20 Minute Firecracker Salmon. Pan fried salmon topped with a sweet and spicy firecracker sauce. A quick and easy weeknight meal that only requires 5 ingredients!
20 Minute Firecracker Salmon
I first introduced you guys to this amazing sauce with my Slow Cooker Firecracker Meatballs.The sauce is made up of equal parts buffalo sauce and brown sugar with a splash of soy sauce. This sauce is amazing! It’s the perfect combination of sweet and spicy and is packed with so much flavor. It’s awesome on anything and is especially awesome on this salmon!
This firecracker salmon gets pan fried until golden brown on the outside then brushed with my homemade firecracker sauce. Searing the salmon in a hot pan keeps the salmon crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. The high heat and quick cooking also helps to seal in moisture. I share my tips below for cooking perfect salmon every-time!
While the salmon is cooking I make the firecracker sauce. When you are ready to serve drizzle or brush the sauce on the salmon and serve. Garnish with red pepper flakes for an added kick and green onions. I love to serve this salmon with a side of rice and a vegetable.
Ingredients and Swaps
- Salmon: I prefer to use wild caught never frozen salmon. However frozen salmon would work just make sure to thaw and pat dry with a paper towel before cooking.
- Oil: Any type of neutral cooking oil would work great!
- Buffalo sauce: Gives this dish the perfect amount of heat to the sauce. If you like heat (like me) add some extra crushed red pepper flakes or a teaspoon or two of sriracha to bump up the heat even more!
- Light brown sugar: Adds the perfect amount of sweetness to the sauce. You can also use granulated sugar or even honey.
- Soy sauce: I like using low sodium soy sauce in this recipe to control the saltiness. You can also substitute coconut aminos to keep this recipe gluten free!
- Garnish: Crushed red pepper flakes, green onions or sesame seeds for serving.
How to make Firecracker Salmon
- Sear salmon: Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a large skillet over medium high heat. Once hot add in the salmon skin side down. Cook salmon for 5-7 minutes on skin side (depending on size).
- Flip: The salmon very carefully. If the skin is sticking to the pan give it more time to cook. It should release easily from the pan. Continue cooking for 1-3 minutes or until the salmon is fully cooked and looks opaque.
- Make the sauce: Meanwhile add buffalo sauce, brown sugar and soy sauce to a small bowl and whisk to combine. Brush the firecracker sauce on top of the salmon.
- Serve: When the salmon is cool enough to handle peel off the skin. Serve immediately with a sprinkle of green onions and red pepper flakes for serving.
- Store: Cooked salmon in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months!
Tips for making The Best Salmon
- Make sure to pat down the salmon before searing with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. This is especially important if you are working with thawed frozen salmon. Patting the salmon down helps to get a nice crust on the outside when searing.
- Leave the skin on the salmon during cooking. This helps the salmon stay together and not fall apart when flipping and keeps the salmon moist. Allow the salmon to cool a bit and remove the skin. It should remove very easily!
- Don’t try to flip the salmon if it is sticking. This means it is not ready yet to be flipped. Give it a minute or two and it should release from the pan easily on it’s on.
What to serve with this 20 Minute Firecracker Salmon
- The BEST Fried Rice
- Cauliflower Fried Rice
- Garlic Fried Rice
- White or brown rice. For a low carb option try cauliflower rice.
- Steamed vegetables
- Roasted Brussel sprouts
- Japanese Cucumber Salad
How to Store Cooked Salmon
- Refrigerator Instructions: Salmon is always best the day of cooking however this firecracker salmon can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Should I freeze cooked salmon? I would not recommend freezing this salmon especially if it has been previously frozen.
- Repurpose it! A good way to repurpose leftover salmon is to make salmon cakes, fried rice, dip or even pasta!
Here are more Easy Salmon Recipes to try!
- The BEST Sweet and Sour Salmon
- Hoisin Glazed Salmon and Veggies in foil
- Easy Teriyaki Salmon
- Super Easy Thai Salmon
- Blackened Salmon with Lime Butter Sauce
- Sweet and Spicy Honey Sriracha Salmon
20 Minute Firecracker Salmon
- 2 salmon filets skin on
- 1 tablespoon oil
- ½ cup buffalo sauce
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- sliced green onions for serving
- crushed red pepper flakes for serving
- Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Once hot add in the salmon skin side down.
- Cook salmon for 5-7 minutes on skin side (depending on size).
- Very carefully flip salmon. If the skin is sticking to the pan give it more time to cook. It should release easily from the pan.
- Continue cooking for 1-3 minutes or until the salmon is fully cooked and looks opaque.
- Meanwhile add buffalo sauce, brown sugar and soy sauce to a small bowl and whisk to combine.
- Brush the firecracker sauce on top of the salmon.
- When the salmon is cool enough to handle peel off the skin.
- Serve immediately with a sprinkle of green onions and red pepper flakes for serving.
Originally published Dec 20, 2016