Extra (Ap)Petite: Easy & Delish Soy Garlic Salmon

mother daughter cooking easy baked salmon dinner idea 

J.crew sophie cardigan xxxs (size down), similar mock neck dress

Hello friends ~ I hope everyone’s hanging in there! I did a poll on IG about what content you’d like to see during this time, and got quite a few votes for more cooking posts. If you haven’t already, check out the Extra (Ap)Petite archives (this white chicken chili is a reader favorite and uses mostly pantry ingredients) and I have a couple more to share that are both delicious and easy – and kid friendly! For babies / younger toddlers, scroll to the bottom to see how I season the fish differently.

Today’s post is inspired by a dish my good friend made for us once, and I couldn’t believe how quickly she whipped everything together. The fish stays very tender through baking and is sweet, savory, and garlicky – yum! I asked for the recipe between mouthfulls and it’s been in our regular rotation since! I just make a few modifications to reduce the sweetness, and added some acidity with vinegar. I prefer to use fresh salmon, but if you’re buying groceries now for later, you can freeze uncooked salmon and just put it in the refrigerator 1 day prior to slowly thaw.

easy asian soy garlic maple baked salmon recipe

Print Recipe
4.97 from 27 votes



  • 1 lb salmon filet
  • 2 Tablespoons light soy sauce. We get ours from the Asian grocery.
  • 2 Tablespoons real maple syrup. Try honey or brown sugar if you don’t have maple syrup.
  • 2 to 4 cloves garlic minced, depending on how much you like garlic
  • Black pepper
  • Optional: 2 teaspoons rice vinegar in the marinade for a little acidity or apple cider vinegar
  • Optional: garlic powder grated ginger, red pepper flakes, sesame oil (I drizzle this on top of the fish on my serving plate)


  • Mix marinade. In a small bowl, combine the minced garlic, light soy sauce, maple syrup, and optional rice vinegar and grated ginger.
  • Put the fish in an oven-safe dish / pan and add a good amount of pepper (and optional garlic powder) all over the filet. If your fish has skin, just leave it on and bake it skin side down (the skin will come off easily after cooking). Line your dish with foil or parchment paper to make this an easy-cleanup meal.
  • Pour marinade mixture over the salmon. Cover and refrigerate for up to 30 minutes (fish is delicate so I wouldn’t marinade for longer). Start cooking your rice while salmon is marinading.
  • Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes for small, thinner pieces of salmon or 20-25 minutes for thicker, larger pieces. Before baking I try to spoon as much of the marinade and garlic back on top of the salmon filet. Check your salmon and it’s done when the center of the filet flakes easily with a fork. For our approximately 1lb piece that was thicker than 1 inch, it needed about 20 minutes.
  • Serve with roasted veggies and rice or noodles! I love this with rice to soak up any extra sauce.

To think of this simply, it’s just a 1 to 1 soy to maple syrup ratio, plus a generous helping of garlic and a dash of vinegar.

I also like to roast some veggies as sides while the oven is going! With firmer or root veggies like potatoes, carrots or squash, I’ll turn the oven temp up higher and put them in first while the salmon is marinading. Otherwise for veggies like zucchini or asparagus, the baking time is about the same.

quick easy asian soy garlic maple baked salmon recipe

easy asian soy garlic marinade salmon

quick dinner ideas baked teriyaki flavor salmon

I roasted my asparagus in a separate dish (then combined them for serving) since I wasn’t sure how long they’d take to cook, but it was approximately the same amount of time as my salmon.

easy asian garlic soy maple salmon recipe

modifications for little ones

My friend’s 2 year old gobbles this salmon up alongside his parents, but if you want to cut back on sodium and sweetness for babies / younger kids, I usually just set aside a small salmon piece for Nori and season it lightly. She hasn’t taken a liking to these flavors on her salmon yet, so I’ll drizzle her filet with olive oil then simply add a little salt (omit for infants), pepper, garlic powder, and a squeeze of lemon juice when serving.

Tender Tip: When baking fish or veggies for babies or younger toddlers, I like to wrap them in a parchment paper or foil packet sealed with your fingertips. Making a sealed packet helps the inner contents “steam” within the packet and be extra tender, versus drying out in the oven.

toddler dinner meal ideas baked salmon
Nori’s dinner (she’s 19 months old): salmon, potato cubes, sweet potato, some of our asparagus with the soy garlic sauce, and kiwi for dessert on her Beaba suction dining set.

I cut russet potatoes into cubes (toss in olive oil, salt, pepper, dried herbs, garlic powder) and I simply bake the sweet potato whole with the skin on wrapped in foil. Bake both together at a higher temp like 400 degrees – potato cubes took about 30 minutes while the whole sweet potato took about 40 minutes to be fork-tender. The skin on the foil wrapped sweet potato peels off easily afterwards!


I’ll be posting in the near future about a tasty way to reinvent leftovers like this (I usually can’t stand eating leftover fish!) – in the meantime, keep an eye out for large sheets of roasted seaweed (any brand) the next time you’re able to go out for groceries or place an Amazon order!

Let me know what recipes you guys have been cooking lately! (I could use the meal planning inspo!)

easy asian soy garlic baked salmon recipe

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Recipe Rating


  1. Felicia wrote:

    5 stars
    We love this recipe so much it’s on our weekly rotation. I often have to send it to friends when we have them over for dinner because they love it too! The best part is it’s so easy. I prep the ingredients before baby’s bedtime routine, nurse and by the time I’m done dinner is ready!

    Posted 2.6.22 Reply
  2. Mary Kim wrote:

    5 stars
    Hi Jean! We LOVE this recipe! Thank you for sharing! How would you modify if you were cooking from frozen salmon? Thank you!

    Posted 9.20.21 Reply
  3. May wrote:

    Tried this last night and it was so yummy! Thanks for sharing! The sesame oil at the end is what gave it the extra oomph! Thanks again!

    Posted 3.28.20 Reply
    • May wrote:

      Oh and i did it in the air fryer at 400 degrees for 12 mins…

      Posted 3.28.20 Reply
  4. Jada wrote:

    Thank you for sharing!! Soy garlic salmon is my favorite way to have it!

    Posted 3.26.20 Reply
  5. MyHanh wrote:

    Jean, love the candid and natural laugh you have in the first photo! Rare sight! Hope you and babes are holding up! Are you and Nick planting anything this spring in your community garden? How is the house hunt going? (I’m not on IG, so would have missed it if you shared there!) Take care.

    Posted 3.25.20 Reply
  6. Georgette Oden wrote:

    Simple chicken adobo: as many chicken thighs as you want to cook, browned, skin side down, first. Then put into a big pot for braising, with a sauce made of one cup each soy, water, and white vinegar. I know that sounds like a lot, but trust me, you won’t taste the vinegar that much and it’s so savory. Add a lot of chopped garlic– at least a clove per thigh– and a bay leaf or two, 2-4 tablespoons of whole peppercorns, a tablespoon of brown sugar, and a tablespoon or so of oyster sauce. Braise at a simmer 2-3 hours, serve over rice. Credit goes to Norma Sengson, my Filipina mother-in-law, an amazing cook.

    Posted 3.25.20 Reply
  7. Jess wrote:

    Thanks for the inspo – just made this for dinner! I didn’t have asparagus and just used frozen French beans. Yummy!

    Posted 3.24.20 Reply
  8. Kayla wrote:

    Nori is the cutest baby ❤️

    Posted 3.24.20 Reply
  9. Noor wrote:

    This looks so yummy!
    Thanks for sharing! 😀

    xo Noor

    Posted 3.24.20 Reply
  10. Sigrid wrote:

    Hi! What is Nori standing on? A chair? My 20 month old wants to help in the kitchen but our chairs aren’t tall enough. Curious to know what you’re using! TIA!

    Posted 3.24.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      An ikea wooden stool! It’s not the safest (we’ve been meaning to get a toddler learning tower) but she is constantly on this stool trying to see what we’re up to in the kitchen.

      Posted 3.25.20 Reply
  11. Trace wrote:

    Your soy sauce description is a little unclear. “Light” soy sauce refers to the color and is the same as regular soy sauce; it’s what you would find on the tables at restaurants (as opposed to dark soy sauce, which is sweeter and primarily used for cooking). Low sodium soy sauce is specifically labeled as such and is light soy sauce with less sodium.

    Posted 3.24.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Thanks for clarifying. I’ve updated it to just say light. When I taste the light soy sauce we get from the Chinese grocery compared to regular ones on restaurant tables it tastes TOTALLY different, but I suppose that’s just due to the brand and how its made.

      Posted 3.24.20 Reply
  12. Zahra wrote:

    Can you please create some posts about plants/gardening? I’m interested in growing plants inside my condo as a beginner and eventually start planting more things. In some of your posts you mention gardening and tending to your plants so any advice would be helpful 🙂

    Posted 3.24.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Zahra, I wish I had a green thumb with tips to share but sadly the livelihood of our plants are pretty hit or miss. We usually get seedlings at the farmers market in prior years for herbs and veggies that we like, and for the most part, those grow nicely. I would look on pinterest for any tips or beginners guides!

      Posted 3.24.20 Reply
  13. Oh my gosh, that sounds so good. I always opt for teriyaki and goat cheese with walnuts sprinkled on top.

    Posted 3.24.20 Reply
  14. Annie P. wrote:

    So healthy and delicious looking! I love the vibrant contrast of the asparagus with the salmon. Kudos to you for teaching Nori healthy eating habits while she is young. Thanks for sharing and stay healthy!

    Posted 3.24.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Same to you, Annie! Toddlers are a finicky species … I try my best with her meals but will admit some days frozen chicken nuggets are my savior : )

      Posted 3.24.20 Reply
  15. Charlotte wrote:

    Yummy!! I make something similar… but instead of soy sauce, I do Dijon mustard and optional chilli pepper flakes for a bit of a kick. I bake mine at 400 Fahrenheit for 12-14mins and it comes out super tender and juicy! Thanks for sharing! I gotta try and make your chicken chilli next time!

    Posted 3.24.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      That sounds delicious! Will have to try it sometime. Love dijon mustard on anything and especially salmon.

      Posted 3.24.20 Reply
  16. Jewel wrote:

    What kind of salmon do you usually buy? Fresh or frozen? I can’t wait to try this recipe!

    Posted 3.23.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      I get fresh from whole foods. Frozen will work especially during this time when frequent grocery shopping isn’t easy, but just make sure to give the samon ample time to fully thaw in your refrigerator!

      Posted 3.23.20 Reply
      • Jen wrote:

        Nori is drop dead gorgeous Jean!

        Posted 3.24.20 Reply
        • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

          You’re so sweet, Jen. Virtual hugs from Nori and I! xx

          Posted 3.24.20 Reply
  17. Elena wrote:

    HelloFresh’s bibimbap is one of my favs! I cancelled our subscription a while ago but still make this almost every week! Sometimes I buy already shredded carrots & sliced mushrooms to make the prep easier haha. We also like to add a fried egg on top!


    Posted 3.23.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Thanks for sharing! Looks yum and full of veggies too!

      Posted 3.23.20 Reply

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