My favorite fish to cook over the fire is salmon, but this time we are going to marinade it and sear it off in a skillet. With this Salmon Marinade recipe, you will get savory umami flavors paired with a citrus sweetness that really brightens a skillet cooked fish. 

Garlic Soy Marinated Salmon

It is super easy to make, and when done right, you are left with some crispy salmon skin that is to die for! Garnish it up with sesame seeds and scallions to finish, and let’s dive in!

HOW TO make Salmon Marinade

The first big hurdle for this Salmon Marinade is the marinating part. How do you marinade fish? That is a great question, because it is quite simple. 

The first step is making a simple marinade. I make this Salmon Marinade with simple ingredients like soy sauce, garlic, mirin, ginger paste and a couple of familiar/easy to find seasonings. 

I am shooting for a savory umami flavor that compliments the fatty acids in the salmon. Once you have the marinade ready to go, add the raw fish to a large resealable plastic bag or bowl and pour in the marinade. Now, place the salmon into the fridge.

Why you’ll love this salmon Marinade

This is the best Salmon Marinade recipe because it uses all sorts of fresh ingredients that add so much flavor to the salmon. Another reason you’ll love this recipe is that it’s super quick. Due to the citric acid in this recipe, you don’t have to wait for the salmon to marinate overnight We only have to marinate the salmon for 20-30 minutes in this recipe, so you can whip up this recipe in an hour!

If you love this Salmon Marinade recipe, then you’ll love these MAPLE BACON BOURBON SALMON BITES, BACON WRAPPED SALMON BITES, and NASHVILLE HOT CAST IRON SALMON!

Garlic Soy Marinated Salmon



  • Salmon Filets
  • Chopped Scallions for garnish
  • Sesame Seeds for garnish
  • Lime Wedges for garnish

Garlic Soy Salmon Marinade:

  • Soy Sauce – Delivers a savory umami experience that complements the richness of the salmon. 
  • Mirin – Sweet Japanese rice wine that’s similar to sake but sweeter and with less alcohol.
  • Minced Garlic – Pungent and aromatic, adding a bold punch to the salmon. 
  • Ginger Paste
  • Brown Sugar – Adds sweetness to the marinade and caramelizes as it cooks, creating an indulgent crust. 
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne – Adds a subtle kick to balance out the sweetness from the brown sugar.
  • Orange juice – Provides a bright, zesty boost, adding some acidity and sweetness to the marinade. 
  • Lime juice – Adds a tangy notes to balance out the sweet and savory flavors in this salmon recipe. 
  • Canola Oil – Prevents the salmon skin from sticking to the skillet.
Garlic Soy Marinated Salmon


How to Cook Marinated Salmon

Next, we are going to get our fire hot with a cast iron skillet over top. 

The big struggle that some people have with fish is having the skin stick to the skillet/grill grate. The way to prevent this from happening is to add the oil right before cooking. Watch for the oil to form into small “ball” looking shapes almost like beads. This means that the oil is hot and is gliding on the top of the skillet; therefore, you salmon should not stick. 

Once the skillet is oiled, I place the fresh salmon fillets on the skillet to cook for 4-5 minutes skin side down. Then, flip the salmon over and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 130F. 

A shot from over the top of the salmon.

If you are using wild caught salmon, I recommend only cooking to an internal temperature of 120F. This is because most wild salmon won’t have the salmon fat content as other salmon. 

Once done, pull the salmon off and let it rest for 2 minutes. Chop up some scallions and garnish the salmon with it plus some lime wedges and toasted sesame seeds.

This Salmon Marinade is an easy backyard cook that will leave you wanting me. For me, this was one of my favorite recipes I have made in a while because it is simple and classic. 

Cheers and enjoy!

More from the Sea

Garlic soy Salmon Marinade Tips

  • Feel free to use another type of oil that can withstand high heat such as avocado oil or vegetable oil.
  • Use an instant read thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of the salmon gets to at least 120F. 
  • Play around with a handful of ingredients in the marinade like swapping cayenne pepper for red pepper flakes or brown sugar for maple syrup. This easy Salmon Marinade recipe can be customized to your preference!
  • If you don’t have limes, you can substitute lemon juice instead for similar citrus notes. 
  • Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel before cooking so the skin gets extra crispy!

How to Store Leftovers & Reheat

Store any leftover salmon in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Alternatively, you can freeze cooked salmon for up to 6 months. 

​Before reheating your salmon, make sure to let it come to room temperature whether pulling it from the fridge or freezer. If pulling from the freezer, let the salmon sit in the fridge overnight to thaw out and then let it come to room temperature on the counter. 

To reheat your salmon, turn the oven on to 275F. Then, put the salmon on a baking sheet and place a small sheet of aluminum foil on top. Bake for 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches at least 120F for wild salmon and 130F for non-wild salmon. 

Not sure what to do with leftover salmon? Make some SALMON AL PASTOR TACOS!

What to Serve With This Perfect Salmon Recipe

Serve up your salmon with some freakin’ delicious sides like roasted brussels sprouts, crispy potatoes, or white rice and stir fry veggies!

The dish plated and ready to serve.

Recipe FAQs – Garlic soy Salmon Marinade

How long should I marinade the salmon before cooking it?

How long should you marinate salmon? The salmon only needs 20-30 minutes to marinate since we are using citrus juice. 

Most fish can easily marinate overnight if you are not using citrus juice. Since citric acid actually “cooks” seafood (think ceviche), the citric acid in this fish will begin to “cook” our salmon. 

We do not want it to sit in the marinade for too long as it will make the fish too soft. You only need 20-30 minutes to get that flavor enhancing boost that the salmon needs.

What do I do with the excess marinade?

If you have an extra marinade left, don’t throw it away! You can reserve some and make a marinade sauce to drizzle over the salmon after it cooks. 

To make a marinade sauce, whip out a small saucepan and remove all the meat from the marinade. Then, bring the marinade sauce to a boil for 5 minutes until thickened. Then, pull it off the heat and drizzle over the fish! 

If you choose to do this, make sure to not skip the boiling sauce step to ensure it’s food safe before drizzling it back over your salmon. 

Alternatively, you could reserve some of the marinade after mixing it but before adding it to the bag of raw salmon. This way it’s never been in contact with the raw meat. I’d still recommend simmering it over some heat to thicken it up a bit for the final drizzle!

What if I don’t have an outdoor grill?

No worries! You can still make this salmon recipe in a large skillet on the stove top instead!

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Garlic Soy Marinated Salmon

Garlic Soy Marinated Salmon

With this Garlic Soy Marinated Salmon recipe, you will get the savory umami paired with citrus sweetness that really brightens the fish.
Author:Derek Wolf
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Marinade Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 people



  • 6 Salmon Filets
  • Chopped Scallions for garnish
  • Sesame Seeds for garnish
  • Lime Wedges for garnish

Garlic Soy Marinade:

  • ¼ cup of Soy Sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp of Mirin
  • 1.5 tbsp of Minced Garlic
  • 1 tbsp of Ginger Paste
  • 2.5 tsp of Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp of Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp of Pepper
  • ½ tsp of Cayenne
  • 1 Orange juiced
  • 1 Lime juiced
  • 1 tbsp of Canola Oil


  • In a bowl, mix together all your ingredients for the marinade.
  • Add your salmon to a food safe bowl or bag, then pour the marinade over top. Make sure to mix around thoroughly as to get all parts of the salmon marinated.
  • Marinate the salmon for only 20-30 minutes.
  • Preheat your fire for direct grilling (around 400F).
  • Add a skillet over the fire 2 minutes before cooking.
  • Right before cooking, add 1 tbsp of canola oil and mix around the skillet.
  • Pull out salmon and discard the excess marinade.
  • Add the salmon to the skillet skin side down and cook for 4-5 minutes.
  • Flip the salmon over and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until it reaches 130F.
  • Once done, pull it off and let rest for 2 minutes.
  • Garnish the salmon with sesame seeds, lime wedges and scallions. Serve and enjoy!


Serving: 4g | Calories: 450kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 53g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 140mg | Sodium: 1555mg | Potassium: 1384mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 291IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 3mg

Derek Wolf

Derek is the driving force behind Over the Fire Cooking. He started cooking with live fire in 2016 and decided to start a social media page so his friends and family could follow the journey. Fast forward to today and Over the Fire Cooking has spread across multiple platforms with millions now following Derek's fire cooking journey. He's a southern fellow who enjoys everything from classic BBQ to Central and South American inspired dishes. Whatever he's cooking up, it's guaranteed to be so freakin' delicious!

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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  1. Good evening, I was wondering if you could tell me where to purchase the fire pit used in the grilled
    salmon recipe.