Soy Sauce and Brown Sugar Fish Marinade

Soy Sauce and Brown Sugar Fish Marinade Recipe

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 1 3/4 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
23 Calories
0g Fat
3g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 23
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 585mg 25%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 8mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 66mg 1%
*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 flavorful fish marinade is perfection in not only how it tastes but also how it works with the fish. The low acid level of the combination of ingredients will not cook the fish before it hits the grill, so fish can sit in the marinade longer and take on more flavor. The combination of soy sauce and brown sugar gives it a teriyaki flavor and aids in caramelizing the surface of the fish while grilling.


  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Soy Sauce and Brown Sugar Fish Marinade
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Combine all ingredients in a glass container. The marinade can be made up to a few days in advance to allow the flavors to marry before adding the fish.

    Combine ingredients in jar
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. To use, place fish of choice in a resealable plastic bag and pour enough marinade over so it covers all of the flesh. Seal bag, and marinate for 30 to 60 minutes before cooking.

    Soy Sauce and Brown Sugar Fish Marinade
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Types of Fish to Use

  • With this marinade, you want to choose a meaty fish that can handle strongly flavored ingredients such as soy sauce, garlic, and brown sugar. Delicate fillets such as sole or flounder would not work as their mild taste and tender flesh would become overwhelmed by the marinade. Good options include salmon, tuna, swordfish, and mahi-mahi, or even shrimp.
  • This recipe would also be delicious as a marinade for grilled chicken.

Tips for Marinating Fish

  • A marinade is a great way to add flavor, keep the fish moist, and prevent it from sticking to the grill.
  • However, whereas beef, especially tough cuts, benefit from long marinating times (often overnight), fish is a different story. Fish is naturally tender and therefore doesn't need a liquid to break down any fibers and tenderize the flesh. In addition, it does not take very long for the flavors of the marinade to infuse the fish; the firmest fish steaks (such as swordfish) need to sit in the mixture for one to two hours while most other types of fish only require 30 minutes.