Slices of pan seared salmon fillet with creamy mustard sauce is a quick and elegant dinner recipe you will fall in love with! Serve with our herb and garlic mashed potatoes and lemon garlic green beans.
Not a fan of mustard sauce? Take a look at our Tuscan Salmon with Parmesan Cream Sauce.
Several years ago I’ve set a personal goal of adding more fish and seafood to my family’s diet. What I learned is they can tolerate some of fish but everyone absolutely loves salmon.
That is why you can find numerous salmon recipes on my website. This fatty and rich in Omega 3s fish makes a frequent appearance on our dinner table. Most of the time I use the simplest way of cooking it.
I roast it in the oven, which is very quick and hassle free. You can throw in some vegetables to make it even more convenient. One Pan Chilli Garlic Salmon with Broccoli and Sweet Potatoes and Teriyaki Salmon with Bok Choy are great examples of such fuss-free meals.
However, searing your salmon fillet in a pan is also very quick and adds another layer of flavour.
How to Pan Sear Salmon
- My favourite thing about cooking salmon in a pan is the golden crust, that develops as a result of it. Hot pan with some oil or butter are necessary to achieve that. I personally love using a combination of both. You just can’t beat the flavour butter brings to the table.
- If you are worried that your delicate fish will get stuck to a pan, use a non-stick pan and eliminate that headache.
- Also make sure your salmon is well seasoned with salt and pepper before searing.
- Start by placing salmon pieces on a well heated pan with some olive oil and butter skin side up and cook on medium high heat for 3-4 minutes until golden and crispy. Then flip over and cook for 2 minutes longer. Your salmon might still be raw in the middle, which is fine because it will finish cooking in the sauce.
Mustard Cream Sauce
The reason we don’t want the salmon to be cooked all the way through pan searing is because we finish it in a creamy mustard sauce.
The sauce itself is incredibly delicious and versatile. The French love cooking a rabbit in a mustard sauce. And one of top recipes on my website is for Chicken in Wine and Mustard Sauce. It’s a huge reader favourite.
The ingredient list for the sauce is short and the preparation method is simple. Although the results are far from plain.
Just a simple combination of sauteed shallots and garlic with thyme leaves, which are hit with dry white wine, two types of mustard and heavy cream. I also add some chicken or fish stock to the sauce for more flavour.
I use both whole grain and Dijon mustard for this sauce but you can use either one. I do not recommend substituting Dijon mustard with yellow mustard for this particular recipe as the taste is too sharp and intense.
Favourite Fish Recipes to Try:
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 (120g/4oz each piece) salmon fillet pieces
- salt and pepper
- 1 shallot chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme or ½ tsp dried thyme leaves only
- 125ml/1/2 cup dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay
- 2 tbsp whole grain mustard
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 175ml/2/3 cup chicken or fish stock
- 125ml/1/2 cup heavy cream
- Heat the oil and butter in a non-stick pan, then add the salmon, seasoned with salt and pepper, to a pan skin side up and sear for 3-4 minutes over medium high heat until golden and crispy, then flip on the other side and cook for 2 minutes longer. It will not be cooked all the way through, remove to a separate plate.
- To the same pan, add the chopped shallots and cook for 2-3 minutes over low heat, then add minced garlic and thyme leaves, sauté for 30 seconds while stirring. Then deglaze the pan with the dry white wine and let it simmer for 5 minutes until the liquid reduces a bit, then add both mustards, chicken stock and the heavy cream, stir and let it bubble away for 5 minutes longer. Make sure your heat is set to low while making this cream sauce.
- Bring the salmon back to the pan and let it simmer in the sauce for 5-7 minutes until the salmon is opaque and cooked all the way through and the sauce is desired consistency. Taste the sauce and add more salt if necessary.