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Sugared Soy Sauce Salmon

4 from 3 votes
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A childhood favorite, this sugared soy sauce salmon is so incredibly easy to put together! The salty sweet combination plus the sugar crust on top makes for a weeknight meal that will please all palates!

Are you ready for a super easy salmon recipe that is going to blow your mind?!

This sugared soy sauce salmon will take you 10 minutes to make and it got a salty/sweet combination that goes so well with the buttery, flakey salmon.

Growing up, my mom would make the simplest salmon for dinner (spoiler alert: it’s this one). It was always delicious and one of my brother and I’s favorites. I asked her one day what she used to make it so good and I expected a long ingredient list, but to my surprise, she replied with “soy sauce and sugar.”

Now why didn’t I think of that?

The soy sauce gives the salmon a good salty flavor, while the sugar cuts the saltiness and gives you a sugary flavor that you taste near the end of your bite. It’s so good, and it makes such a good crust on top too. My mouth is seriously watering as I write this and look at the picture above.It also reminds me of my mom and ties to me to childhood so that’s always a good memory.

What you’ll need:

  • Salmon – you’ll want fresh salmon for this. I use sockeye when I can.
  • Soy sauce – low sodium is the way to go.
  • Brown sugar – dark or light works.
  • Granulated sugar

Common questions

What kind of salmon can I use? I would go to your local grocery store and find whatever fresh salmon you can get. I prefer wild salmon like sockeye or coho but if you can’t find that, totally okay. Just make sure it’s fresh, raw salmon; not pre-cooked or anything.

How do I prep the salmon to cook? First, you’ll want to make sure the pin bones are pulled out. If you run your fingers down the middle of the salmon, you can usually find where the pin bones are. We just use tweezers to pull them out but you can buy specific fish pin bone tweezers too. You don’t need to do anything to the skin because you won’t be eating it. If you have a large piece of salmon, go ahead and slice it in half after you pull out the pin bones.

Can I use another kind of seafood with this recipe? Salmon is sturdier than other fish and while I would think you probably use this on shrimp, I would say that just use salmon for this recipe. The crust is the best part anyway!

Will the sugar burn? No, it shouldn’t burn. You’re not keeping it in the skillet for long. Salmon doesn’t take long to cook. It goes fast! Once you start seeing the sugary crust form, you can turn the heat down if your salmon hasn’t fully cooked through yet. Or just flip it to the other side.

Storage instructions

If you have leftovers, you’ll want to put it in air tight container and in the refrigerator for up to 2 days max.

To reheat, I would wrap in foil and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit just to warm it through and then break it up and make a salmon bowl with it or something.

If you like this sugared soy sauce salmon recipe, here are some other salmon recipes to try:

Sugared Soy Sauce Salmon

A childhood favorite! My mom used to make this dish for us all the time. It’s easy to make and delicious, so I can see why this was on regular rotation!
4 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2
Author: Julie Chiou
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  • 2 (454 g) salmon filets, about 1 pound total
  • cup (158 ml) low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, to sprinkle on top of the fish for the crust

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.



  • In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce and brown sugar together.
  • In a baking dish or rectangular casserole dish, pour in the soy sauce mixture.
  • Put in your salmon filets, flesh side down.
  • Marinate them for about 10 minutes.
  • In a skillet, on medium-high heat, add in some vegetable oil and put in your salmon filets, skin side down (very important, not flesh side).
  • Let skin side down cook about 3 minutes then sprinkle sugar on top of the salmon (flesh side) then flip and cook the other side until salmon is cooked through.
  • If you’re afraid of the flesh side of the salmon burning, you can turn the heat down to about medium-low. Salmon doesn’t take very long to cook so it shouldn’t burn (keep an eye on it!). It’ll be a nice dark brown crust on top.
  • Serve with white rice or whatever else you like.


Serving: 1 piece of salmon | Calories: 524 kcal | Carbohydrates: 22 g | Protein: 62 g | Fat: 18 g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: salmon, soy sauce, sugar

Photography by Eat Love Eats

Recipe Rating


Friday 29th of July 2022

I make this quite often. Dead easy and delicious. Thank you


Thursday 22nd of July 2021

It’s an awful lot of soy sauce to use just as a marinade. I was expecting to reduce it or add ingredients to make a sauce… The crust worked well though

Roger Hill

Wednesday 29th of April 2020

We hsve just eaten it...delicious...with rice on a bed of sate vegetables cooked in red wine

Kimberly Bouquett

Sunday 5th of April 2020

My salmon is skinless.... Will this recipe still turn out okay? Lower heat maybe?

Julie Wampler

Wednesday 8th of April 2020

yes, it'll definitely turn out fine!

David Arscott

Saturday 9th of February 2019

The wife and kids love salmon, just added this one to our rotation. Thank for the recipe.

Julie Wampler

Monday 11th of February 2019

I'm glad you all enjoyed!