Sake Ginger Glazed Salmon


Sake ginger glazed salmon recipe, marinated in a Japanese yakitori sauce and fresh ginger.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

My sister Karen is in town, flush from completing a grueling, 500 mile bike ride from San Francisco to LA.

Karen has always been a super athlete, and with her current passion for triathlons takes a lot of care about how she nourishes her body.

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This is one of her favorite recipes for salmon, one of the best sources of Omega 3!

Sake Ginger Glazed Salmon

This is a very simple, highly flavorful salmon dish, using a classic Japanese yakitori marinade with the addition of some finely grated fresh ginger. The dish benefits from sitting in the marinade for several hours.

If you don’t like the look of the ginger, you can strain it out of the basting sauce, but you’ll miss out on the flavor.

Sake Ginger Glazed Salmon Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Marinating time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 4



  • 1/2 cup sake
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (use gluten-free soy sauce for gluten-free version)
  • 1/2 cup mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)
  • 2 Tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • A dash of red chili pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup white sugar


  • 1 1/2 pounds of salmon fillets
  • Olive oil


1 Marinate the salmon: Mix the soy sauce, sake, mirin, ginger, garlic, chile flakes, and sugar in a medium bowl.

Place the salmon fillets in a sturdy freezer bag. Pour the marinade into the freezer bag with the fish. Seal the freezer bag and place in a baking dish (so that if the bag leaks it doesn't get all over your fridge).

Place in your refrigerator and chill at least an hour, preferably several hours.

2 Simmer marinade, reduce by half: Remove the salmon fillets from the marinade. Place the marinade in a small saucepan and heat it until it simmers.  Simmer it for several minutes or until the sauce has reduced by half.

3a Grilling method
Brush the grill grates with olive oil; pre-heat your grill to medium heat. Place salmon fillets on a piece of aluminum foil (brushed with olive oil) over the grill grate, skin side down. Brush the salmon with the marinade glaze. Cover the grill.

Cook the salmon 6-10 minutes (depending on thickness of the fillets), brushing again with the marinade halfway through the cooking, until the salmon is just barely cooked, and easily flaked with a fork.

3b Pan frying method
Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the salmon 3 to 4 minutes per side, basting frequently with the marinade. Serve once the salmon is just barely cooked through and is easily flaked with a fork.

3c Baking method
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking dish with aluminum foil. Brush the top of the foil with olive oil. Place salmon on the foil, skin side down. Brush with marinade.

Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on how thick the fillets are, basting frequently with the marinade, until the salmon is barely cooked through and is easily flaked with a fork.

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Grilled salmon with Asian dipping sauce from Kalyn's Kitchen

Sake Ginger Glazed Salmon

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

15 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Olga

    Hi, can I substitute sake with cooking sake? And if yes, do I need to still use the soy sauce? Afraid it will be too salty. Thank you!

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Benjamin

    Whats every ones preferred salmon of choice for this. I have sockeye aka red and also pink salmon.

  3. Steve

    Oh, I did use honey instead of sugar, and added some chopped cilantro also, and used less soy reduced sodium, because it can be powerful, be careful….

  4. Steve

    Made salmon many times on the grill, which has been very good. The marinade for this was outstanding, and then making it into a reduction sauce was incredible. I’ve had my moments with trying to make reduction sauce, but this just fell into place, my wife loved it. Served it up with a Sriracha slaw with roasted corn from the grill, awsome. Once again Thank YOU!


  5. Helene

    This dish was a great hit at our dinner table last night. Our guests were trying to guess the ingredients of the marinade :) We served them with pan fried asparagus over a miso butter (butter + miso paste + a dash of sherry vinegar).
    Went home at lunch time to get the marinade started and it was definitely worth it.
    Will try to re-use the left over marinade with another fish or even chicken this week-end.
    A real keeper!

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