Sweet, sticky, salty, and savory, teriyaki sauce is 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.
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.
It was only a matter of time until I tried a Japanese teriyaki salmon recipe, particularly considering the evidence:
- 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 how often I turn to salmon for healthy meals—salmon is rich in omega-3s, protein, and is quick and easy to prepare with little prep time. (Hence, this collection of healthy salmon recipes.)
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 —
Cooking Method for Teriyaki Salmon
This recipe is an off-shoot of my forever reliable workhorse of a recipe, Baked Salmon in Foil.
Even if you’ve never cooked salmon, 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.
- Change it up! You can use this same method for a wide range of recipes. Heat lovers, check out this Spicy Salmon recipe.
For everything you need to know about salmon baking at different temperatures, including how to know when salmon is done, check out my Salmon Baking Temperature Guide.
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 even more salmon tips, see this post all about How to Cook Salmon.
How to Make Teriyaki Salmon
The beauty of this easy teriyaki salmon recipe is it can be in the oven in fewer than 10 minutes.
You don’t even need to marinate the salmon first!
Store-bought Vs. Homemade Teriyaki
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 make teriyaki sauce with ingredients you can find at any grocery store. This teriyaki sauce is made of more wholesome ingredients!
- 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.
- Maple Syrup. The sweet component in our homemade teriyaki sauce. It’s caramelizes beautifully in the oven and is a better choice than the corn syrup in store bought sauces.
- Soy Sauce. Our salty addition that offsets the sweetness of the maple syrup and brings a delightful umami flavor. I also use it in my Miso Salmon and Bourbon Glazed Salmon.
- Oil. The extra-virgin olive oil has a mild, grassy taste. For an extra note of Asian flavor, you could use half sesame oil.
- Fresh Ginger. It adds zip to our sauce and makes this recipe pop. (The flavor of the fresh ginger is so much better here than garlic or even ground ginger).
- 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 extra Asian nod.
- Let the salmon come to room temperature.
- Lay the salmon on a foil-lined baking pan or sheet.
- Whisk together the teriyaki glaze ingredients.
- Pour 3/4 of the glaze over the salmon. Fold the foil over the salmon until sealed, then bake until fully cooked.
- Brush the remaining teriyaki sauce on the salmon. Broil for 3 minutes, then garnish with green onions and sesame seeds. ENJOY!
For total accuracy and the best results, use an instant read thermometer to determine if salmon is done. Fish is considered cooked at 145 degrees F (I remove several degrees early, then let the carry over cooking during resting bring the salmon to temperature).
- To Store. Salmon is always best eaten the day it is made. However, leftover salmon can be kept 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 to medium heat. 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.
The Best Baking Dish
A beautiful and versatile baking dish like this one is a must-have in every kitchen. It’s perfect for casseroles and so much more!
I cannot overstate how into this healthy teriyaki 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!
Frequently Asked Questions
Most bottled soy sauces contain wheat. To make this recipe gluten free, swap the low salt soy sauce for an equal amount of tamari or look for gluten free soy sauce that is labeled certified gluten free.
Absolutely! Substitute salmon with a similar meaty, fatty, sturdy fish. Trout, cod, or halibut would all work well, with your total time varying just a little.
The beauty of this recipe is that it does not require marinating to create excellent flavor. However, if you have extra time, marinade fish for 2-3 hours. Longer than this, and the fish may start to break down.
No. This recipe is not spicy at all (this Blackened Salmon has a nice kick though). In fact, it’s pretty sweet. If you’d like to make a spicy teriyaki salmon, you could add some chili flakes to the teriyaki sauce or serve the salmon with a bit of sriracha on the side.
- 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 (swap for tamari for gluten free)
- 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 spray. 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 are 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 "overdone" 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.
- 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.
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