Teriyaki Salmon is a weeknight go-to recipe in my house.
A slab (or fillets) 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 stove top 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
This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Looking for More Easy Weeknight Dinners?
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 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 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 cornstarch 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 the 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) ¼ cup of water to the bottom of the pan. I like to add water when baking any kind of fish because I find it helps keep it 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 the thickness of the salmon.
- Meanwhile, about halfway through the cooking time of the salmon, make Homemade Teriyaki Sauce (as written above). Remove from heat, but place a lid on the pan to keep the sauce warm.
- Once the salmon is cooked through, remove it from the oven and baste it with the teriyaki sauce until well-coated. Bake an additional 2-4 minutes for the sauce to become a little more glazed and sticky.
- Serve warm.
I served it 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
- 2-4 pats of butter optional, depending on amount of salmon
- black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup water optional, poured on the bottom of the baking dish
- Sides (optional): white jasmine rice and shelled edamame beans
Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
- ½ cup low sodium soy sauce I use San-J because it's organic and gluten-free
- ¼ cup light brown sugar packed
- 3 tbsp. honey
- 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic I prefer to use jarred
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- cornstarch slurry (¼ cup cold water mixed with 3 teaspoon organic cornstarch)
For the 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.
For the Salmon:
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Prepare salmon. Rinse and cut into fillets, or leave an entire slab of the salmon whole. Lay salmon on a non-stick oven-safe pan. Pepper to taste. Lay pats of butter on top of the salmon. Add water to the bottom of the 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, you could sear the salmon skin-side down on the stovetop (in an oven-safe pan) and then finish off in the oven.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until no longer opaque/cooked through the thickest part of the salmon.
- Meanwhile, about halfway through the cooking time of the salmon, add the 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 for 5 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat, but place lid on the pan to keep sauce warm. Tip: Turn down the heat if the simmer turns to more of a boil.
- Once the salmon is cooked through, remove it from the oven and baste it with the Homemade Teriyaki Sauce until well-coated. Bake an additional 2-4 minutes for the sauce to become a little more glazed and sticky.
- Serve warm with a side of jasmine rice and shelled edamame beans.