Mirin Glazed Salmon

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Nigella’s mirin glazed salmon makes a quick, easy, and elegant meal.

glazed salmon

This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson. It’s an elegant and remarkably easy dish, one that completely belies the amount of effort on your part. Most of the ingredients are right out of the pantry, and you can have it on the table in 20 minutes. Honest! To that end, be sure to have your fishmonger portion and skin the salmon for you — it’s a huge timesaver — and start cooking your rice beforehand so that everything will be ready at the same time. You’ll see the sweetness of the marinade causes the salmon to caramelize while cooking, which creates a beautiful sear and gorgeous, rich mahogany glaze.

Note: Mirin is a sweet Japanese cooking wine found in the Asian section of most supermarkets.  

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Mirin Glazed Salmon

Nigella’s mirin glazed salmon makes a quick, easy, and elegant meal.

Servings: 4
Total Time: 20 Minutes


  • ¼ cup mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar (do not substitute dark brown sugar)
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 4 6-ounce salmon fillets, skin removed (preferably cut narrow and tall, rather than wide and flat)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 scallions, halved and sliced into fine strips


  1. Mix the mirin, brown sugar, and soy sauce in a shallow dish that will hold all 4 salmon fillets. Stir to dissolve sugar. Place the salmon in the dish and marinate for 5 to 10 minutes, turning once.
  2. Meanwhile, set a very large non-stick skillet on the stove and heat over medium-high heat. Place the salmon fillets in the hot, dry pan – presentation sides down – and cook for a few minutes until nicely seared and coated with a rich brown glaze (keep a close eye on the pan; this happens quickly). Turn the fillets over, reduce the heat to medium, and add the marinade and water to the pan. Cook 3 to 5 minutes more, until fish reaches desired doneness. If the sauce looks like it’s reducing or thickening too quickly, just add a bit of water a few tablespoons at a time. Do not let it burn. Transfer salmon fillets to serving platter or plates. If sauce is nicely reduced and thickened, turn off heat. If not, continue to cook over medium heat until desired consistency is reached. Add the rice wine vinegar to the sauce and stir. Pour the sauce over salmon fillets, top with scallions and serve.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

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  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Calories: 437
  • Fat: 23g
  • Saturated fat: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 16g
  • Sugar: 14g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 36g
  • Sodium: 1005mg
  • Cholesterol: 94mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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  • Could this be broiled and reduce the sauce in a pan instead?

    • Sure, Stephanie, that’ll work. Enjoy!

  • This glazed salmon recipe is perfectly delicious! Very easy to make the marinade and glaze. It will be a staple in my recipe book. Thanks for sharing!

  • This is one of my favorite fish dishes using salmon. At first I wondered how it would work out with the fish being in a very hot pan with no oil but it was perfectly seared. Just make sure the pan is hot and don’t put it in before it gets there. It’s the kind of fish dish that people who normally don’t like fish will enjoy.

  • Hi Jen I love this dish. I’m entertaining tonight and will be making it for dinner. What would you recommend serving it with?

    • Hi Maya, The sauce has a lot of flavor so I’d recommend plain white rice and a green vegetable — you could do my Haricots Verts with Shallots. Hope that helps!

    • How would you change recipe for diabetics? Any substitute for the sugar?

      • — Stephen Schreibman
      • Reply
  • Wow, this was pretty amazing. It really came together quickly! I served it with basmati rice with green onion and sauteed bok choy. Hubby thought it was pretty great!

  • I thought this might be too sweet but it turned out really good. I’ve not used Mirin much in the past so this was a great recipe to begin with. We all liked it a lot and will definitely make again! (Used steelhead trout as a substitute for the salmon. Equally good if not a bit milder flavor).

  • I have a whole filet of salmon that I would like to cook in the oven, but I love this recipe which I’ve made before. Can I marinate, pour marinade into small skillet, roast the whole salmon on a rack and just reduce the sauce in skillet – what is your opinion?

    • Hi Donna, Yes, that will work just fine. Enjoy!

  • loved this with salmon. Wondering if it would work with scallops?

    • Hi Tony, I do think that would work beautifully. If you try it, please let me know how it turns out.

      • It worked really well. Everyone loved this with scallops. I didn’t change anything but I might add a little more vinegar to the sauce next time as the scallops are already quite sweet. Maybe some fresh ginger too!

  • Is there any nutritional information available?

    • Hi Matt, I’ve just updated the nutritional data underneath the recipe.

  • Just finished…. I enjoyed it. Very good, tasty. Simple ingredients and easy to prepare. Took longer to cook down the marinade. I think next time I will use less water. I was in the mood for a baked potato and it went well together. Only problem was that the plating did not look as elegant as if it was with rice. I can’t wait to cook this again.
    Thank you

  • My daughter seems only to be a picky eater when it comes to fish,, so I’m always looking for a recipe that she will eat and the mirin glazed salmon is it! she ate her entire portion — sweet but not too sweet, it was the perfect flavor combination. My kids have come to know that recipes from your web site are always winners!! thank you!

  • I love a sweet glaze on salmon, and this was delicious and easy. THANK YOU for providing healthy and easy weeknight dinner recipes!

  • As good as I’ve had in restaurants! I usually make fish on Sunday evenings as it is fast. I am happy to have another recipe to add my repertoire. Thanks, Jenn.

  • I actually loved this so much I verbally gave the recipe to a man at the seafood counter with me! I found him the ingredients and your website with the recipe. He called to tell me it was delicious!

  • Jenn! Again you deliver! This salmon recipe outdoes every one I have tried! My two girls and I absolutely love it! Your website is the best and I love the alterations you make! They bring out serious flavor! Please don’t ever go anywhere!

  • Made this for the first time, followed your instructions to the “T”. DELICIOUS!! I would not change a thing and will surely be making this more often! Thanks!

  • Hi,

    I was wondering if I can bake instead of frying?

    • Hi Lynda, Unfortunately, baking won’t work for this recipe. Sorry!

  • Another absolutely stellar recipe from you! Thank you so much. Every recipe I have made from your site has been 5 stars. My husband, 9 month old, and 2.5 year old all loved the mirin glazed salmon tonight. : )

  • Excellent, quick, simple, concise, tasty and just lovely! My wife loved it. I actually skinned the salmon, battered the skin with lightly with flour, salt and garlic, fried it with sesame oil till it was crunchy. I used the same base for the glaze sauce, grated a bit of ginger, cooled it off and used it as salad dressing. Everyone loved it!

  • This is another simple and quick meal to prepare, but I found it a little hard to pull off the skin, and that the salmon meat came apart a little….so next time I will just leave the skin on. I also came across a similar recipe (i.e. soysauce-based sauce) from justonecookbook.com that I think is a little more flavorful – it calls for butter/olive oil when pan-frying. I served it with a simple baby bok choy stir-fry and it was a hit….

  • I made this salmon dish twice. The first time, I followed the recipe to the T and it turned out great. The second time, I decided to experiment by cutting fish into 8 oz pieces and let the fish cook in the sauce until sauce got fully absorbed, i.e.there was no more runny sauce in the pan. It took extra 4-5 minutes, but the result was amazing, the fish was juicy, sweet and yummy. Even my 5 year old who absolutely never eats fish enjoyed this salmon dish. Thank you so much for this recipe. I’ll be making this more often.

  • I made this salmon dish last night and everyone loved it. It was so easy to make yet tasted delicious. Thank you so much!

  • Can you use this recipe on a grill ?

    • Hi Thomas, I guess you could grill the salmon and prepare the sauce separately on the stovetop, but it’s probably easier to make it all in the same pan.

  • Loved it!!!

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  • This was FANTASTIC and so easy to make! I had to cook this much longer than the suggested 3-5 minutes but it was still delicious. Glad to add this to my repertoire!

  • Made this last night and it was delicious, as well as quick and easy. Since I didn’t have mirin I checked the Internet for a substitute. Marsala wine was recommended so I substituted Marsala and was very pleased with the result. Will try it again with mirin to see the difference in taste. This is a great dish and now is definitely one of my go-to recipes.

  • This recipe is in heavy rotation in our home. This recipe makes me look like a pro in the kitchen.

  • I made this for my husband tonight. He kept saying how delicious it was between each bite! A quick, healthy weeknight meal.

  • This dish is fabulous. Both my husband and I never get tired of it. I serve it with brown rice and drizzled the sauce over the rice. Fast and easy. Thanks for another great recipe.

  • We loved this salmon! Want to try this sauce with chicken and beef also.

  • We eat salmon about once a week and this was such a great way to mix it up! The only thing I changed was using tamari instead of soy sauce to make this gluten free.

  • This is my FAVORITE salmon dish! I’ve also used the glaze for Mongolian Beef – perfect!

  • Jenn, So delicious! Your recipes are so easy to follow, and everything I’ve made has been fabulous! Tomorrow I’m going to try the homemade granola.

  • I was unclear in step 2, once you add the water and marinade to the fish, do you cook covered or uncovered? ( I covered it, and it worked fine.) I served the salmon over a salad of greens and avacado. It was DELISH! The sauce, as other reviewers have said, is just perfect. Definitely a do-over.

    • Hi Lisa, No need to cover the pan. Glad you enjoyed!

  • Loved this recipe. One salmon filet browned up really well in the glaze and the other didn’t, so maybe i’ll use a different pan next time. But the flavor was excellent.

  • Made this for dinner last night and it was delicious. My husband is not a big salmon lover and he asked if there was enough for seconds!

  • This is, in my opinion, one of your best recipes! The sauce is so good I usually make double the recipe just to have leftover! I tried it on flank steak and it was really similar to Mongolian Beef. Love it!!

  • I made this for three friends (2 females and 1 male), last night and they all loved it! Thanks again, Jenn!

  • Hi Jenn, I LOVE this recipe!!! Right after the salmon was cooked, I removed it from the pan, added white rice, and mixed it in really well to soak up all the sauce. It was so good that I think I’ll be making this at least once a week. Thank you so much!!

  • Delicious, one of my favorite ways to prepare salmon. That Nigella sure knows her stuff! (And so do you!)

  • Have always cooked salmon either over or under. This one was perfect

  • I think I make this at least once a week. It gets my kids to eat fish and I love having extra sauce to pour on top of whatever green vegetable is on the side which provides further motivation for eating the vegetables too!

  • This sounds fantastic! I’m always looking for new ways to make salmon

  • This is my husband’s favorite dish. I make it at least once a week! Thank you!

  • why not dark brown sugar? would it cause it to burn?

    • Yes, Joley, it may burn.

  • Made this for my husband and it was wonderful, and very easy to make too!!

  • made this for a big family dinner and it was a big hit. we had extra sauce so i put it in a sauceboat and served it on the side. everyone loved it.

  • I never cooked with Mirin before and am so glad to have finally tried it. I made this over the weekend and even my husband who does not usually like salmon loved it. The sauce was amazing. I’ll definintely be making this again…it was so easy too!

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