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Wingin’ It: Teriyaki salmon for Buffalo Bills vs. Seattle Seahawks

Or should it be called “Skarey-aki?”

Where there’s football, there’s food. There are many great options in the category of “traditional fare” but you might be in the mood for something different. Wingin’ It has you covered with a new Buffalo sauce-inspired recipe every week of the Buffalo Bills’ season. Get ready to win big in your kitchen as the Bills get ready for the Seattle Seahawks!


This week brings a brand new city into the mix as the Bills take on the Seattle Seahawks. Known for fish, especially salmon, and with a good deal of Japanese influence in the region, Seattle opens the door for an extremely bold sauce this week. With heavy-duty heat, sweet, and salt profiles trying to come together, did I bring balance ? Or did I create a great disturbance in the sauce, as if millions of taste buds cried out for water but were “soydenly” silenced? Make it and find out for yourself.

Buffalo Teriyaki salmon

Serves: 2-6
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes


1 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp minced onion
1 tsp garlic powder
1 cup ginger beer*
13 cup soy sauce
13 cup hot sauce
3 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
1 Tbsp corn starch
2 tbsp water
Salmon filet(s)**
Salt to taste
1 Tbsp olive oil


You’ll need: A grill, aluminum foil***

  1. Preheat grill on MED/HIGH or around 400ºF. Add butter and onions to medium sauce pan on MED/HIGH; sauté until onions turn milky/clear, about 3 min.
  2. Add garlic, ginger beer, soy sauce, hot sauce, and brown sugar to pan; stir and reduce heat to MED. Simmer 7-8 min to combine flavors.
  3. Create a slurry by combining corn starch and water in a separate bowl.
  4. Stir in slurry 1 tsp at a time. Continue to simmer until thickened, about 3-5 min***. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Prep salmon by patting dry with a paper towel and salting both sides, even if you bought a cut with skin/scales still attached.
  6. Lightly oil a sheet of foil and place the salmon skin side UP.
  7. Grill about 3 min to sear the top then carefully flip.
  8. Continue grilling until salmon is entirely light pink and flakes easily using a fork, about 10 min—but a lot of the timing depends on the thickness of the cut. You can check for internal temperature of 145ºF. If it sticks at this point it’ll only be the skin sticking, not the yummy parts

Wingin’ It Tips

  • *If you buy store-brand ginger ale for this so help me... I mean. I would highly recommend “splurging” and buying a higher quality ginger beer. It’s still technically soda but you won’t have enough ginger flavor with a ginger ale. Something that proudly proclaims connections to Jamaica or Bermuda is probably a safe bet. It should be difficult to drink straight for all but the most hardened ginger soda lovers.
  • **I’m not recommending a specific amount for the salmon as leftover fish can be a turn off. The sauce recipe will make enough for quite a bit. Or if you’re making a smaller amount it can be used on the rice, veggies...whatever you’re eating with it. Since we’re grilling, there won’t be much difference in cooking and prep time between two or six portions of fish.
  • ***Some people can be leery about using foil when cooking. If that’s you, you can also lightly oil the fish rather than the foil. You’ll need to be far more careful flipping on the bare grill but it can work. I’d also recommend you purchase salmon with skin on one side to help keep things together.

BONUS thing! Thickening sauces


I encourage tasting sauces you need to thicken because water is actually a very important component when it comes to flavor, not just consistency. Decreasing water = increasing flavor intensity. In the case of Skarey-aki sauce you’re starting with soy sauce, which is incredibly salty. So taste frequently using a clean spoon each time and when it’s done it’s done flavor wise.

If it’s still too thin for your liking, repeat the slurry above on low heat. That’s not enough corn starch to impact the flavor dramatically but it will significantly change the consistency. Remember to add 1 tsp at a time, stir in and feel free to check between teaspoons. I often keep a small piece of foil to the side of the stove when working with new sauces. You can drip a drop on the foil, which will cool it rapidly and give you a good idea on its actual thickness and viscosity.