Sweet, sticky, salty, and savory, teriyaki sauce might just be the ultimate dinner keeper of the peace. This Teriyaki Salmon makes the most of it! Kids, adults, teens—try to find one person who can convincingly dispute that teriyaki is anything other than delightful.
Salmon that’s brushed liberally with a lightning-fast, five-ingredient homemade teriyaki sauce (just three ingredients if you discount the black pepper and olive oil), then wrapped in foil and oven baked until the fish is moist and flaky and the sauce is sweet and sticky, this healthy salmon recipe is nothing short of fabulous.
This salmon is a spinoff of my absolutely foolproof Baked Salmon in Foil, a recipe that has been viewed millions of times and has dozens of 5-star reviews.
Next up: teriyaki.
Teriyaki – Healthy Flavor for Any Protein
Whenever I need healthy dinner inspiration, I often turn to Asian flavors, as they impart big-time taste without the need for excess sugars or oils.
Teriyaki has been a special fave since my high school days of ordering takeout at our local Japanese fast food chain—no claims to authenticity, but it sure was yummy.
Considering 1) how often I use teriyaki sauce to cook chicken (so often that I have a classic stovetop Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry, a Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken, AND an Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken), and 2) how often I turn to salmon for healthy meals—salmon is rich in omega-3s, protein, and is quick and easy to prepare—I’m not sure why it took me so long to put the two together and make a Japanese teriyaki salmon recipe.
Now that I have, however? It’s all I want to eat!
My complaint with the store bought teriyaki sauces (as well as teriyaki dishes you might order out) is that they are typically loaded with added sugars and processed ingredients. Therefore, teriyaki sauce is not always a healthy choice.
Fortunately, it’s easy to create your own teriyaki sauce with ingredients you can find at any grocery store. This teriyaki sauce is made of more wholesome ingredients!
5 Star Review
“I never comment on recipes… But this was WORTH the review! It was so yummy! All the flavors went well together and simple to make.”— Chelsea —
Foil for Foolproof Salmon Cooking
Even if you’ve never cooked salmon (or any fish!), when you use this method of foil baking, you can cook it with confidence and success.
Wrapping the salmon in foil then baking it in the oven seals in the salmon’s juices, resulting in marvelously moist fish. It’s the best method to cook perfect salmon every time!
Finishing up the cooking by popping the salmon under the broiler caramelizes the sauce and turns it into a sticky teriyaki glaze.
Alternative Cooking Methods
- If you prefer not to have the foil touch the fish directly, simply line the foil with a sheet of parchment paper first.
- If you’d like to cook outdoors, you can use this same recipe to make grilled teriyaki salmon. Follow the cooking times for this Grilled Salmon in Foil, using the sauce in this recipe. I’d double wrap the salmon, to make sure the sauce doesn’t leak out.
- For a twist on teriyaki salmon pan fried, see this Soy Ginger Salmon or this Honey Garlic Salmon.
- For even more tips, see this post all about How to Cook Salmon.
How to Make Baked Teriyaki Salmon in Foil
This beauty of a meal can be in the oven in fewer than 10 minutes. You don’t even need to marinate the salmon first.
- Salmon. Look for a center-cut fillet of salmon. I prefer wild caught salmon, because it’s typically lower in calories, higher in minerals, and better quality overall.
You can cook salmon with the skin off or skin on. Personally, I prefer skin on, as I find it less prone to drying out.
Once the salmon fillet is cooked, slice the fillet into portions (with the skin attached) and transfer the pieces to a plate. As you eat it, the skin will come right off and is easy to avoid.
- Maple Syrup. The sweet component in our homemade teriyaki sauce. It’s a more natural choice than the brown sugar found in other teriyaki sauce recipes, and it caramelizes beautifully in the oven.
- Soy Sauce. Our salty addition that offsets the sweetness of the maple syrup and brings a delightful umami flavor.
- Fresh Ginger. It adds zip to our sauce and makes this recipe pop.
- Black Pepper. One of my favorite components anytime I’m cooking with maple. It gives the recipe savoriness and depth.
- Green Onion + Sesame Seeds. The final flourishes that give this recipe an Asian nod.
- Let the salmon come to room temperature. This will ensure the most even baking. The length of time it takes you to preheat the oven is perfect.
- Lay the salmon on a foil-lined baking sheet.
- Whisk together the teriyaki glaze ingredients, and drizzle 3/4 on top of the salmon, brushing to coat. Fold the foil over the salmon until sealed, then bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees F. (How long you cook your salmon will depend on the size of salmon you use.)
- Remove the salmon and open the top of the foil. Brush the remaining teriyaki sauce on the salmon. Broil for 3 minutes, until golden—this is how to make the teriyaki glaze, right under the broiler! Top with green onions and sesame seeds. DIG IN!
A crisp white such as a Sauvignon Blanc or a fruity red such as Pinot Noir would go well with this teriyaki salmon and similar Asian recipes.
- To Store. Place leftover salmon in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- 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).
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Baking Dish. This is the perfect size for making this recipe, or you can use these rimmed baking sheets.
- Small Whisk. Avoid splashing your teriyaki sauce all over the counter.
- Measuring Spoons. Ideal for measuring out the ingredients in this recipe.
I cannot overstate how into this healthy salmon recipe we’ve become. I hope you love it just as much as we do!
If you try this recipe, please leave a comment. It makes my day to hear from you!
- 2 pound side of salmon — boneless skin on or off, depending upon your preference—I leave the skin on, wild caught if possible
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce plus additional for serving
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Chopped green onion for serving
- Toasted sesame seeds for serving
- Remove the salmon from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking dish or rimmed baking sheet with a large piece of aluminum foil. If you prefer not to bake the salmon directly touching the foil, place a sheet of parchment on top of it to act as a barrier. Lightly coat the foil (or parchment) with nonstick spay. Place the salmon on top.
- In a small bowl or larger liquid measuring cup, whisk together 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 easily with the sauce. Some of the sauce will run over the salmon and down the sides, which is just fine. Reserve the remaining sauce.
- 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 piece of foil is not large enough, place a second piece on top and fold the edges under so that it forms a sealed packet. Leave a little room inside the foil for air to circulate.
- Bake the salmon for 15 minutes, until it salmon is almost completely cooked through at the thickest part. The cooking time will vary based on the thickness of your salmon. If your side is thinner (around 1-inch thick) check several minutes early to ensure your salmon does not overcook. If your piece is very thick (1 1/2 inches or more), it may need longer.
- Remove the salmon from the oven and carefully open the foil so that the top of the fish is completely uncovered (be careful of hot steam). Change the oven setting to broil.
- Brush the remaining sauce over the top of the salmon, then return the salmon to the oven, uncovered, and broil for 3 minutes, until the top of the salmon and the glaze slightly golden and the fish is completely cooked through. Watch the salmon closely as it broils to make sure it doesn’t overcook.
- Remove the salmon from the oven. If it still appears a bit underdone, you can wrap the foil back over the top and let it rest for a few minutes. Do not let it sit too long—salmon can progress from “not done” to “over done” very quickly. As soon as it flakes easily with a fork at the thickest part, it’s ready.
- To serve, cut the salmon into portions. Sprinkle with chopped green onion and sesame seeds. Serve warm.
- This recipe is best enjoyed the day that it is made, as salmon can dry out when reheated. For reheating suggestions, see the blog post above.
- 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.
- Adapted from Small Victories.
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