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Cook's Test: Grilled Teriyaki Salmon
No-cook teriyaki sauce makes this grilled meal as easy as can be

Cook's Test: Grilled Teriyaki Salmon

Welcome to Vital Choice at Home!
This series features me, Michelle — a writer and soccer mom from the Rocky Mountains — my husband and two kids, some beautiful Vital Choice seafood, and lots of regular home cooking.
(Click here to learn more about me, below.)
I want to feature the products and preparations you're curious about.
Have a suggestion? Question? Recipe you want me to test?
Email me and help to shape this series.

It's finally grilling season here in Colorado, and like most families with kids, we're quite busy, even though everyone is out of school. 
Despite camps, sports practices, and swim lessons, I'm committed to getting fresh and healthy meals on the table, but they need to be quick and simple. 
Nothing pleases diners of all ages like grilled teriyaki salmon. However, I really dislike the syrupy, overly-sweet (and preservative-packed) jarred teriyaki sauces.
There are countless recipes out there for homemade teriyaki sauce, but most require reducing the sauce in a pan before you marinate your fish. And, frankly, I just don't have the time for that extra step!
Happily, I've finally come up with a quick, whisk-it-up-and-serve, no-cook teriyaki sauce that is simple, flavorful and low in sugar (using instead a bit of local honey).
I used this marinade with Vital Choice skin-on wild Alaskan sockeye salmon portions, and grilled them for a) speed, and b) fewer dishes!
I love developing homemade alternatives that are easy on the budget and appealing to the whole family.
Are there other home cooking tips you'd like me to try out? Send me a note and let me know!
A few notes for the cook
In the interest of culinary science, we grilled the skin-on sockeye portions two ways:
  1. Cooking briefly on both sides as shown
  2. Cooking the entire time with the skin side down.
While both turned out beautifully, everyone agreed that the flavor was better when the fish was grilled briefly on both sides (and it gave the salmon lovely grill marks).
If you lightly oil your grates and grill on medium heat, the salmon should be ready to turn easily after 2–3 minutes. We cooked our salmon a total of 5 minutes ... you may prefer it a bit more done after 6 minutes.
I served this with a very simple fresh green salad — the sky's the limit for side dishes. Next time I'm going to serve this with steamed edamame.
One final note: please adjust your marinating time based on how strong you like the teriyaki flavor. For a light touch, try 15–20 minutes. My crew preferred the salmon marinated somewhere between 30–40 minutes.
Grilled Teriyaki Salmon
Makes 4 servings
1 cup low-sodium, high-quality tamari soy sauce (quality here is important)
2 tablespoons honey (I used unfiltered local honey)
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons rice vinegar or fresh lemon juice (both work well)
2–3 cloves of garlic, smashed (no need to mince)
4 portions skin-on wild Alaskan sockeye salmon, thawed
  1. Whisk together tamari, honey, ginger and rice vinegar or lemon juice. Add smashed garlic cloves and stir to combine.
  2. Place thawed salmon portions in the marinade, skin side up, and marinate in the refrigerator for 20–40 minutes (longer for a stronger teriyaki flavor).
  3. Preheat the grill to medium heat.
  4. Brush grill grates with cooking oil. Remove the salmon from the marinade and discard. 
  5. Place salmon skin side up on the grill. Cook 2–3 minutes, until the salmon separates easily from the grill grates, turn and grill an additional 2–3 minutes to desired level of doneness.
  6. Let salmon sit 5 minutes, slip the salmon fillet from the skin (it should be very easy to remove), and serve. Enjoy!
My rating: 3½ out of 4 stars

A Note from Michelle
Like you, I have a passion for beautiful-yet-healthy food that's easy to prepare.
While I do love making the occasional "fancy” dinner, most of the time I'm short on time and have a house full of hungry people who want to eat NOW.
I'm not a professional chef – just a busy mom who loves to cook and who's focused on that intersection of healthy and delicious.
I want this series to feature the products and preparations you're curious about.
Have a suggestion? Question? Recipe you want me to test?
Email me and help to shape this series.
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