Teriyaki salmon has the just the right balance of sweet and savory flavors and it’s baked to flaky perfection. Dinner’s ready to serve in under 30 minutes!
Why you’ll love it: A healthy, flavorful dinner idea that’s perfect for busy weeknights or entertaining.
How long it takes: less than 30 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: oven-proof skillet
Servings: 4 fillets
- 1 Recipe Overview
- 2 About this Teriyaki Salmon
- 3 Ingredients you’ll need
- 4 Instant Read Thermometer
- 5 How to make Teriyaki Salmon
- 6 FAQs
- 7 What to Serve With This Recipe
- 8 How to make this Teriyaki Salmon your own
- 9 Make Ahead Ideas
- 10 Storage & Reheating Tips
- 11 More Salmon Recipes
- 12 Get the Recipe: Teriyaki Salmon Recipe
Teriyaki and salmon are a match made in heaven but gloppy, cloying store-bought teriyaki sauce just isn’t going to cut it. So many brands overplay the sweetness at the expense of the umami, and a number of them are sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup.
This teriyaki salmon uses a homemade teriyaki sauce made with simple ingredients, most of which you probably have in your pantry right now. Making the homemade sauce adds just 5 minutes to the recipe and the results are worth it: a sauce that’s sticky, tangy, sweet, and savory, with a little bit of warmth from fresh ginger.
Even if you’re not usually a fan of fish, this recipe might just win you over. Salmon is a mild flavored fish to begin with, and when paired with a teriyaki glaze, it’s pretty dang irresistible.
About this Teriyaki Salmon
- A healthy weeknight dinner. Salmon is a superfood lean protein with inflammation-fighting heart-healthy fats and vitamins A, B12, and D. This teriyaki salmon is lower in sugar than commercially prepared salmon, thanks to the homemade teriyaki sauce.
- (If you like the idea of healthy salmon dinners, try my orange glazed salmon, BBQ salmon, or air fryer salmon recipes.)
- Baked and pan-fried. Best of both worlds! You get a nice sear on the salmon fillets by starting them on the stovetop, then you pop them in the oven until they’re perfectly cooked and flaky. Finish by cooking the sauce in the pan until it’s thickened and sticky, then spoon it over the salmon.
- Balanced flavor. This is a dish where all the different elements come together in harmony. No single ingredient dominates, so you get just the right balance of sweet, savory, warm, and umami flavors.
Ingredients you’ll need
- Salmon Fillets: King salmon, sockeye salmon, and Coho salmon are considered among the best tasting salmon; wild-caught Pacific salmon are the healthiest (source). The salmon is simply seasoned with salt and pepper, then seared in olive oil.
- Soy Sauce: Soy sauce is the foundation of the teriyaki sauce. If you’re watching your sodium intake, use low-sodium soy sauce. Make this teriyaki salmon gluten-free by using tamari, coconut aminos, or liquid aminos instead of soy sauce.
- Brown Sugar: Dark brown sugar gives the sauce a more caramelized, molasses flavor, while light brown sugar is milder.
- Rice Vinegar: This balances the sweetness in our teriyaki sauce. Be sure to use unseasoned rice vinegar; seasoned rice vinegar is sweetened and higher in sodium.
- Fresh Ginger: Fresh ginger root has more punch than dried ground ginger. Because you’re grating it, you don’t even have to peel it as long as you scrub it well.
- Garlic: Two fresh garlic cloves, minced finely, are the final element for flavoring the teriyaki sauce. Use more or less, depending on your taste.
- Cornstarch: This helps the sauce thicken so it sticks to the salmon instead of running off.
- Green Onion: Garnish the salmon with sliced green onion (scallions). Use only the green ends for a milder flavor, or include the white parts for more crispy texture and assertive flavor.
- Sesame Seeds: Garnish with white sesame, black sesame, or a combination of the two. This garnish is optional.
How to make Teriyaki Salmon
Whisk together the teriyaki ingredients in a small bowl.
Preheat your oven to 400°F and pat the salmon dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper.
Set an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat, then coat the bottom with about a tablespoon of oil. When the skillet is hot, arrange the salmon fillets in the skillet in a single layer with the skin side up; sear for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and flip the fillets over.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the internal temperature reaches 145ºF, or for 8 to 12 minutes. Carefully remove the pan from the oven. Remember that the handle is very hot!
Transfer the fillets to a platter. Use paper towels to absorb any excess oil in the pan.
Stir the sauce ingredients together (the cornstarch has a tendency to settle in the bottom) and pour it into the skillet. Cook the sauce over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until the teriyaki is thickened, about 1 minute.
Spoon the sauce over the salmon and garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds before serving.
Pair teriyaki salmon with your favorite healthy cooked grain, a simple salad, or dishes with Asian-inspired flavors.
No, it may seem counterintuitive, but you should not rinse salmon or other seafood before cooking it. The USDA recommends skipping this step as it can spread bacteria to other foods and surfaces in your kitchen; cooking salmon to 145ºF will kill any harmful bacteria.
What to Serve With This Recipe
Serve teriyaki glazed salmon over rice, Instant Pot brown rice, or Instant Pot quinoa. Since you already have the oven on, why not make roasted broccoli or roasted green beans as a side? Easy sugar snap peas are also a great go-along or steamed broccoli.
Incidentally, if you love the teriyaki sauce in this recipe, try it with other meals. Plain air fryer chicken breasts are outstanding with this teriyaki glaze and it’s perfect for wings and drumsticks, too. Dress up pork chops or steak with a yummy glaze. Take vegetables up a few notches by adding a sauce.
How to make this Teriyaki Salmon your own
- Try an alternative sweetener: Use honey or maple syrup instead of brown sugar for a slightly different flavor. Keep in mind it may slightly change the consistency of the sauce as well.
- Use a different acid: Try white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar instead of rice vinegar, or you can use freshly squeezed lime juice.
- Garnish with toasted sesame oil: Finish your teriyaki salmon with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil to add another layer of flavor to the dish.
- Make the salmon in your air fryer: Use my recipe for air fryer salmon and cook the glaze in a small saucepan.
- Rather have chicken? Try my crockpot teriyaki chicken!
Make Ahead Ideas
Get a head start on this recipe by whisking together the teriyaki sauce a day or two in advance. Store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook. Stir the ingredients well before cooking the sauce as the cornstarch has a tendency to settle to the bottom.
Storage & Reheating Tips
Refrigerate: Store any leftover salmon in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Reheat: Leftover salmon can be reheated in a skillet over medium heat until it’s warmed through; to keep it moist, add a splash of vegetable broth or water and cover the pan.
- ¼ cup soy sauce (low sodium preferred)
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 green onion, sliced (for garnish)
- sesame seeds (for garnish)
- In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, water ginger, garlic, and cornstarch. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Pat salmon dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat oven-proof skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan or enough to lightly cover the bottom of the skillet. Place salmon fillets in skillet, skin side up, and sear for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and flip fillets over. Salmon should release fairly easily from pan. If not, cook it a minute or two longer.
- Place skillet with salmon in preheated oven and bake for 8 to 12 minutes (until internal temperature reaches 145°F or desired temperature). Baking time will vary depending on thickness of fillets.
- Carefully remove skillet from oven (remember handle is hot). Transfer salmon to serving plates. Carefully clean excess oil from skillet with paper towels.
- Stir sauce ingredients and add to skillet. Over medium low heat, cook sauce, stirring constantly until thickened and clear, about 1 minute. Spoon sauce evenly over salmon.
- Serve immediately, garnished with sliced green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
- Refrigerate leftover salmon for up to 2 days. Reheat gently in skillet or microwave.
- The teriyaki sauce can be used in other dishes, too. Try it on vegetables, chicken, pork, or beef.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.