Japanese Style Seared Salmon

Welcome to the world of Japanese Style Seared Salmon, where I invite you to savor in a mouthwatering dish that perfectly combines pan-seared salmon with a savory, creamy, and zesty Japanese-style garlic butter sauce! If you’re like me and crave quick, wholesome Japanese-inspired meals at home, this recipe is the perfect answer. Join me as we embark on creating a healthy and flavorful salmon dish that’s sure to satisfy your cravings!

Japanese style seared salmon topped with chopped green onions and garlic butter Japanese yuzu sauce served on a wooden plank.

Why I Love This Recipe

Japanese Style Seared Salmon is a celebration of simplicity and taste. This Japanese-inspired dish is a personal creation I made right in our kitchen featuring salmon fillets cooked to crispy perfection, enhanced by a flavorful yuzu garlic butter sauce. It’s a delightful fusion of flavors, suitable for a quick lunch or a satisfying main course. The salmon, seasoned with a hint of salt and black pepper, achieves a crispy exterior while remaining tender inside, making it the prefect salmon dish!

This recipe is a must-try for everyone to make! Just like my Japanese Baked Salmon Belly and Salmon with Miso Sauce recipes, this dish follows a hassle-free approach, requiring no marination or extensive preparation. So, let’s dive into the world of Japanese-style salmon and discover why it’s a beloved choice for those seeking a delicious and straightforward meal!



  • Salmon – boneless skinless or skin-on salmon fillets.
  • Salt – sea salt preferred.
  • Black Pepper – ground.
  • Neutral Oil no taste or flavor with high cooking temperature. Some choices are sunflower oil, peanut oil, sallower oil, vegetable oil, and canola oil.  
  • Green Onion – freshly chopped green onion scallions.
  • Butter – salted or unsalted both work.
  • Soy Sauce – low-sodium Soy Sauce preferred. Can also use tamari for gluten-free.
  • Garlic  grated garlic.
  • Yuzu – concentrated juices from Yuzu fruit in a bottle found at Asian grocery stores. Can substitute with fresh lemon juice.

Ingredient Substitutions

If yuzu is unavailable, you can substitute it with Lemon Juice.

🍣 Salmon Note

For optimal results, use salmon fillets that are approximately 1.5 inches in thickness. Fillets thicker than this will require a longer cooking time.

Japanese style seared salmon topped with chopped green onions and garlic butter Japanese yuzu sauce served on a wooden plank being picked up with a pair of chopsticks.

Essential Kitchen Equipment


Step 1 Combine grated garlic, melted butter, yuzu or lemon juice, and soy sauce in a mixing bowl, creating a flavorful mixture.

Soy sauce, garlic, and yuzu mixed with melted butter.

Step 2 Next, season your salmon with a pinch of salt and black pepper.

Seasoned salmon.

Step 3 In a cast iron skillet, add a coating of oil and heat it until it’s at the right temperature. Carefully place the salmon, skin-side down, and cook for about 2-2.5 minutes before flipping it to the other side. Continue to cook, covered, for an additional 1-2 minutes.

Seared seasoned salmon in a cast iron skillet.

🍳 Searing Pro Tip

For achieving an ideal sear on your salmon, utilize a High-Temperature Oil and use a Cast Iron Pan. These components are highly effective in achieving the desired crispy texture on the exterior of the salmon fillet.

🌡 Internal Temperature Check

To ensure safe consumption, cook the salmon until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F. However, it’s worth noting that you can stop cooking at 140°F as the temperature will continue to rise even after it’s removed from the heat source.

Step 4 To finish, drizzle the prepared sauce over the salmon and sprinkle it with freshly chopped green onions.

Japanese style seared salmon served on a plate topped with green onions.

Recipe Variations

For a European twist on this salmon recipe, consider preparing Hollandaise sauce to accompany your salmon to create a Salmon with Hollandaise Sauce variation. The creamy and velvety texture of the Hollandaise sauce complements the salmon’s flakiness beautifully, offering a delightful fusion of flavors.

Paring Recommendations

Add a comforting bowl of Clam Miso Soup to your meal for a perfect match with seafood. Pair it with Stir Fry Bean Sprouts for a delightful crunch, or boiled vegetables with Miso Mayo Dipping Sauce for a rich texture. Complete the meal with your preferred rice for a satisfying base to your Japanese-inspired salmon dish.

Japanese style seared salmon topped with chopped green onions getting garlic butter yuzu drizzled on with a spoon, top down angle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use frozen salmon fillets for this recipe?

Yes! Just make sure that the salmon is fully defrosted before searing it. If you sear partially frozen salmon, the center may not cook evenly.

Can I make the yuzu garlic butter sauce ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the sauce in advance. However, keep in mind that over time, the butter may solidify. To return it to a liquid state, simply reheat the sauce in the microwave until it reaches the desired consistency.

Storage Tips

To store leftovers, simply place them in an airtight container in the refrigerator, where they’ll stay fresh for 5-7 days. When you’re ready to enjoy them again, a quick 30-45 seconds in the microwave.

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Watch How To Make It

Japanese Style Seared Salmon

Discover the ultimate Japanese Salmon Recipe that delivers crispy perfection and a delectable yuzu garlic butter sauce. This dish is a flavor sensation that's ready in under 12 minutes.
4.85 from 45 votes
Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Japanese
Keyword: Japanese salmon, Japanese salmon recipe, Japanese style salmon, yuzu salmon
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 2
Print Recipe
Calories: 328kcal



  • 1/2 lb Salmon Fillet skin-on or skinless
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Cooking Oil neutral, no flavor or taste
  • 1/2 Stalk Green Onion


  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 tsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1/8 tsp Yuzu can substitute with lemon juice


  • Gather all the ingredients.
    Ingredients for Japanese style seared salmon on the countertop.
  • Pat down any juice on salmon with a paper towel and sprinkle salt and pepper evenly on both sides of the fillet. Cut into 2 vertical slices about 1 inch width and set aside.
    Seasoned salmon.
  • Place butter in a small mixing bowl and melt in microwave (about 20-30 seconds but this will vary on your microwave).
    Melted butter.
  • Grind garlic with a grinder or garlic press and place into melted butter along with Soy Sauce and Yuzu. Mix well and set aside.
    Soy sauce, garlic, and yuzu mixed with melted butter.
  • Cut green onions into thin slices and set aside.
    Chopped green onions.
  • Add oil into cast iron pan and place on high heat. Once the oil is preheated, reduce heat to medium-high and carefully place salmon fillets into cast iron pan skin down (please note oil will splatter so take precautions). Cover and cook for 2-2.5 minutes (1.5-2 minutes for skinless). Note - when searing, don't move the meat.
    Seasoned salmon in a cast iron skillet.
  • After searing one side, carefully flip the salmon to the other side, cover and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Carefully transfer salmon to a serving plate when done. Note - the salmon will be very fragile so make sure to support the bottom.
    Seared seasoned salmon in a cast iron skillet.
  • Lightly drizzle garlic butter sauce and sprinkle chopped green onion over salmon.
    Japanese style seared salmon served on a plate topped with green onions.


Calories: 328kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 380mg | Potassium: 556mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 425IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg
*Values Based Per Serving
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