Sesame Citrus Glazed Salmon
Tender, flakey salmon coated with a sweet and slightly spicy citrus glaze! The glaze is perfect for salmon! Citrus Glazed Salmon is a quick and easy gourmet meal that’s ideal for weeknight dinners! It’s made with orange juice and orange marmalade while being sweet, spicy, and a bit tangy.
This is going to give you Orange Chicken vibes, but it’s even better.
Citrus Glazed Salmon is the dish you need to make to impress your family and friends without breaking a sweat! It’s basically crispy pan-seared salmon fillets glistening with a quick citrus glaze that’s sweet, spicy, and with a hint of tang. The glaze is so simple that it comes together in a measuring cup and simmers in the same skillet we cook the salmon in.
The secret to the best citrus glazed salmon is a little bit of orange marmalade! It’s an ingredient I always use in my orange chicken recipe, and it works beautifully in this recipe too. I also add just a bit of toasted sesame oil for a smokey, rich flavor, and of course, we’re loading it up with all the garlic!
This is a great transition meal for spring or summer and would be ideal served over quinoa, fluffy coconut rice, or alongside a batch of garlic noodles.
Ingredients for citrus glazed salmon
- Salmon Filets: You’ll want to use about 4 (roughly 5-ounce) filets for this recipe. Ensure the filets are relatively the same size so they cook up in the same amount of time. Fatty fishes like salmon are a powerhouse of nutrition – high in omega-3 fatty acids, so it’s definitely something to include as part of a balanced diet. And how could you resist it when it’s served with a citrus glaze?
- Olive Oil: You’ll need a tablespoon of olive oil to sear and cook off the fish. You could also broil the salmon in the oven if you’d like. However, I like to develop color on the salmon in the pan because the leftover flavor bits in the pan (aka the fond) acts as a sauce starter!
- Salt and Pepper: We’ll season the salmon with these before searing it in the skillet.
- Garlic: I usually press the garlic as it releases the most flavor this way and saute it in the pan before we create the glaze.
- Orange Juice: I like to use freshly squeezed orange juice!
- Orange Marmalade: Use a good quality marmalade for this. This one is my favorite for this recipe.
- Rice Vinegar: A tablespoon of rice vinegar helps add a slight tang to the glaze.
- Soy Sauce: Gives the glaze umami, and it helps add the sodium we need.
- Honey: You can also use maple syrup or a bit of brown sugar; both make decent substitutes.
- Toasted Sesame Oil: Adds a smoky flavor to the glaze that isn’t noticeable but it adds to the overall flavor.
- Chili Garlic Sauce: I love using this chili garlic sauce for this recipe. If you don’t have any, you can also use a tsp or two of sriracha but the chili garlic sauce tastes best.
- Cornstarch: It helps thicken the glaze when we bring it to a boil.
How to make orange glazed salmon:
- Season the salmon. Make sure to remove the salmon from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. If there are any instructions you follow, let it be that tip! Allowing the salmon to sit at room temperature allows it to cook evenly in the pan. Cold salmon tends to seize up when it hits the hot pan – season generously with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Sear the salmon. Drizzle the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the salmon skin-side up for a couple of minutes, then flip and continue cooking the salmon skin-side down. Prepare the sauce while the salmon cooks. Then remove the salmon to a plate and let it hang out loosely tented with foil while you make the sauce. Make sure the salmon flakes easily with a fork; don’t overcook it!
- Make the orange sauce. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the citrus glaze, and when the salmon is done, add it to the same skillet and bring it to a simmer.
- Finish the citrus glazed salmon. Add the garlic to the oil left in the skillet and saute it until it’s fragrant. Then pour the prepared sauce into the skillet. It’ll read a boil before it starts to thicken. Add the salmon filets back into the skillet. Do this with the skin side up if you want to maintain crisp skin. Serve this up with your favorite carbohydrates and veggies.
FAQs about this recipe
I really like steamed broccoli and sauteed carrots with this. I saute the veggies in a pan and then drizzle them with 2 tbsp of the uncooked citrus glaze. It thickens up in the pan when the sauce reaches a boil.
You can. If you have a foolproof broiled salmon recipe, feel free to use it here! Keep in mind the cooking time will depend on the thickness of the salmon. Make sure to line the baking sheet with foil. You’ll also need to prepare the glaze in a small saucepan instead.
You can make variations of this sauce. Swap a tablespoon of orange juice for lime juice or lemon juice and add lime and lemon zest to make this a tri-citrus salmon.
I typically don’t go based on a temperature but rather a feeling. I like to feel the thickest part of the salmon. However, you can also use an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the salmon. You want wild salmon to be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 120ºF and 125ºF for farm-raised salmon.
You might also like these salmon recipes:
- Garlic Butter Baked Salmon
- Fancy but Easy Salmon Piccata
- Pineapple Salsa Salmon with Brown Sugar Glaze
- Air Fryer Salmon Bites
- Thai Sweet Chili Salmon Bowls
- 4 (5-ounce) salmon filets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Kosher salt + black pepper
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- ⅓ cup orange juice, fresh
- 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 1-2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1-2 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce (Huy Fong or sriracha)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- SEASON: Remove salmon from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before pan frying. Season the fillets on both sides with salt and pepper.
- COOK: Drizzle the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the salmon skin side up until golden; about 3 minutes. Prepare the sauce below while the salmon cooks. Flip the salmon and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the salmon is cooked to your liking. Transfer to a plate; loosely tent with foil and keep warm.
- ORANGE SAUCE: While the salmon is cooking, add the orange juice, marmalade, rice vinegar, honey, sesame oil, chili garlic sauce, and cornstarch to a measuring cup and whisk to combine; set aside for now.
- FINISH: The pan should have about a teaspoon of oil left. Add a bit if it doesn’t. Saute the garlic for 30 seconds. Pour the prepared sauce in the skillet. Allow the sauce to gain a simmer and let it reduce. Add the salmon filets to the skillet (skin side up if you want to maintain that crispness) and let simmer 30 seconds before serving. We love this over rice with steamed or sauteed veggies on the side.
- Gluten Free: To make this recipe gluten-free, make sure to use GF tamari in place of the soy sauce and ensure the hot sauce is certified GF as well.