From America's Test Kitchen Season 12: Salmon and Sole
The traditional method for glazed salmon calls for broiling, but reaching into a broiling-hot oven every minute to baste the fish is a hassle and, even worse, the fillets often burn if your timing isn’t spot-on. We wanted a foolproof method for producing glazed salmon that was succulent and pink throughout while keeping the slightly crusty, flavorful browned exterior commonly associated with broiling. Reducing the temperature and gently baking the fish cooked the salmon perfectly. To rapidly caramelize the fillets before their exteriors had a chance to toughen, we sprinkled the fillets with sugar and quickly pan-seared each side before transferring them to the oven. To ensure the glaze stayed put, we rubbed the fish with a mixture of cornstarch, brown sugar, and salt before searing.
Use center-cut salmon fillets of similar thickness so that they cook at the same rate. The best way to ensure uniformity is to buy a 1 1/2- to 2-pound whole center-cut fillet and cut it into 4 pieces. Prepare the glaze before you cook the salmon. If your nonstick skillet isn't ovensafe, sear the salmon as directed in step 2, then transfer it to a rimmed baking sheet, glaze it, and bake the salmon as directed in step 3.