This easy teriyaki salmon recipe is surprisingly delicious, with a combination of sweet, salty, and savory tastes. The teriyaki salmon recipe is prepared with homemade authentic teriyaki sauce and does not require lengthy marinating. Serve with rice and vegetable of your choice to make it a complete meal.
Once the skin is perfectly sear, it will remain crispy even after doused in the sauce.
How to cook salmon teriyaki
1. Season the salmon
I prefer using chilled salmon fillet weighted between 200g to 250g. Since this is a pan-fried teriyaki salmon recipe, I choose a fillet with even thickens to fry it evenly.
- Trim off the end part of the fillet, which is relatively thin. You can keep it to make other dishes of your choice. Such as fish pies.
- Clean the salmon and pat dry with a kitchen paper towel. This step is essential as wet salmon will cause splattering and unable to crisp up when deep-frying.
- Season both sides of the fillet with salt and pepper. Although the teriyaki sauce will eventually coat the fillet, pre-season with salt and pepper will improve the overall taste, particularly for the thicker part where the sauce is not reachable.
- Place some cornstarch in a sieve or a small wire mesh strainer and sprinkle all over the fillet, then dust off the excess cornstarch.
- Cornstarch (or potato starch) helps to keep the salmon dry to achieve a better browning effect. It also reacts with the teriyaki sauce in the next step to form a glossy glaze on the surface.
Marinate or not to marinate?
Some teriyaki salmon recipes do it differently by marinating the fillet with the teriyaki sauce before pan-frying.
I do not marinate the salmon. The sauce that glazes the surface provides good flavor to the salmon. I prefer to keep the salmon skin dry, as it will be crispy for a long time, even after glazing with the sauce.
2. Pan-fry the salmon
- Heat some olive oil (or other oil of your choice) in a pan over medium heat. When it is sufficiently hot, place the salmon skin-side down. Reduce the heat to low and pan-fry for about six minutes or until it becomes crispy.
- Flip the salmon to pan-fry other sides until no longer pink, about two minutes. Since we have pan-fried the skin side for six minutes, the salmon have at least half cooked. Therefore two minutes of further pan-frying is about the correct timing for the 250g fillet over low heat. The filled should be nearly cooked and pink inside as we still need to coat it with the sauce in the next step. If you are unsure, poke a kitchen thermometer into the thickest part of the filler. It should be about 145°F/63°C.
- Once the fillets have achieved the desired doneness, remove them and rest at room temperature.
Note: You can make oven-baked teriyaki or grilled teriyaki salmon. I choose to use pan-fried because it is the quickest way, as the pan is also used for cooking the sauce. It saves me time to wash the grill and clean the oven.
Perfect browning of the salmon skin
I did two things to ensure the salmon skin is pan-fried perfectly.
- Set the initial heat to medium to heat the fillet quickly since it is cold initially. Reduce the heat subsequently to low to pan fry the skin slowly. Since low heat will brown the skin relatively slower, oil in the salmon will have enough time to render, resulting in a very crispy skin. The cornstarch helps protect the skin from getting charred, forming a nicely browned surface without overburning.
- As the fillet is not entirely flat, lightly press the fillet to let the skin have complete contact with the pan to brown the skin evenly.
3. Make the teriyaki sauce
The preparation is downright simple. Place all the ingredients in the same pan after pan-frying the salmon. You may want to remove part of the oil if there is too much. I do not wash the pan, as the oil and is already infused with the flavor from the salmon. You need to bring the mixture to a boil to dissolve the sugar and thicken the sauce.
This sauce for the teriyaki salmon recipe is also suitable for other fish and meat. You can use it to make teriyaki chicken which I have published in one of my previous posts.
Note: If you are running out of time or want to keep things simple, grab one ready-made teriyaki sauce. It should be available at most of the grocery stores.
4. Glaze the salmon with the teriyaki sauce
The final step of cooking the salmon is to glaze it with the sauce.
- Reduce the sauce to half of the original volume nu heating it further before adding the salmon. The goal is to let the sauce become sticky and thick enough to cling to the surface of the fillet, forming a beautiful glossy layer. The sauce will not stick onto the fillet if the sauce is too thin.
- Flip the fillet carefully to let the sauce glaze the surface thoroughly. Then remove it from the pan.
- Heat the remaining sauce in the pan to thicken it further. This caramel-like sauce is perfect for drizzling on top of the fillet before serving.
- Garnish the salmon with some cut scallion and toasted white sesame seeds.
5. Serving suggestion
This teriyaki salmon recipe is very versatile. It is perfect for serving with plain rice as a teriyaki salmon rice bowl. The extra teriyaki sauce will sip into the bed of rice beneath the fillet. You may also want to serve it separately or include it in the bento box.
Since the teriyaki sauce is savory, I would suggest including some vegetables to serve with the salmon.
Other Japanese-inspired dishes that will interest you.
If you like this pan-fried teriyaki salmon recipe, you will likely want to try the following Japanese recipes.
Japanese garlic fried rice only required a few simple ingredients and is quick to prepare. It is a perfect match with the teriyaki salmon.
Miso soup is a warm and comforting Japanese soup prepared with a soup stock (Dashi) and miso paste. Prepare a complete Japanese meal with miso soup, teriyaki salmon, and the fried rice.
Do you like tempura? Here is my recipe to prepare the tempura batter. This recipe will show you how to make the best tempura batter that tastes.
- 2 pieces of salmon (about 400g)
- Salt and pepper to season the salmon
- 3 tbsp Japanese soy sauce
- 1.5 tbsp sake
- 3 tbsp mirin
- 2 tsp sugar
- 4 slices ginger
- Chopped scallion and white sesame seeds as garnishing
- Clean the salmon and pat dry with a kitchen paper towel.
- Season both sides with salt and pepper
- Sprinkle sufficient cornstarch on the surface, then dust off the excess cornstarch.
- Heat some oil in a pan over medium heat. When it is sufficiently hot, place the salmon skin-side down. Reduce the heat to low and pan-fry for about six minutes or until it becomes crispy.
- Flip the salmon to pan-fry other sides until no longer pink, about two minutes. Remove and rest at room temperature.
- Combine ingredients B in a small pan and bring to boil. Remove and set aside.
- Clean the pan, heat the sauce to reduce it slightly, then place the salmon in it.
- Coat salmon with the sauce. The sauce will thicken and form a glaze on the surface.
- Transfer to the serving plate. Garnish with scallion and white sesame seeds.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 960Total Fat: 50gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 36gCholesterol: 215mgSodium: 1690mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 4gSugar: 16gProtein: 82g
This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 4/21/2021