Homemade Teriyaki Salmon is a breeze to throw together, and bursting with flavor. Even picky eaters will love this quick and healthy pan-fried fish recipe!
Salmon Has Never Been This Quick, Easy, and Mouthwatering!
If you are in need of a quick, easy meal that’s loaded with Asian flavor (healthy and Omega-3’s), this recipe is perfect for you. The ultra-flavorful teriyaki sauce is thick, shiny, and just right for flavoring tender skin-on salmon filets.
So wake up your tastebuds and take salmon to a whole new level. Teriyaki salmon will add variety to your weekly menu rotation and to your diet – and it’s as easy as can be. Skip the takeout, and make this instead!
What’s in This Teriyaki Salmon?
If you’ve never made your own teriyaki-style marinade before, don’t be intimidated. My version is extremely quick and easy, and it doesn’t include any unusual or hard-to-find ingredients. You can probably make this with what you have in your pantry right now!
- Soy Sauce: I like low sodium soy sauce, but regular is fine, too.
- Honey: A little bit of your favorite honey gives this dish the perfect sweetness.
- Lemon Juice: For a touch of acidity.
- Garlic and Ginger: Fresh is best, but powder will do in a pinch.
- Cornstarch: To thicken the sauce.
- Salt and Pepper
- Salmon Filets: Look for skin-on salmon filets, about 2 inches thick.
- Olive Oil: Or whatever cooking oil you like to use for pan-frying.
- Garnishes: Sliced green onions and sesame seeds make the perfect (but optional!) garnish.
Should I Eat the Skin on Salmon?
That’s an interesting question, and the answer is not exactly simple. First off, some people just don’t like the skin, which is understandable – in that case, feel free to leave it uneaten!
If you do like the skin, you can eat it, and the “pro” is that you get extra Omega-3’s and other great nutrients from the skin.
The “con” is that in some cases, contaminants like mercury may be more concentrated in the skin. So do your research about the type of salmon you are using, and make the decision that’s best for you.
Step By Step Instructions
Skillet salmon is a snap to make, but the payoff is spectacular! Perfectly tender, juicy salmon is just minutes away. Here’s how you make it.
- Marinate the Salmon. In a large bowl (or a big zip-top bag), mix together the soy sauce, honey, lemon juice, garlic, cornstarch, ginger, salt, and pepper. Add the salmon filets, and gently toss and turn them so that they are coated all over in the marinade. Cover the bowl (or seal the bag), and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or up to 8 hours.
- Cook the Salmon on the First Side. Take the salmon filets out of the marinade, but don’t toss the marinade – save it to make the sauce. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and fry the filets skin-side-down, for 6 minutes.
- Cook the Salmon on the Second Side. Flip the filets, and cook them for another 3 to 4 minutes, until they are cooked through. Set the cooked salmon aside on a clean plate, covered to keep it warm.
- Make the Sauce. Let’s return to that leftover marinade. You’ll want to whisk the cornstarch into the marinade, and then pour it into the heated skillet. Bring it to a simmer, stirring often, and let it cook for about 3 minutes, or until it thickens to your liking.
- Finish the Dish. Once the sauce has thickened, add the filets back to the pan and cook them top-side-down for one minute. Flip, and cook top-side-up for one minute. Now the salmon is done! Garnished with chopped green onions and sesame seeds (if you are using those), and serve.
How Long Should You Marinate Salmon?
When you marinate fish, it’s important not to overdo it, or the acids in the marinade may start to “cook” the fish before it ever hits the pan! While you can marinate for up to 8 hours, I think it turns out best if you shoot for somewhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Tips for Success
Making this salmon recipe is so simple, but I would like to share a couple of helpful hints to make it even better. Here are my top tips for the best stovetop teriyaki salmon, tender and flaky every time.
- Pat the Fish Dry: This is especially important if you’re using salmon that has been frozen and then thawed. Using clean paper towels to pat away excess moisture can help the full flavors of the fish and marinade shine.
- Use a Heavy Skillet. A heavy stainless steel or cast-iron skillet will hold and distribute heat better than a thinner, lighter skillet. Even heating means even cooking, which is extra-important for delicate ingredients like fish filets.
- Don’t Overcook: Overcooked salmon can get dry, tacky, and tough. Not what you’re looking for! To prevent overcooking, I recommend using an instant-read meat thermometer. The safe internal temperature for salmon is 145°F.
What Goes Well with Teriyaki Salmon?
Side dishes are always a fun feature to plan for your main course, and teriyaki salmon is no exception. With its big, bold flavor, there are so many great veggies and other sides you can serve. These are just a few simple ideas to try:
- Wonton Soup: A restaurant favorite, made at home! I love Wonton Soup with Homemade Dumplings for a special starter course. The light Asian flavors go beautifully with teriyaki salmon.
- Broccoli: Everyone loves broccoli with salmon, but for this dinner, I’d give it a twist – in the air fryer! Air Fryer Asian Roasted Broccoli will have even the most sincere broccoli-hater giving the healthy veggie another try.
- Cauliflower: Is there anything cauliflower can’t do? These days it can be rice, pizza, or whatever you want. I like to serve mine as a savory mash (like low carb mashed potatoes!) with this easy recipe for Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash.
- Rice: This easy and flavorful Cilantro Lime Rice goes amazingly with the salmon and teriyaki sauce!
Storing and Reheating
- This teriyaki salmon can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.
- Reheat in a covered skillet over low heat, in the sauce. Make sure not to overcook it or the fish will be dry.
Can I Freeze the Leftovers?
Yes, you can freeze and reheat leftover teriyaki salmon, although the texture of the reheated dish won’t be quite as perfect as a freshly-made filet. Still, it will be tasty (and safe) to eat, so don’t throw those leftovers out! Here’s how you freeze them:
- Cool the salmon completely to prevent freezer burn.
- Store the salmon in a freezer bag and press out as much air as possible before sealing. Alternatively, wrap the filet in two layers of plastic wrap.
- Freeze for up to three months. It can keep for longer than that, but for the freshest taste, I recommend a shorter freezing time.
- Thaw completely in the fridge before reheating.
More Easy Seafood Recipes
Looking for more quick and easy seafood recipes? Here are a few of my favorites:
- Shrimp Tacos with Slaw
- Crispy Salmon Patties
- Baked Herbed Oysters
- Best Blackened Fish Tacos
- Creamy Thai Shrimp Bisque
- Air Fryer Shrimp Po’Boys
- 10 Minute Air Fryer Salmon
- Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp
- ½ cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 skin-on salmon filets, about 2 inches thick
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Sliced green onions, optional garnish
- Sesame seeds, optional garnish
- In a large bowl or zip-top bag, mix together the soy sauce, honey, lemon juice, garlic, cornstarch, ginger, salt, and pepper. Add the salmon filets and gently toss to coat in the marinade. Cover or seal, and place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.
- Remove the salmon from the marinade and reserve the marinade for later (do not discard marinade).
- Heat a large pan over medium-high heat, and add the olive oil. Fry each filet, skin-side-down, for 6 minutes. Flip the filets, and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, until cooked through. Remove the filets from the pan and set aside. Cover to keep warm.
- Add the cornstarch to the marinade and whisk to combine. Pour the marinade into the pan and let it simmer, stirring often, for about 3 minutes, or until it thickens to your liking.
- Once the sauce has thickened, add the filets back to the pan and cook them top-side-down for one minute. Flip, and cook for one minute more. Remove from the heat.
- Serve the salmon, garnished with chopped green onions and sesame seeds (if desired).
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