Lemon-Soy Glazed Salmon

published Mar 19, 2024
Lemon-Soy Glazed Salmon Recipe

Lemony, umami-packed salmon is prepared in under 20 minutes, making a perfect weeknight dinner.


Prep8 minutes

Cook10 minutes to 12 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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overhead shot of three pieces of lemon soy glazed salmon in a cast iron.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: James Park

One of the easiest, most delicious dinners you can make in under 20 minutes is salmon (whether it’s baked in the oven or pan seared). At The Kitchn, we’ve got loads of easy salmon recipes like honey garlic salmon or lemon pepper salmon. But if you’re in the mood for a new recipe that’s zesty, bright, and still packed with umami, let me introduce you to my lemon-soy glazed salmon. It hits all the right flavor notes, and is perfect on top of steamed rice.  

Why You’ll Love It

  • Between the bright, savory glaze and crispy, flaky salmon, this dish is so tender and flavorful. And you don’t even need to turn on your oven! 
  • Many of the ingredients you’ll need are pantry staples. Plus, it only takes 20 minutes to make, start to finish.

Key Ingredients in Lemon-Soy Glazed Salmon

  • Lemon: You want to get medium, firm lemons. Be sure to slice thinly so that the lemon slices get caramelized and are tender to the bite (without being too acidic). If you want something sweeter, you can also use Meyer lemons for the recipe.
  • Soy sauce: It’s the main seasoning for the salmon, bringing a layer of umami and depth. You can also use tamari for a gluten-free option. 
  • Mirin: This sweet rice wine balances the salty flavor of soy sauce while bringing a tangy flavor to the glaze.  
  • Hondashi (instant dashi): This powder turns water into dashi broth, making the glaze extra flavorful. (See notes below for substitution ideas if you don’t have it!)
  • Skin-on salmon filets: You can use either fresh or frozen filets for the recipe. If using frozen ones, be sure to thaw completely before cooking.  
  • Cornstarch: Coating salmon filets in cornstarch keeps the skin crispy and helps them keep their shape during the cooking process. 

How to Make Lemon-Soy Glazed Salmon

  1. Make the glaze. In a small bowl, make a glaze by mixing lemon juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, mirin, rice vinegar, and hondashi.
  2. Coat the salmon filets with cornstarch. Season the salmon filets with salt and pepper, coat them with cornstarch, and shake off any excess. 
  3. Cook the filets. In a skillet over medium heat with a little bit of oil, cook the salmon filets until the skin is crispy and the flesh starts to brown, then set them aside.
  4. Glaze the salmon. To the same skillet, add the glaze along with thinly sliced lemon slices, and cook until the mixture thickens. Return the salmon filets, and coat them with the glaze. Garnish with lemon zest and more lemon slices. 
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: James Park

Helpful Swaps

  • You can swap brown sugar with honey, agave syrup, or even just regular granulated sugar.
  • You can substitute rice vinegar with apple cider vinegar.
  • You can substitute hondashi with any type of bouillon powder, such as chicken bouillon powder or vegetable bouillon powder.

Storage Tips 

The leftover glazed salmon can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. When heating up the glazed salmon, gently warm it up in a skillet with a little bit of oil to bring the glaze back to its saucy consistency. 

Lemon-Soy Glazed Salmon Recipe

Lemony, umami-packed salmon is prepared in under 20 minutes, making a perfect weeknight dinner.

Prep time 8 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes to 12 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 2

    medium lemons

  • 1/4 cup

    soy sauce or tamari

  • 3 tablespoons

    packed light brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons


  • 1 tablespoon

    rice vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon

    hondashi (instant dashi powder)

  • 2 tablespoons


  • 4 (6-ounce)

    skin-on salmon fillets

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    coarsely ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil


  1. Finely grate the zest of 1 medium lemon until you have about 2 teaspoons and reserve for garnish. Juice the zested lemon plus another 1/2 lemon until you have 1/4 cup. Halve and thinly slice the remaining 1/2 lemon; remove any seeds.

  2. Place the lemon juice, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar, 2 tablespoons mirin, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, and 1 teaspoon hondashi in a small bowl and whisk until the sugar and hondashi are dissolved.

  3. Place 2 tablespoons cornstarch on a large plate. Pat 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets dry with paper towels. Season all over with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper. Dredge in the cornstarch until evenly coated all over, shaking off any excess. Place on another plate.

  4. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large (12-inch) nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the salmon skin-side up, then press down on them with a flat spatula so that there’s a lot of contact with the pan and it browns evenly. Cook without moving, gently pressing down on fish every so often, until the bottom is golden-brown, about 5 minutes. Flip the salmon and cook for 3 minutes. Return to the plate.

  5. Add the lemon slices to the now-empty pan and cook until starting to brown, about 30 seconds. Add the sauce and cook until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Return the salmon skin-side up to the pan. Cook, spooning the sauce over the skin, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the thickest fillet registers 120°F to 130°F for medium-rare, or 135°F to 145°F for more well-done, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve with the lemon slices and garnish with the lemon zest.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 days.