Pulled Salmon Teriyaki Sandwich

Pulled Salmon Teriyaki Sandwich

What a word “Teriyaki” is! It says a thousand things. Talk about this traditional Japanese style of cooking (that’s now adopted by America too!) and it would take you back in time…to 19th century Japan (source: Wiki), when they say they made the first Teriyaki. Though some food historians believe it was in 17th century. Google-Baba’s gyan tells me that Teriyaki essentially refers to a soy glazed sauce with sugar or honey, and some mirin or sake; and that in Japan, they exclusively use this sauce to cook fish and seafood. However in the 1990’s, as Japanese restaurants started proliferating more in the United States, they brought along their recipes of Teriyaki onshore. And since the Japanese immigration waves brought Japanese into The US through Seattle in Washington, you’d find more Japanese eateries in Greater Seattle today than anywhere else in this country. And in the new meat-obsessed land, Teriyaki got married to meat, thus producing dishes like Chicken Teriyaki, Teriyaki Beef sticks, Teriyaki pork tenderloins, Teriyaki duck and others — preparations almost unheard of in Teriyaki’s mother country! In Japanese, the word “Teri” (derived from “Tare“), means shiny glaze. It is the sheen or gloss rendered by the caramelizing sugars. Whereas “Yaki” refers to the process of cooking, which is usually either broiling or more commonly grilling.

One enthusiastic, self-motivated and limited English proficient attendant in a Sushi-Bar once said, “I am so glad you like our in-house made teriyaki sauce. It can also be made at home. It is easy. Only soy sauce, honey and pepper. Only 3 things (looking at his held up three fingers, and then looking back at me).” He even went on to pin-point every ingredient for each of the accompanying dishes we chose from the menu. Was an overwhelming hospitality as if we were invited over at his for supper and he hand cooked each of those for us. He ended the gesture with a slight bow and the broadest smile that his otherwise small face could hold! Though it was all a little more than the usual courtesy I am equipped to handle, I was thankful and commended his kind impromptu recommendations. His chest had almost puffed up with pride, having achieved the best customer satisfaction score of the day! The rest of the week, I couldn’t quite get over that small face and a big smile echoing appeals to try homemade teriyaki. This man’s persuasiveness skills were so good, that the first thing I did in that weekend was  make the Teriyaki sauce. And I made what was the easiest to do with it — Teriyaki Chicken. It turned out great! The sauce was an upfront easy thing to do. 

A high-heat stove-top grill renders an addictive smoky-BBQ-like flavor (though more mild and comforting) to this sauce. For all reasons pronounced, pulled salmon teriyaki is easier and more succulent than it’s meat counterparts. This one’s a very fulfilling sandwich, with tender and juicy salmon pieces pulled out and grill roasted on stove with soy sauce, honey and crushed black pepper. All the “mmm’s” guaranteed. Make and thank me later!Pulled Salmon Teriyaki Sandwich


Makes for 2 – 3

  • 4 oz (about 113 gm) Fresh or frozen Salmon fillet — I use wild caught
  • 1/2 of a medium size onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp mushroom soy sauce (or regular dark soy sauce)
  • 1/2 tbsp pure honey (or use to your taste)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper (or more)
  • 1/4 tsp white vinegar (**optional)
  • Light olive oil for grilling (about 1 to 2 tbsp)
  • Your choice of fresh tender lettuce leaves 
  • Sandwich breads to make 2 to 3 sandwiches
  • Your choice of condiment spread for the breads like cream cheese, butter, mayonnaise or any other

(Note: This recipe does not use salt. You may add some salt if you prefer nonetheless.)


Pulled Salmon Teriyaki SandwichPulled Salmon Teriyaki SandwichPulled Salmon Teriyaki Sandwich





  1. Place a frying pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. 
  2. When the oil starts to smoke, add slices of onion and saute for 1 minute.
  3. Place the salmon fillet on the pan and cover cook for 1 – 2 minutes or till the meat turns white and releases juices. Open the lid and flip turn the fillet and cover cook the other side for another 1 – 2 minutes.
  4. Open the lid and stab the fillet repeatedly to pull out and shred salmon meat into medium-large chunks.
  5. Add  the soy sauce, honey and crushed black pepper. Saute and stir till meat is well coated, seasoned and done. Take off from heat.
  6. Sandwich assembly: Toast the sandwich breads slightly if you like and spread the condiment (cream cheese, butter, etc.). Take one bread, place lettuce leaves and top with pulled salmon teriyaki. Finish by placing another sandwich bread on the top! 
  7. Serve with your favorite sandwich accompaniment(s).