in our family.)

Ingredients for honey garlic salmon

This honey garlic salmon recipe is easy and fuss-free, starring a homemade sauce and just a few minutes on the stove and in the oven. Many of the sauce ingredients you’ll already have on hand in your pantry, aside from the fresh ginger root which is key to the bold flavor. As with any salmon recipe, the quality of the fish is key. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Salmon fillets, skin on
  • Neutral oil, for frying
  • Soy sauce
  • Honey
  • Rice vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic powder
  • Fresh garlic
  • Fresh ginger root
  • Cornstarch

Keep in mind, you’ll want neutral oil for frying because it can withstand higher temperatures than olive oil. If you prefer, you can use neutral oil in the sauce if you’d like to avoid using two types of oil.

Honey Garlic Salmon recipe

Tips for buying good salmon

Our top recommendation for this recipe? Buy good salmon. Lower quality salmon can taste very fishy and have a mushy texture, or ooze a lot of the “white stuff” (called albumin) when it’s cooked. Here are some things to think about when buying fillets for this honey garlic salmon recipe:

  • Tend toward fresh salmon. Buying salmon fresh from the fish counter usually has the best flavor. However, frozen can work too: try to find higher-quality frozen salmon and avoid the big economy-sized bags.
  • Look for 1 to 1 1/2-inch thick fillets for this recipe, which might be labeled “center cut” at the store. They have the best presentation and flavor.
  • Look for wild caught salmon. Fish that is wild caught in your country is usually a sustainable choice. (There are also quality options in well-regulated farms; see Seafood Watch Consumer Guide.)
  • Know your types of salmon. Coho salmon has a nice mild flavor and is a good mid-priced option. King salmon is incredible, but it’s on the expensive end. Atlantic salmon is often farmed and is sometimes lower in quality, but we’ve found great Atlantic salmon fillets at different fish counters. Ask about the fish and its source at the fish counter.
Honey garlic sauce

Notes on honey garlic sauce

This honey garlic sauce is so quick and simple to make! It’s incredibly versatile and after trying it on this salmon, you’ll want to try it in other recipes. Here are a few notes for the sauce:

  • Fresh ginger is not required, but it adds depth in flavor. Ginger root packs in a lot of spicy, zingy flavor to this sauce. You can leave it out since it might not be a refrigerator staple for you, but it adds a depth that is absolutely worth the purchase.
  • Use a Microplane for easy grating. You can use it for both the garlic and ginger: you don’t even need to peel the ginger!
  • Re-purpose it in many other recipes! Bookmark this recipe and use it for chicken (like grilled chicken or chicken thighs), tofu (like baked tofu or crispy tofu), stir fries (like shrimp stir fry), or veggies (like fried broccoli or sauteed carrots).
Garlic honey salmon

Tips for making honey garlic salmon

The most important tool for cooking salmon is a food thermometer. This handy gadget will help you cook the salmon to the perfect doneness, so it’s moist and tender instead of dry and overcooked. Here are a few particulars on how to cook salmon:

  • Allow the salmon to come to room temperature before cooking. If the fish is too cold when you start, it can end up cooked on the outside but raw on the inside. It usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes sitting on the counter to come to room temperature. Incidentally, this is about the time it takes to preheat the oven, so you’re not losing any time with this step.
  • Give the fillets a quick sear on high heat on the stovetop. This ensures a nice browned exterior.
  • A fish spatula is helpful for flipping! It’s a great investment and can be used for preparing and serving lots of other foods (it’s one of our top handy kitchen tools!).
  • Bake until the salmon is 125 to 130°F at the thickest point, about 5 minutes. Measuring with a food thermometer is the best way to assess doneness of a piece of salmon.
Honey Garlic Salmon

Ways to serve it

This honey garlic salmon works with loads of different side dishes. To make it a quick and simple meal, we like to pair it with a pasta or grain and a sauteed veggie or salad. Here are a few options:

More salmon recipes

Love meals with this tasty fish? Here are some more great salmon recipes:

This honey garlic salmon recipe is…

Gluten-free, dairy-free and pescatarian.

Print
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Honey garlic salmon

Honey Garlic Salmon


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

This honey garlic salmon recipe is an easy dinner that pleases everyone! Tender fish bursts with sweet and savory flavor from a sticky glaze.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 pound salmon fillets, skin on
  • ½ tablespoon neutral oil, for pan frying
  • ¼ cup regular soy sauce (or tamari or coconut aminos, for gluten-free)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • For the garnish: Minced green onions, toasted sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Place the salmon on a plate on the counter and allow it to come to room temperature before cooking, about 15 to 20 minutes (this is about the time it takes for the oven to preheat). Pat the fillets dry, then rub neutral oil on all sides of salmon. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  3. Meanwhile, make the sauce (makes ½ cup): In a small saucepan, combine the soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, oil, garlic powder, grated ginger and grated garlic over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and then reduce the heat to low. 
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch. Pour the mixture into the saucepan and whisk until the sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. (Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.) Divide the honey garlic sauce into a bowl with 3 tablespoons and a bowl with the remainder.
  5. When the oven is preheated, heat a dry oven-proof skillet over high heat until very hot. Place the salmon skin side up onto the hot skillet. Cook without touching for 2 to 3 minutes to sear the top of the salmon, until the center of the salmon is starting to cook and you see a layer of cooked flesh. Turn off the heat and use a thin spatula to flip the salmon. Brush the top and sides of the salmon with the reserved 3 tablespoons honey garlic sauce.
  6. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 3 to 5 minutes (depending on thickness of salmon), until just cooked through. The internal temperature should be between 125 to 130°F when measured at the thickest point of the fillet. 
  7. Use a hot pad to remove the skillet from the oven. Spoon the desired amount of remaining honey garlic sauce onto the top (typically we use another 3 tablespoons). Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped green onions and serve.
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Seafood
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: Honey garlic salmon, honey garlic salmon recipe, garlic honey salmon, honey garlic glazed salmon

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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13 Comments

  1. This salmon marinade was amazing! Both my son and I loved it! Quick question, can I freeze the leftover marinade or how long will it last in the refrigerator? Lastly, thinking this could work on chicken too? Thank you!

  2. Incredibly good! I did the salmon in the air fryer and the sauce was so so good! I will definitely be making this again.

  3. My first try and I’m a novice cook. Everything was good but the honey garlic sauce never thickened up. Seems like 6 tablespoons of water was too much, either that or not enough corn starch. I added more but it still never thickened. Could be operator error!

    1. Same here, but I turned up the heat to a slight boil and it thickened up real quick! So good!

  4. Delicious! My whole family loved this, and my younger son decided that it was his new favourite way to have salmon :) I sauteed some kale in the leftover sauce, and we also added some of the sauce to our quinoa. I love how quick and easy this recipe was, I’ll definitely make it again. Thanks :)

  5. I really love how beautifully you put the honey garlic Salmon recipe in such an easy way that I person who doesn’t know how to cook (Like me) can cook it easily! I’ll surely try this recipe, Thanks Sonja!

  6. This Honey Garlic Salmon dish is sure to be a hit! It’s a great way to get your daily dose of healthy fats and protein. Plus, it’s easy to prepare and full of flavor. Love your recipe!!

    – Jack from Skilletguy.com

  7. Excellent recipe. Only thing is that most regular soy sauces are not gluten free. I substituted with coconut aminos which tastes exactly the same as soy sauce and is gluten free.

    1. Great point, I’ve updated the recipe to include the coconut aminos substitution! Thanks for making it.