Pan-Seared Lemongrass Salmon

Lemongrass, garlic and a dash of fish sauce combine make a quick, Southeast Asian-inspired marinade for salmon fillets. The fish marinates at room temperature for less than 30 minutes and then just a few minutes in a hot pan yields moist, flavorful fillets that pair well with a variety of sides. We served ours with Pineapple Rice.

Pan-Seared Lemongrass Salmon

Pan-Seared Lemongrass Salmon

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A simple marinade made with lemongrass, garlic and fish sauce lends bold, Asian-inspired flavor to quick-cooking salmon fillets.


  • 4 6-ounce salmon fillets, skin on
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for searing
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemongrass, very finely chopped (see notes)


  • Combine the oil, fish sauce, garlic and lemongrass in the bottom of a shallow dish that’s just large enough to hold the salmon fillets in a single layer. Add the salmon, skin side up, cover and set aside to marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes. Using tongs, turn the salmon to coat the sides and skin of the fillets with the marinade. Set aside for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Preheat a heavy skillet (nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron) over medium-high heat. Film the bottom with a small amount of oil and add the salmon, skin side down. Cook without moving until the skin is nicely seared, 3 minutes, then turn with tongs and cook to desired doneness, 2 to 4 minutes additional. Serve immediately with Pineapple Rice on the side.

Tips for Making This Recipe

About the lemongrass:

To get 2 tablespoons of finely chopped, fresh lemongrass you’ll need 3 to 4 stalks (white part only).
For this recipe, you can also use the lemongrass paste that comes in tubes. These can be found in the produce section of most supermarkets.
You can also substitute 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest combined with 1 teaspoon of finely chopped, fresh ginger. This mixture will have a slightly different flavor profile, but still be delicious.
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