Brown Sugar and Soy Sauce Marinated Grilled Salmon

I grew up in a household where my mom detested fish, so we never had it in the home. As an adult, I was offered it many times and I quickly grew to love it. In my opinion, salmon is the best-tasting fish there is, and this marinated grilled salmon recipe has certainly sealed that opinion into a fact.

Is salmon nutritious?

Salmon is a fish high in protein and omega 3 fatty acids. What this means is it helps in satiety (feeling full and satisfied) and aids in producing important molecules in our bodies so that it functions better.

Salmon is a rich source of many B vitamins, especially vitamin B12 which is not found in any plant foods. It’s also rich in selenium, an important mineral that has antioxidant property, as well as  phosphorus, which helps in many functions in the body including energy transfer and oxygen regulation.

What are pin bones?

While pin bones are soft and flexible, they aren’t edible and you want to remove them if present in your fillet. Fortunately, these are not true bones, but the calcified tips of the fish’s nerves, so they are not connected to anything and can be pulled right out.

If your grocery or butcher has not already removed the pin bones (or you have purchased a whole fish), you’ll want to remove them. To see if there are any pin bones in your fillet, simply run your fingers along the surface to feel if there is a line of bumps. If so, take a look at this tutorial to watch a video of how to pull them out before marinating

What does marinating do?

A marinade serves several purposes. One is to season your fillet and, depending on the ingredients, may also tenderize and/or prevent drying while cooking.

For this marinated grilled salmon recipe, soy sauce provides a savory seasoning while the brown sugar promotes quick browning without drying out the tender fillet.

I’ve chosen avocado oil, which is low in saturated fat and rich in unsaturated fatty acids, both of which are associated with better heart health.

Avocado oil also high smoke point for grilling (meaning it doesn’t burn as easily), along with a neutral flavor, which lets the other ingredients shine.

A simple guideline is that for every pound of meat (or two pounds of vegetables), you'll need roughly 1/2 cup of marinade. About one-third of the sodium and calories in the marinade will be absorbed into the food. This is taken into account in the nutrition information for this recipe, since you will be discarding the leftover marinade.

A word of caution about marinade

Never use the surplus marinade as a sauce or to baste meat while grilling. If you want a basting or serving sauce, make extra and reserve for that purpose.

brown sugar and soy sauce for the marinated grilled salmon
brown sugar and soy sauce creates a glaze on the grilled salmon, while keeping the inside tender and flaky
foil packet keeps the marinated grilled salmon tender and flaky and makes cleanup a breeze

Marinated Grilled Salmon is a crowd pleaser

Bottom line- Everyone who has had this marinated grilled salmon at my house always asks for the recipe because it is a win-win. It is easy to make, delicious and nutritious, and sure to please any crowd, as long as that crowd eats fish!

Mealtime conversation starters

Cartoon cooking fish with chef hat that is used as an icon for mealtime conversation starters about relationships.

Everything begins with a conversation. Even a simple gesture like a hand wave or a smile can give a person a sense of belonging. There is no denying that it feels good to connect with other people.

As you eat your meal, as the people around you or send out a text to someone you would like to talk to and ask:

How do you feel when a stranger smiles at you?

Bonus question: How often do you smile at people who don’t know?

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Marinated grilled salmon pairs well with roasted asparagus, grilled vegetables, or a garden salad
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5 from 6 votes

Brown Sugar and Soy Sauce Marinated Grilled Salmon

This recipe is a real crowd pleaser! The brown sugar and soy sauce marinade makes it brown and crisp on the outside while staying tender and flaky on the inside.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Marinating Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 6
Calories: 213
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American

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Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds salmon fillet (sliced into 6 personal servings)
  • 1 tbsp lemon pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • cup low sodium soy sauce (or tamari)
  • cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup avocado oil
  • cup water

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar, water, and oil until sugar is dissolved.
  • Season both sides of salmon fillets with lemon pepper and garlic powder.
  • Place fish in a large resealable plastic bag and add the soy sauce mixture. Seal and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • When ready to cook, preheat the grill to medium heat.
  • Transfer individual slices from marinade onto foil, and seal into individual packets. Discard marinade.
  • Place packets on grill. Cook salmon for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Notes

Serving suggestions

Grilled salmon pairs well with roasted asparagus, grilled vegetables, or a garden salad.

Hand Size Portions

Nutrition Facts
Brown Sugar and Soy Sauce Marinated Grilled Salmon
Amount per Serving
Calories
213
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
10
g
15
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
4
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
5
g
Cholesterol
 
62
mg
21
%
Sodium
 
210
mg
9
%
Potassium
 
599
mg
17
%
Carbohydrates
 
6
g
2
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
4
g
4
%
Protein
 
23
g
46
%
Vitamin A
 
51
IU
1
%
Vitamin C
 
1
mg
1
%
Calcium
 
24
mg
2
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Palm: 1
Fist: 0
Handful: .25
Thumb: .75

Hand Portions

Some handy advice:  You can use your hands to practice calorie control without weighing and measuring.

Using hand position size is an alternative way to decide how much to eat visually. It gives you a way to quickly estimate what's on your plate, using the size of your hand as an alternative to counting macros (which generally has you weighing and reading nutrition labels to count protein, carbohydrates, and fat).

To learn more, read How to Get Started with Hand Portion Sizes.

Sweet and inspiring, Britt Nelson is a wellness coach and mom of 4, devoted to helping women redefine what wellness and fitness looks like to them, in a balanced and compassionate way.

When she is not coaching or chasing after her children, you can find her spending time with close friends and family, trying new recipes with one of her brothers, or listening to music, a good book, or a podcast.

Find other articles written by Coach Britt on her coach profile. She will help you ‘tune in’ to your body, and find a balance amidst the chaos.

  • MICHELLE says:

    It seems many people in my local area are cooking more salmon, maybe because it looks so good in the meat department at Sam’s Club and Target.

    I am a talker, so I shared this recipe with fellow shoppers when picking out salmon at Sam’s Club. I discovered how excellent marinating fish is when my neighbor gave me a marinated walleye recipe years ago. It was very similar to your salmon marinade.

    Thanks for the great recipe and the hand portion amount.