Traditional Yellowtail or Tuna Teriyaki

Yellowtail teriyaki
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  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
489 Calories
23g Fat
3g Carbs
57g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 489
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 30%
Saturated Fat 7g 36%
Cholesterol 157mg 52%
Sodium 1129mg 49%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 57g
Calcium 47mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This is a traditional recipe for yellowtail, a type of jackfish also called Hamachi in Japan, glazed with teriyaki sauce made the old-fashioned way. Modern teriyakis are often too sweet and, while you need the sugar to help caramelize the sauce, too much makes a dish cloyingly sweet. Don't worry about the ​mirin needed here, as it is readily available in most supermarkets. This is a very simple recipe that takes very little time to prepare―and you can use other fish. We'd recommend tuna, swordfish, mackerel, striped bass, bluefish, catfish or cobia.


  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds yellowtail (or other fish steaks, as described above)
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 tablespoons sake
  • 4 tablespoons mirin (Japanese sweet wine)
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (heaping spoon)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (peanut is best)​

Steps to Make It

  1. To prepare the fish: Salt the fish steaks well and set aside at room temperature for 15 to 25 minutes.

  2. To make the teriyaki sauce: In a small pot, bring the sake, mirin and soy sauce to a boil and stir in the sugar. Turn off the heat and set aside.

  3. To cook the fish: Using a large saute pan, get the peanut oil almost to a smoking point over high heat.

  4. Run the edge of a butter knife along the skin side of the fish steaks, scraping off any moisture.

  5. Turn the heat down to medium-high and lay the fish steaks―skin side down―in the pan.

  6. You might need to press down on them with a spatula to keep the skin from arching up. It'll relax in a minute or so.

  7. Cook the fish 2/3 of the way on the skin side, then flip. It should come off easily, as the skin will be crispy. If you have skinless pieces of fish, just cook it 2/3 on one side.

  8. Pour in the teriyaki sauce and turn the heat down to medium. Spoon some on the skin side of the steak and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, longer if the steak is very thick.

  9. Flip the steak one more time to set the teriyaki glaze. Gently shake the pan so it doesn't stick. Cook for 1 minute.

  10. Serve immediately with steamed rice and a salad.