The Salmon Recipe that Turned my Kids into Fish Lovers

For years I have harbored a great guilt over my kids’ hatred of fish. Yes. Hatred. It was that bad. Shrimp was highly suspect. Even fish sticks were a no-go. Salmon and tuna? Those pink colored proteins seemed like poison to them. I kept trying, only to be met with pursed lips and often tears. All of those omega-3s, all of that vitamin D went uneaten by everyone except for Steve, me, and of course, our dog Wilson.

The salmon breakthrough came randomly, at a Sunday night barbecue. The kids were going through the buffet line, filling their plates, when a platter of salmon kebabs caught Juju’s eye. “What is that pink meat on the kebab? It looks good. Can I have some?” The salmon did look great. All caramelized and flaky. Little chunks of deliciousness. Juju was quickly back for seconds. Then Sophie asked for a taste, and Bella too. They couldn’t get enough. A week later, they were still talking about that amazing salmon, and asking when they could get more.

beautiful salmon steakI got the recipe from my talented friend Kirsten, and it turned out to be as easy as it was delicious. Four ingredients, divided equally. Marinade a day ahead for the greatest infusion of flavor. We’ve been grilling the salmon but plan to take it indoors with some high heat pan frying in the winter. I have made this recipe over a dozen times since I got it from Kristen, and every time I make it, I get the call a few days later from friends and family. “How did you make that delicious salmon? We want to do it again!” This caramelized salmon recipe never fails to put others under its spell.

So now you have it too. The simple salmon recipe that made salmon night more popular than taco night in our house. Trust me. It truly is that good.

The Salmon Recipe that Turned my Kids into Fish Lovers
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
An easy 4-ingredient marinade that makes salmon on the grill sweet and caramelized.
Cuisine: Asian American
Serves: serves 6
  • ¼ cup of Mirin
  • ¼ cup of Rice Vinegar
  • ¼ cup of brown sugar
  • ¼ cup of soy sauce
  • 1.5 pounds of salmon, either cut into 4 inch pieces for kebabs or left as steaks
  1. Combine the mirin, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Whisk with a fork until all the sugar is combined. Pour over the salmon. Marinate for 24 hours. You can marinate for less time but the flavor will not be as sweet and delicious.
  2. If doing kebabs, thread onto wooden skewers that you have pre-soaked. Leave ½ inch of space between pieces.
  3. Grill for 10 minutes total. First 5 minutes on the flesh side if using steaks. Then finish on the skin side for another 5 minutes. If using kebabs, just do 2.5 minutes a side.
  4. We like our salmon a little underdone. USDA recommends an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit for salmon, measured in the thickest part of the filet or kebab chunk.


Leave a reply