In the Japanese kitchen, “teriyaki” refers to a two-step style of cooking that consists of glazing followed by grilling or broiling. Jarred versions of “teriyaki sauce” are widely available, but the sweet-salty condiment is so easy to prepare—and so versatile—that we like to make our own. Use the sauce as a marinade for salmon (or chicken, vegetables, or other fish) before cooking, then boil the liquid down to use as a glaze during cooking. The sugars concentrate and caramelize over high heat, locking in moisture and resulting in a deep, savory flavor.

Featured in: Salmon Teriyaki Gets Back To Its Roots

Salmon Teriyaki Salmon Teriyaki
An easy, DIY teriyaki marinade is the key to juicy, sweet-and-savory salmon in this classic recipe.
Yield: serves 4


  • 34 cup mirin
  • 34 cup soy sauce
  • 14 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sake
  • 14 cup sugar
  • Six 4-oz. skin-on salmon filets
  • 1 medium scallion, green part only, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds


  1. To a small pot over medium-high heat, add the mirin, soy sauce, sake, and sugar. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring continuously,until the sugar dissolves, 1–2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
  2. Place the salmon in a gallon-size zip-top freezer bag, then add the reserved marinade, press out any excess air, seal the bag, and turn a few times to coat the fish. Transfer the bag to the fridge and marinate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
  3. Build a low fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to medium-low. (Alternatively, heat a cast-iron grill pan over medium heat.)
  4. Meanwhile, remove the salmon from the bag (reserving the marinade); set the fish aside on a plate to come to room-temperature. Pour the marinade into a small pot; bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Place the salmon, skin-side-down, on the grill or grill pan, and cook, turning once and basting with the reduced marinade occasionally, until just cooked through, 4–5 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter, drizzle with any remaining marinade, and garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.

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