Miso salmon

Miso salmon with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and green scallions.

‘Sup nerds!

Not you’re not crazy, I’ve blogged this recipe before but I’m re-posting it for two reasons; One, I wrote out the recipe in a bit more detail so it’s easier to follow and two, I took much better photos. This is the first time I’ve updated a post for mostly cosmetic reasons but the truth is, this is one of my favorite recipes ever and the original pics were just not doing it justice. Can you tell that I really, really want you to try it? Therefore I present to you, Miso Salmon, Part Deux. 

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If you’ve never cooked with miso, miso salmon is a really great recipe to start with. While most of us are probably familiar with miso in soup form, it’s also fantastic in all kinds of dishes, from savory to sweet. I use it in salad dressings, I love it drizzled on roasted vegetables (try this same glaze on eggplant, yum).

One of the great aspects of miso is that it keeps for ages in the fridge (seriously, months and months), so you won’t have to go on a miso bender just so you won’t waste it. I mean, you’ll probably go on a miso bender anyway because the stuff is delicious but it won’t be for economic reasons.

This miso salmon recipe is certainly what I use it for most often (and how I love it best). The glaze has a great balance between savory and sweet, and the skin gets wonderfully burnished and crisp. It also literally takes just a few minutes from start to finish, so it’s my absolute favorite weeknight dinner. Quick or not, for me, this is one of the best salmon recipes of all time. I could have it twice a week, happily.

Miso salmon

You’ll want to use white (also known as sweet, or Shiro) miso for this. Red miso, which is fermented for a much longer time, is very intense and would overpower the fish. The lovely thing about this recipe is that if you use skin-on fillets you’ll get perfectly crispy, burnished skin. If your salmon is skinless, just follow the recipe and it will still be delicious, just not crisp on the bottom.

I usually serve miso salmon with steamed rice (sometimes white, sometimes brown) and my go-to with everything Pickled Cucumber and Avocado Salad.

Oh, and Matt wanted me to make sure to mention that this is his favorite fish recipe of all time. He says that about a lot of recipes (good husband), but I could tell he really meant it.

Miso salmon

Nerd Tips:
  • When cooking fish, we like to use a non-stick or well-seasoned cast iron pan.
  • Mirin is a sweet rice wine. If you can’t find it, just substitute an extra tablespoon of honey or sugar.
  • If you can’t find miso and/or mirin at your local grocery store, it might be worth looking to see if there’s an Asian specialty store in your area. Of course, there’s always the internet.
  • I like using slightly thicker salmon for this so I can broil it long enough that the edges get crispy and burnished.
  • Do not wander off while the fish is broiling. It can burn quickly.
  • This recipe can be easily doubled for a larger crowd.
  •  Gluten-Free Miso: Miso sometimes contains grains, though not always. Miso from grains like barley (mugi ortsubu in Japanese), wheat (tsubu), or rye (hadakamugi) are not gluten free. Miso from rice (kome or genmai), buckwheat (sobamugi), and millet (kibi) are gluten-free. Check the label to be sure.
  • Gluten-Free Soy Sauce: Tamari is made with no (or very little) wheat, while traditional soy sauce does contain wheat. Make sure to check the label to ensure GF Tamari

Miso Glazed Salmon
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 salmon fillets, skin on if possible
  • 3 tablespoons white miso (some miso is GF, see Nerd Tips)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine) or substitute one extra tablespoon of honey
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or Tamari for GF)
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, grated or minced
  • 2 teaspoons neutral oil (like peanut or canola)
  • Thinly sliced scallions (optional for garnish)
  • Toasted sesame seeds (optional for garnish)
Instructions
  1. Preheat broiler to high
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the miso, honey, mirin, soy sauce, and ginger to form a thick sauce.
  3. If you've rinsed it, make sure the fish is very dry. Slather half the sauce on the exposed flesh of the fish, avoiding getting sauce on the skin (or the bottom flesh, if skinless). If you have time, marinate for 10-15 minutes. (If some sauce gets on the skin, just wipe it off a bit before putting it in the pan).
  4. Heat 2 teaspoons neutral oil in an ovenproof skillet on medium-high. Sear the fish, skin-side down, pressing the fish flat several times with a spatula so that it lies flush in the pan. Don't mash it to death, but you can use a bit of pressure here. Cook for three minutes, until the skin gets crispy.
  5. Carefully spoon another tablespoon of sauce over the flesh of each fillet. Try to avoid having it drip all over the pan so it doesn't get too smoky. Reserve the remaining sauce for drizzling. Pop the pan under the broiler for 4-7 minutes, depending on the thickness of the filet and how well done you like it (I like salmon medium-rare and found that a 1½ inch thick fillet took 5 minutes).
  6. While broiling, watch the fish carefully (the honey burns easily). If it starts to get too dark, move it down farther, away from the broiler.
  7. Serve it with the on steamed rice or rice noodles. Garnish with slices scallions, sesame seeds and lime segments.