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Salmon Bulgogi

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I wanted to cook something easy and simple for the first week of the year, so I made Salmon Bulgogi. This dish is simplicity itself. Ingredients for the sauce were already in my pantry. If not, they’re easy to obtain.

Bulgogi in Korean means ‘fire meat’, and often, it likely means the entrée was Korean-style grilled or roasted. I made a change and pan-fried this one instead. The sweet-savory Korean-inspired sauce makes a difference and adds to the appeal of this wholesome meal. Did I mention Filipinos love Korean food?

It was pretty simple. I marinated the salmon fillets for no longer than 20 minutes or else they tend to cook in the citrus. Once cooked, I took the fillets out of the pan for a brief time, while I simmered the sweet-savory bulgogi sauce. Then I returned the cooked fillets, and added the spinach and tomatoes to cook in the residual heat. By then, the steamed rice was ready to be paired with this splendid main course.

A New Year brings hope, renewed energy and optimism. It gives us a chance to reset our lives, and our goals. We’ve come a long way from the lockdowns three years ago (has it been three years already?) that were looming before us, this time then. So, let’s do it, folks. Let’s grab that energy to start the year, with a feeling in our hearts that this time, things will be brighter and better. And if your goal is to find many more ways to eat and cook simply, then this Salmon Bulgogi is one of them.

Salmon Bulgogi

Salmon Bulgogi is an easy dish of salmon fillets with a sweet-savory Korean-style Bulgogi sauce grazing the fish. The fillets are pan-fried separately for a few minutes. Then the sauce is simmered till the flavors blend. The combination of the meaty, flavorful salmon with the spinach and tomato slices makes for a pleasantly simple dish for any day of the week. This is a recipe from The Quirino Kitchen by Elizabeth Ann Quirino.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Dinner, Fish, Lunch
Cuisine: Asian, Filipino
Keyword: Salmon Bulgogi
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 108kcal
Author: Elizabeth Ann Quirino


  • Large Skillet
  • Large and small mixing bowls


  • 1 pound salmon fillet, about 2 pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper powder
  • 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil; divided use 2 Tablespoons for salmon; rest for sauce
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 2 whole medium-sized tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 stalks scallion greens, chopped, for garnish

For sauce:

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 whole medium-sized onion, sliced
  • 2 stalks scallion whites, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 Tablespoon rice wine
  • 1 cup vegetable broth (or water)
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil

For serving:

  • steamed rice


To prepare and cook the salmon fillets

  • In a large bowl, marinate the salmon fillets with a tablespoon of lemon juice, a pinch each of salt and ground black pepper. Set aside for 20 minutes (do not marinate longer than this time).
  • In a large skillet, pour 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil. When oil is hot enough, over medium-high heat, pan fry the salmon fillets for about 12 to 15 minutes till cooked completely. Flip the salmon pieces halfway for even cooking on both sides.
    When cooked, remove the salmon from the skillet and set aside, while you prepare the sauce.

To cook the sauce with the salmon and vegetables:

  • In a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients: soy sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, honey, rice wine, broth, and sesame oil. Mix well.
  • Using the same skillet, pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil.
    Over medium heat, stir fry the garlic, onions, scallion whites and ginger for 1 minute till fragrant.
    Pour the mixture of sauce ingredients and mix.
    Simmer for about 2 to 3 minutes for flavors to blend.
    Return the cooked salmon fillets to the skillet, by placing over the sauce mixture.
    Add the baby spinach and tomato slices beside the salmon.
    Cover and turn off the heat. Allow the residual heat within the skillet to cook the spinach and soften the tomatoes for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Serve the salmon with the spinach and tomatoes while warm, with a side of steamed rice. Garnish with chopped scallion greens all over.


Serving: 100grams | Calories: 108kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 1643mg | Potassium: 100mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg

Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided  in the recipe links is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.

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