Salmon Teriyaki Skewers with Pineapple

Now that grilling season is officially upon us, I’ve been experimenting with teriyaki salmon skewers. Last night’s version (frozen salmon, canned pineapple) got two thumbs up from the rents, but there were too many leftovers for me to be convinced. Conditioned for politeness, sometimes they are just not willing to be as critical as I’d like. (You can’t like everything mom!) Tried again tonight, this time with fresh pineapple and very fresh salmon and as expected the salmon skewers were a thousand times better (mom agreed). The trick to great salmon skewers is high heat (charcoal grill better than gas better than broiler), the freshest salmon available, and watching the grill (or broiler) like a hawk. Fish can go from perfect to overcooked in a minute.

Salmon Teriyaki Skewers with Pineapple Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin rice wine or rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup minced green onions
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • Pinch chili pepper flakes
  • 1 lb salmon fillet, rinsed, cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 lb fresh pineapple, cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2 green onions, cut into 1-inch segments
  • 8 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 20 minutes before using

Method

1 In a medium bowl, mix together the soy sauce, mirin or rice vinegar, and brown sugar, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the fresh ginger, minced green onions, chili pepper flakes, and vegetable oil. Place the cubes of salmon in the bowl, coat completely with the marinade. Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours.

2 Remove salmon from marinade. Place marinade in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil, simmer for 10 minutes, set aside.

3 Thread salmon, pineapple, and onion pieces on skewers. If using a grill, prepare grill for high, direct heat. Oil the grill grates. Place skewers on grill. Cover. If using an oven broiler, place on a rack on a broiling pan, so that the salmon pieces are 6 inches from the element. Turn after 2 to 4 minutes. Baste with reserved marinade. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes more, basting frequently, until salmon is just barely cooked through.

Serve immediately.

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Links:

Teriyaki sauce recipe with soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar, from Closet Cooking
Teriyaki salmon skewers with cucumber salad from Enlightened Cooking
Maki's Japanese basics teriyaki sauce from Just Hungry

salmon-pineapple-teriyaki-2.jpg

20 Comments

  1. Sylvie

    Those look superb and I agree, frozen salmon and tinned pineapple are okay, but no comparison to fresh.

  2. jonathan

    Fresh also triumphs over canned/frozen in my book, although I might be more inclined to try this with fresh tuna.

    I agree with your “parents conditioned for politeness” statement. In my parents’ eyes, I could almost never do wrong.

    Almost.

    There was that one time I kinda set the house on fire…

  3. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    I often have trouble keeping chunks of salmon intact on the grill, so I use one of those grill grates and put the skewers on that. Williams-Sonoma and other kitchenware stores sell the grates, which are good for stir-frying vegetables on the grill, too.

    Great idea, Lydia. One chunk did have a hard time staying on the skewer with this batch. I ate it though, before it fell to the drip pan gods. ~Elise

  4. Jerry

    You actually wait for a particular season to grill?!? Wow, that would make me slightly nutz, I think. The salmon looks fabulous, though!

    Yeah, well in the winter it rains like crazy here, and in the summer is blazing hot, better to heat up the outside grill than the inside oven. ~Elise

  5. Mike

    These skewers look fantastic. I just happened to try my hand at teriyaki this week as well and I was amazed at how easy it was (I grew up regarding teriyaki as a mysterious sauce that can only be found in a bottle at the grocery store–never again!). The photos look good enough to eat.

  6. karen

    I’ve always used sesame oil instead of regular oil…gives teriyaki a great flavor.

  7. Shannon

    I am not too fond of teriyaki sauce, and I have to agree that salmon does seem to fall apart for me on the grill. I would like to try this recipe, but like Jonathan said, I would probably opt for fresh tuna. A delightful twist to the sauce would also be Caribean Jerk or Hawaiian sauce.

  8. scott

    This was great on the grill……

  9. Kevin

    Those look so good! You just can’t go wrong teriyaki salmon and pineapple!

  10. RecipeGirl

    Love this idea. I don’t believe I’ve ever put salmon on skewers before. Any trouble with it flaking off?

    Yes, a little. Probably a good idea to use a perforated grill pan over the grill, or metal mesh. Not having these wouldn’t stop me from grilling the salmon skewers though. ~Elise

  11. Shanan

    Yummmm yum yum yum yum. Just made these tonight for a little Memorial Day BBQ. Yum. (I increased salmon to 2 lbs though, and there was plenty of marinade and other ingredients to fit). If salmon didn’t cost what it did, this would be a weekly recipe.

  12. Linda

    Hi Elise,

    You are right salmon can go from perfect to overdone in a minute. From up here your salmon skewers look great! We grill in the rain, the snow, but mostly when the fireball decides to appear. This weekend a friend brought bluecheese hamburger to grill, yummy.

    Linda in Washington State

  13. Cece

    Yum! Made these last night and they were wonderful even tho’ I used my infrared broiler rather than a grill which I’m sure would have been even better. Would be good with shrimp too.

  14. Cassie

    Tried these last night with fresh salmon, pineapple and green onions and they were fantastic. They came out just right on the grill. A few pieces did start to break apart, but we used a grill grate and were good to go. Thanks for the fabulous idea! -Cassie

  15. Arlene Gioia

    The marinade is really delicious. The first time I made these was for my son’s special birthday dinner, so I used not only salmon, but grouper, shrimp and scallops. Made enough to serve 10 people, and cooked over a wood fire. It was a huge hit. Thanks so much for the inspiration and recipe. Tonight I’m doing salmon filet with the marinade, but decided to add 1 tsp. sesame oil and 1/2 tsp. corn starch to thicken the dipping sauce. Thanks again!

  16. Kristin

    I made these for dinner tonight. I had to use frozen salmon, but I used good stuff and it was still really good! Thanks for such a great blog. It’s one of the first ones I check when I need a recipe or an idea for dinner.

  17. Liza (Jersey Cook)

    These were SO delicious! The sauce had the perfect balance of flavors. We had plenty of leftover marinade, even after basting and used it as a dipping sauce at the end. I might add some red onions to the skewers next time. I bet this would also be great with tuna.

  18. donutty

    Another great one, Elise!

  19. Sharlene

    I served this when my parents came over for dinner and everyone loved it, including my 2 year old. We’ll be making this one again!

  20. Amber

    I made this twice now with a few changes.

    Firstly, we used fresh, wild, salmon (Coho, Sockeye, etc.) as the taste is so much better when it’s available.

    Secondly, we have decided to use cedar grill planks instead using skewers.

    Lastly, yesterday, we decided to cook down the sauce first.
    Sauteed the garlic and ginger with a little oil until soft but not browned,
    Added the green onion and sauce recipe. Cooked it until it was slightly syrupy. Allowed it to cool and basted the planked salmon fillets with it.
    Put some fresh green onion slices on top, and grilled it.

    The fresh pineapple we just cut into slices and grilled alongside the planked salmon.

    Came out AMAZING. Served with jasmine rice and steamed sugar snap peas.

    Thanks Elise! Never have to buy teriyaki sauce ever again because I know how delicious and easy it is to make myself now!

    (I Love your blog Elise! Practically use it every night for years!)

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