Miso Glazed Crispy-Skinned Salmon

If you’ve never cooked with miso, this is a fantastic recipe to start with. While many Americans are probably familiar with miso in it’s soup form, it’s also a fantastic ingredient in all kinds of dishes, from savory to sweet. It’s great in salad dressings, 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 salmon dish is what I use miso for most often (and how I love it best). The glaze is delicate and doesn’t overwhelm the fish and the skin gets wonderfully burnished and crisp. It also takes just a few minutes to make so it’s a fantastic weeknight option. Quick or not, for me, this is one of the best salmon recipes of all time. I could have it twice a week, happily.

You’ll want to use white (also known as sweet) miso for this. Red miso, which is fermented for a much longer time, has too strong a flavor and would overpower the fish. I usually serve it with steamed rice (sometimes white, sometimes brown) and my go-to with everything Pickled Cucumber and Avocado Salad. I didn’t have cucumbers last night so we just made a quick salad of avocado, arugula and baby kale drizzled with lime.

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 Glazed Crispy-Skinned SalmonMiso Glazed Crispy-Skinned Salmon

Miso Glazed Crispy-Skinned Salmon
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • 2 salmon fillets, skin on
  • 3 tablespoons white miso
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons neutral oil (like peanut or canola)
  • Thinly sliced scallions (optional for garnish)
  • Toasted sesame seeds (optional for garnish)
  • Limes (optional for garnish)
  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 dried well. Slather half the sauce on the exposed flesh of the fish, avoiding getting it on the skin. 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 non-stick 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. Spoon the remaining sauce over the flesh of the fish (try to avoid having it drip all over the pan so it doesn't get too smoky) and pop it 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 skin side up, on steamed rice or rice noodles. Garnish with sliced scallions, sesame seeds and lime segments.