If you're looking for quick and delicious Japanese recipes made from scratch, look no further! Today's recipe is Pan Fried Teriyaki Salmon. Fresh salmon fillets coated in a sweet, sticky and tangy teriyaki glaze. Aside from being delicious, it's easy to make and only requires a handful of ingredients! What's not to love?
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What is Teriyaki?
Teriyaki a Japanese cooking method where meat or fish are broiled or grilled in a sweet marinade.
The word "Teri" (照り) means shiny or glossy and "yaki" (焼き) means to fry or cook. Although many people believe teriyaki is a sauce, it's not technically the sauce itself. It's more like the method of creating a sweet soy sauce glaze.
You might be surprised, but it's very simple to make teriyaki glaze. In fact, you only need 4 main ingredients!
- Soy Sauce (I use Kikkoman brand)
- Sake (I usually use drinking sake as it doesn't contain added sugars)
- Mirin (I use Kikkoman brand)
- Sugar (Regular white granulated sugar)
These four ingredients are essential in Japanese cooking. In fact, because most Japanese people always have these ingredients in their cupboards, it's pretty rare to find pre-made teriyaki sauce in the supermarket in Japan. We have everything we need to make it from scratch at home!
If you can't find mirin, you can increase the amount of sugar but I don't recommend substituting anything else.
If you're interested in cooking Japanese food often, I really recommend stocking up on these four items!
Authentic teriyaki is usually kept simple with just 4 ingredients. I usually let the glaze thicken in the pan, this allows the sugar to melt and caramelize to make a delicious glaze.
Teriyaki doesn't use any thickening agents such as corn starch etc.
I do however coat the salmon with 1 tbsp of potato starch (or cornstarch). This makes the outside to become a bit crispy and helps the sauce stick more easily.
You can also customise your teriyaki! Try adding garlic, ginger or even chilli pepper for a fragrant or spicy variation. You can be creative with it!
What can be used with Teriyaki?
Teriyaki is a simple and versatile way of cooking. Because of this, it goes well with lots of different kinds of meat, fish and vegetables!
In Japan, teriyaki recipes are most commonly made with fish whilst in the west, I know chicken and beef are more popular. When I was in England, I even saw teriyaki stir fry sauce with noodles!
As I mentioned before, the most common style of teriyaki in Japan is teriyaki fish, more specifically, yellowtail called "buri" (ブリ).
I'm not sure how easy it is to buy yellowtail outside of Japan, but one fish that is universally loved is salmon. It's also one of my favourite kinds of fish! Whether it's grilled, baked, fried or raw (like sushi or sashimi) it is always delicious.
Teriyaki is versatile and so is salmon. They really work perfectly together! I recommend serving teriyaki salmon with a bowl of rice and a side salad, it works great for donburi too!
Other Teriyaki Recipes
If you liked this recipe, you should check out some of my other teriyaki recipes!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make teriyaki sauce without mirin/sake?
Teriyaki only uses 4 ingredients and each one plays an important part. Some recipes don't use mirin, it's possible to use more sugar instead of mirin. (Mirin is a sweetened rice wine and you can find it on Amazon.)
Sake is more important and I don't recommend switching it out. But if you have to, then you can try switching it for Chinese rice wine, dry sherry or even just plain water. (It won't be so flavourful though.)
What does teriyaki taste like?
It's a sweet soy glaze so of course it's sweet, a bit salty and a bit tangy.
What do you eat with teriyaki salmon?
Any teriyaki dish tastes best with rice. You can serve it on the side or in a bowl, it's up to you! You could even wrap it in rice and make onigiri if you like!
Should I marinate the salmon?
Because teriyaki sauce has sugar, it's better not to marinate. If you do, the sugar will burn when you fry it and it won't taste so good.
What is teriyaki sauce made of?
Teriyaki sauce is simply soy sauce, sugar, sake and mirin.