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Pan-seared salmon over bed of couscous and peas.

Pan-Seared Salmon with Maple Curry Butter

Smothered in a lip-smacking maple curry butter, this pan-seared salmon is flaky, delicious, and complete with crispy skin!
Course Main Course
Keyword curry, fish, maple, Pescatarian, pescetarian, Salmon, seafood
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2 people
Author Dana Sandonato


  • Cast iron skillet or non-stick skillet


  • 2 TBSP Olive oil or avocado oil
  • 2 6 oz fillets of salmon
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

Maple Curry Butter.

  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 TBSP pure maple syrup


Preparing the salmon.

  • Remove the fillets from the fridge and, with a paper towel, pat the entire fillets dry — skin included. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the front and backs of the fillets and let them sit on the counter for about 15-20 minutes to come to room temperature. In the meantime you can prep your ingredients for the sauce.

Maple Curry Butter.

  • Place 3 TBSP of butter into a small microwave safe dish and heat in the microwave until just melted. Once melted, add the curry powder and the maple syrup. Whisk with a fork to combine and set it aside.


  • Add the oil to your skillet—enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Heat the skillet over high heat until the oil starts to smoke.
  • Carefully place one salmon fillet into the hot pan, skin-side down. As soon as the fillet hits the pan, press down on it with a spatula for a few seconds until the fillet flattens out; bring the heat down to medium. Pressing the fillet keeps the skin firm against the pan and will give you crisp results without curling your fillet upward. Let your salmon cook until you can see a nice golden brown color on the edge of the skin (cooking time depends on fillet thickness; see notes). DO NOT touch, push, or try to budge your salmon while it's cooking; you'll tear the skin. Once you see the golden edges, smother a TBSP or two of the maple curry butter over the top of the salmon, then carefully slide your spatula underneath the fillet and turn it over. (If it doesn't release, give it another 30 seconds and try again.)
  • Once you've flipped your salmon, continue to cook it for just a few more minutes until the fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. If you have a meat thermometer, remove the salmon once it's reached an internal temperature of 140-145º F.
  • Carefully remove the fillet from the pan and set it on a plate; cover with tin foil so it stays warm. Repeat the same process for the other fillet. Once the fillets are done, plate, and spoon or brush the extra maple curry butter over each of them.


Cook times: Use the 8-10 minute rule when cooking fish; measure the thickest part of the fillet, and cook the fillet 8-10 minutes per inch of thickness, flipping 3/4 of the way through cooking time.