This easy paleo teriyaki salmon is made with a homemade teriyaki sauce that is so much better than any store bought version! It’s a flavorful and healthy start to an easy, mostly hands off meal that you can feel good about!
for the sauce
- 1/2 cup coconut aminos* (can try to substitute with tamari but I haven’t tested it – see notes)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon ginger, grated or minced
- 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- hot sauce to taste (optional)
- 1 pound fresh skin on salmon, kept whole or cut into 3 fillets
- sesame seeds
- green onions
- green vegetable of choice
- rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice
- extra teriyaki sauce
- Combine all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 12-15 minutes – until thick and reduced slightly. Keep in mind that the sauce will thicken even more upon cooling.
- Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. If you are in a hurry, transfer the hot sauce from the pan to a wide shallow bowl and it will cool faster. Additionally, you can move it to the refrigerator to cool even faster.
- While sauce is cooling, prepare the salmon. If desired, you can remove the scales from the salmon skin by scraping them off against the grain with a sharp knife over the sink. Clear away anything surrounding our sink because this process can be a little messy! Quickly rinse off scales under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Remove pin bones using tweezers or a needle nose pliers.
- Move cleaned and dried salmon filet to a pyrex or large bowl. Add 1/4 cup of cooled marinade and turn to coat.
- Once coated, turn the fish to that the flesh side is down and move to the refrigerator to marinate for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.
- Set the rest of the teriyaki sauce aside.
- When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 450.
- Once the salmon is ready, brush off any excess marinade and move to a baking tray lined with parchment paper, a silicone mat, or aluminum foil that is lightly coated with oil. Bake, flesh side up, for about 10-15 minutes, until just about done – basically when pressed with your finger the center of the filet should still feel a tiny bit soft. If you’re baking the salmon in one piece, it may take a little bit longer than 12-15 minutes, and if your salmon is on the thinner side, it will cook much faster – if it’s less than 3/4 inch thick I would check it after 8-10 minutes.
- Turn the oven up to broil and brush the salmon with some of the reserved marinade. Return to the oven and broil for about 2 or 3 minutes, watching it carefully so it doesn’t burn – just enough to caramelize and finish cooking.
- Remove from the oven and top with sesame seeds, cilantro, green onions. Serve alongside rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice, a nice green vegetable, and the reserved teriyaki sauce.
- If you want to try substituting the coconut aminos with tamari you may want to add a little more honey since coconut aminos are naturally sweet. I haven’t tested this substitution (yet!) and I can’t guarantee it will reach the same sweetness and thick consistency.
- If you make the teriyaki sauce in advance and are using it out of the refrigerator, it will get quite thick. Before adding to the salmon to marinate you may want to: either leave it at room temperature for awhile or heat it ever so slightly.