Teriyaki Salmon is a weeknight go-to recipe in my house.
A slab of fresh salmon is baked in the oven until flaky and juicy, then basted with my sweet, tangy Homemade Teriyaki Sauce that simmered away on the stovetop until syrupy-thick. Finally, the two are baked in the oven and married together for a few minutes until glazed and sticky.
It’s easy (ready in less than one hour!), healthy, and oh so delicious.Jump to Recipe
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Why Should I Make Homemade Teriyaki Sauce?
- It tastes so much better than store-bought. Seriously, this sauce knocks it out of the park.
- You should already have most, if not all, of the ingredients already in your pantry.
- You control the quality of ingredients that go into the sauce. A lot of store-bought teriyaki sauces contain unnecessary ingredients such as corn syrup, caramel color, preservatives, hidden forms of excess sugar such as maltodextrin, and who knows what else. These are all things I do not consume or post recipes containing here on this blog, and for good reason.
- You can control the flavors to your liking. Many store-bought teriyaki sauces are overly salty or spicy. Looking to cut back on salt? Use low-sodium soy sauce. Like things hot, hot, hot? Add in a few dashes of chili flakes.
- Make gluten-free. Most store-bought sauces contain wheat gluten from the soy sauce. I use San-J’s Organic Tamari Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce because it’s both organic and certified gluten-free. You can find a large container of it inexpensively from Thrive Market. (Get 40% off your first order + sometimes a free gift.)
How to Make Homemade Teriyaki Sauce:
Making Homemade Teriyaki Sauce is so easy it’s literally only a couple of steps.
- Add soy sauce, brown sugar, ground ginger, minced garlic, honey, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and an organic corn starch slurry to a small-medium sized mixing bowl. Whisk until combined.
- When the salmon is about halfway done cooking, add sauce mixture to a small saucepan on the stovetop over medium heat; whisk every so often. Allow to come to a steady simmer and simmer 5 or so minutes until thick. Tip: Turn down the heat if the simmer starts to become more of a boil.
- Once the sauce is thick, it’s ready to be used. You can use the sauce as is or baste it onto the salmon/protein and bake a few minutes more until perfectly glazed and sticky. Tip: This sauce is also great on chicken and tofu.
Storage: Store any leftover sauce that you didn’t use in a mason jar in the refrigerator.
How to Make Teriyaki Salmon:
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Prepare salmon. Rinse and cut into fillets, or leave an entire slab of salmon whole like I usually do. Lay salmon on an oven-safe pan. I used my non-stick grill pan, but you can use anything from a cast iron skillet to a non-stick cookie sheet or baking dish. Feeling fancy? You could sear the salmon skin-side down on the stovetop first (in an oven-safe pan) and then finish it off in the oven. This would give you nice, crispy skin.
- Sprinkle salmon with black pepper to taste. Tip: Add little-to-no salt to a recipe that is soy-sauce based.
- Add some pats of butter and (optional) 1/4 cup of water to the bottom of the pan. I like to add the water when baking any kind of fish because I find it helps keep it really moist and keeps the skin from sticking. Don’t add any water if you decided to sear your salmon skin-side down for crispy skin.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until no longer opaque/cooked through the thickest part. Cooking time will vary depending on thickness of salmon.
- Meanwhile, about halfway through cook time of the salmon, make Homemade Teriyaki Sauce (as written above). Remove from heat, but place a lid on the pan to keep sauce warm.
- Once salmon is cooked through, remove from oven and baste with the teriyaki sauce until well-coated. Bake an additional 2-4 minutes for sauce to become a little more glazed and sticky.
- Serve warm.
I served with a side of white jasmine rice and shelled edamame beans – it’s a heavenly combination, I’m telling you.
Teriyaki Salmon with the BEST Homemade Teriyaki Sauce – Gluten Free
For the Salmon:
- 2 lb. slab of salmon or 4-6 fresh salmon filets
- pats of butter
- black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup water - (optional), poured on bottom of baking dish
- Sides (optional): white jasmine rice and shelled edamame beans
Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
- 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce - (I use San-J because it's organic and gluten-free)
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar - packed
- 3 tbsp. honey
- 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp minced garlic - (I prefer to use jarred.)
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- cornstarch slurry (1/4 cup cold water mixed with 3 tsp organic cornstarch)
- Prepare Homemade Teriyaki Sauce: Add all ingredients (soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, rice vinegar, sesame oil, minced garlic, ground ginger, and cornstarch slurry) to a small-medium mixing bowl. Whisk until combined. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Prepare salmon. Rinse and cut into fillets, or leave an entire slab of salmon whole. Lay salmon on a non-stick oven-safe pan. Pepper to taste. Lay pats of butter on top of salmon and on pan. Optional: Add water to bottom of baking dish to help keep the salmon moist as it bakes and also to prevent the skin from sticking. Tip: If you have extra time to spare, you could sear the salmon skin-side down on the stovetop (in an oven-safe pan) and then finish off in the oven. In this case, follow above but don't add any water to the bottom of the pan.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until no longer opaque/cooked through the thickest part of the salmon.
- Meanwhile, about halfway through cook time of the salmon, add Homemade Teriyaki Sauce mixture made earlier to a saucepan on the stovetop over medium heat. Whisk every so often. Allow to come to a steady simmer and simmer 5 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat, but place lid on the pan to keep sauce warm. Tip: Turn down heat if simmer turns into more of a boil.
- Once salmon is cooked through, remove from oven and baste with the Homemade Teriyaki Sauce until well-coated. Bake an additional 2-4 minutes for sauce to become a little more glazed and sticky.
- Serve warm with a side of jasmine rice and shelled edamame beans.