Stir-fried Sockeye in Yakitori Sauce

Stir-fried Sockeye in Yakitori Sauce

A Note About The Author: This recipe was written by Jenna Rozelle. You can follow Jenna on Instagram @jennarozelle

It was a busy day and around noon I reached blindly into the pantry for a can of lifesaving smoked salmon to eat on the run. I found I’d opened a can of plain packed sockeye instead of smoked and at first thought of this as a mistake but soon became very excited about the turn of events. I didn’t have much time, but I had a little and I had leftover yakitori sauce from the night before and a serving of rice to re-heat. I put the rice in a small pot, poured the sockeye liquid in, thinking of Japanese salmon rice, and put it on a low flame with the lid on. I scrambled an egg and stir fried cabbage in butter and soy. I tossed the fish and sauce in the wok just a few times until hot and glazed. Each thing was so delicate, the plate—a small symphony of softness. The simplicity and nourishment of fish and rice together was overwhelmingly comforting. My eyes were bigger than my stomach, really only the salmon and rice were essential. I ate the leftovers in a rolled omellete the next morning.

Normally, yakitori sauce is used for grilling skewers of chicken, but I found this use to be undeniably good, however untraditional. This recipe makes more sauce than you’ll need but it’s good to make a larger batch so you don’t burn while reducing. It keeps in the fridge for up to 3 months and I always use mine up before then. It’s a workhorse condiment - keeping this sauce and some canned salmon around is a pantry power move.

Serves 2, Time 35 minutes


1 can Wildfish Cannery Plain Packed Sockeye

2 Tbsp neutral oil

Rice (preferebly short-grain)

Optional: Scallions, cabbage, egg.


  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup mirin
  • ¼ cup sake
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tsp maple syrup (or brown sugar)


Combine ½ cup soy sauce,  ½ cup mirin, ¼ cup sake, 2 tsp maple syrup (or brown sugar) and ¼ cup water in a small saucepan.

Heat on high until boiling, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the sauce reduces to one-third of its original volume (about 30 minutes). Ideally, let it cool to room temperature to thicken before using, but not essential.

Prepare your rice according to the package and other sides as the sauce reduces. Keep warm.

Heat a wok or well-seasoned skillet (or some other non-stick pan) over medium heat. Add oil and swirl to coat.

Add the Plain Packed Sockeye to the pan, toss or turn to coat, then add 2+ Tbsp of the yakitori sauce - enough to coat the salmon generously but not drown it. Stir-fry gently with a spatula to coat - trying to keep the fish in sturdy flakes. 1-2 minutes.

Plate everything together with minced scallion and eat while warm. *Topping your rice with a pat of butter and a small dash of soy for “butter rice” is strongly encouraged.


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