Miso Salmon 味噌サーモン

MISO SALMON ­— Wild salmon fillet marinated in a sweet and savory miso marinade, garnish with sesame seeds and scallion. photo by Namiko Chen

Marinated in a sweet and savory miso sauce, this Miso Salmon recipe makes a delicious weeknight meal. Enjoy it with Japanese ginger rice!

We eat seafood often at home as my family loves all the different types of fish and goodies the ocean has to offer. Among seafood, if I have to pick a favorite fish for our family, it would probably be salmon.

Today I’m going to share another quick and easy salmon recipe — Miso Salmon (味噌サーモン).

The Use of Miso in Japanese Recipes
Miso makes a wonderful marinade, and it goes very well with both fish and meat. I’ve previously shared my buttery and savory Miso Cod recipe (https://www.justonecookbook.com/black-cod-with-miso) and my family’s all-time favorite Garlic Miso Chicken on the blog. Besides cod and chicken, miso also goes really well with salmon.

Miso is made primarily from soybeans and usually includes rice or barley. It is steamed, mixed with koji (a fermentation starter), and left to ferment for six months to five years.

Miso provides protein and is rich in vitamins and minerals and used for many dishes in Japanese cuisine. From miso soup to salad dressing and seasonings/sauce, it’s a common condiment that we use every day in Japanese kitchens.

Miso has a salty and savory taste, so when I make a marinade with it, I always mix it with something sweet, such as mirin, honey or sugar.

Important Tip on Cooking with Miso
When cooking miso-marinated food, whether it’s fish or meat, you must remove the marinade before cooking because miso gets burned very easily.

Don’t worry about not having enough flavor due to removing the marinade. The miso flavor will already have been absorbed very quickly. If you still want the nice glaze, brush on the miso marinade right before you take out the dish from the oven. Just make sure you don’t burn the dish right when you are about to finish cooking!

Baking vs. Broiling Fish
Although I often use a broiler in my oven to cook fish, including in this recipe, I recommend baking this miso salmon, especially if you have never broiled this type of fish before. Miso burns really easily. You can’t avoid burning miso completely; however, you can minimize the burns by removing the marinade and baking this fish.

I’ve summarized the difference between broiling and baking fish, and which type of fish is suitable for broiling or baking for your future reference.

When you broil fish, the infrared energy from the heating element cooks the fish that’s placed closer to the broiler at the top of your oven. Broiling is a much faster cooking method, and fish will brown beautifully, but it burns miso, fresh herbs and many other garnishes, and requires constant attention.

When broiling, you don’t control the temperature in the oven; instead, you control the distance between the broiler and the surface of the food. It’s similar to using hotter and cooler zones on your grill.

When you bake fish, hot air cooks the fish. The heat is carried through your oven by slow-moving natural currents of hot air, which is why baking takes a relatively long time to cook. But it can be relaxing as you do not need to constantly pay attention.

Choose Baking Or Broiling Based on A Type Of Fish
Fatty fish (such as salmon, mackerel and swordfish) can be baked or broiled at higher temperatures, ranging from 425ºF (baked) to 550ºF or 550ºF (broiler).

Moderately lean fish (such as cod and haddock) should be brushed with oil and broiled.

Whole fish, large fillets or lean and fragile fish (such as sole) should be baked at 425ºF to preserve their moisture and delicate texture. Avoid broiling these fish because they will be overcooked too fast.

I served the miso salmon with Ginger Rice. The fragrance of ginger-infused rice goes so well with miso flavored salmon.

If you are interested in other traditional Japanese marinade salmon recipes, please see my salmon kasuzuke recipe.

Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, visit https://www.justonecookbook.com/ingredient-substitution-for-japanese-cooking/.

Miso Salmon
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins

Marinated in a sweet and savory miso sauce, this Miso Salmon recipe makes a delicious weeknight meal. Enjoy with Japanese ginger rice!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: marinated salmon, miso marinade, salmon
Servings: 2
Author: Namiko Chen

14 oz skin-on salmon fillet (400 g; cut in half if one big piece)

2 Tbsp miso (I use white miso, awase miso (mix of white and red miso), or koji miso for this recipe)
1 Tbsp sake
1 Tbsp mirin
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp sesame oil (roasted)

Topping (optional)
1/2 tsp toasted white and black sesame seeds (for garnish)
1 green onion/scallion (chopped, for garnish)

To read the recipe, visit https://www.justonecookbook.com/miso-salmon/.

Speak Your Mind