Prepared brown rice or cauliflower riceoptional for serving
Place rack in the center and upper third of your oven and preheat to 400° F. Line a baking dish large enough to hold the salmon in an even layer with aluminum foil (a 9×13-inch baking dish works well; you can also use parchment paper, but only if your paper is broiler safe, you will need to skip the boiling step). With paper towel, pat the salmon dry, then arrange the pieces down the center of the baking dish so that they are not touching.
In a small bowl or larger liquid measuring cup with a spout, combine the maple syrup, soy sauce, oil, ginger, and black pepper. Drizzle 3/4 all over the top of the salmon. Rub or brush to coat the salmon evenly with the sauce. With a spoon, scoop some of the glaze that collects in the bottom of the pan over the top of the salmon. Reserve the remaining sauce.
Bake the salmon for 6 minutes, then with a spoon, baste again with the sauce that’s collected in the pan. Continue baking until the salmon is almost cooked through at the center, about another 5 minutes for 1-inch fillets; if your salmon is thicker or thinner, you will need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Drizzle the reserved glaze over the salmon and place on the upper third rack. Turn the oven to broil and let cook until the salmon reaches 140° F on an instant-read thermometer for medium salmon (or cook all the way to 145°F for well done), about 1 to 2 minutes more. Note that the salmon's temperature will rise as it rests. When done, salmon should flake easily with a fork. Let rest a few minutes. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, green onions, and sesame seeds. Serve hot over rice as desired.
TO STORE: This recipe is best enjoyed the day that it is made, as salmon can dry out when reheated.
TO REHEAT: Let the salmon come to room temperature while heating a skillet on the stove over medium-low. Gently rewarm individual salmon portions with a splash of water, covering the skillet. Remove the salmon once it is heated through (this should only take a couple of minutes).
TO USE LEFTOVERS: That said, there are still many yummy ways to use leftover salmon! Try serving it at room temperature over a salad the next day or mixed with fried rice for a tasty alternative.
*TO COOK A WHOLE SIDE OF SALMON: Use a large sheet of foil to line a rimmed baking sheet and place the salmon on top (if you prefer the salmon not touch the foil, you can lay parchment on top of the foil first). Fold the sides of the aluminum foil up and over the top of the salmon until it is completely enclosed (wrap any of the sauce that has pooled right up inside the foil with the fish—if your foil is too small, you can place a second sheet on top to create a packet). Leave a little room inside the foil for air to circulate. Bake the salmon for 12 to 18 minutes, until it is almost completely cooked through at the thickest part. Uncover the salmon, brush with the remaining sauce, then broil for 3 minutes, until the salmon reaches 135°F on an instant read thermometer (salmon is considered cooked at 145°F but its temperature will rise as it rests). Cover and let rest a few minutes, then enjoy.