The classic four-ingredient marinade for this easy, weeknight fish dish doubles as a glossy, salty-sweet glaze.
4 hours 30 minutes
In the Japanese kitchen, “teriyaki” refers to a two-step style of cooking that consists of glazing followed by grilling or broiling. Bottled versions of “teriyaki sauce” are widely available, but the sweet-salty condiment sold under that name is so versatile and so easy to prepare that we prefer to make our own. Use the sauce as a marinade 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."
- ¾ cups mirin
- ¾ cups soy sauce
- ¼ cups plus 2 Tbsp. sake
- ¼ cups sugar
- Six 4-oz. skin-on salmon filets
- 1 medium scallion, thinly sliced
- 2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
To a small pot set 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 let the sauce cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
To a large zip-top freezer bag, add the salmon and the marinade, press out any excess air, seal the bag, and turn a few times to coat the fish. Transfer to the fridge and marinate for at least 4 and up to 12 hours.
Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-low heat. Remove the salmon from the bag (reserving the marinade); set the fish aside on a plate to come to room temperature.
To a small pot, add the marinade, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has 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 the fillets to a platter, drizzle with any remaining marinade, and garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.