Homemade Miso Salmon showcasing rich miso marinade.Pin
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Miso Salmon

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This Miso Salmon marinates in a deliciously sweet and savory miso sauce, then broils to achieve a beautifully crisp exterior while keeping the inside perfectly moist. Pair it with Japanese ginger rice for an even more delightful meal. You’ll soon find it becoming a staple in your kitchen.

Close-up of succulent Miso Salmon fillets with a golden-brown crust.Pin

Salmon is one of the best fish choices available! It’s versatile, readily accessible, and provides a healthy protein for any meal. Today, I’m sharing my easy, tried-and-true recipe for Miso Salmon.

In this dish, salmon fillets absorb a marinade of miso, sake, mirin, Yum Yum Sauce, and sesame oil, then broil until succulent and golden brown. You and your family will love how simple and satisfying it is, especially when served with rice and vegetables.

Delicious Miso Salmon marinated in savory miso sauce.Pin

Using Miso in Japanese Recipes

Miso, a traditional Japanese condiment, results from fermenting soybeans with salt, koji (a fermentation starter), and occasionally rice or barley. It’s a staple in Japanese kitchens, used in everything from miso soup to salad dressings and marinated fish. Its sweet and salty flavor makes it an excellent marinade, especially for fatty fish like cod and salmon.

Previously, I’ve shared the Miso Black Cod recipe made famous by Nobu on the blog. Today, we’ll explore how to use miso to create flavorful, tender salmon with a golden, caramelized top that everyone will enjoy.

How to Make Miso Salmon

The Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Salmon: For broiling, use salmon that is less than 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick. If you don’t have a broiler, wild King/Chinook salmon, which is thick and has a high-fat content, is ideal for baking since it doesn’t dry out quickly. Farmed Atlantic salmon is a more affordable and accessible option.
  • Miso: I use white miso (shiro miso) in this recipe because it’s widely available in Japanese and Asian markets, as well as mainstream grocery stores. Its flavor profile complements this recipe well. If you have other types of miso, feel free to use them, but keep in mind that each brand and type of miso has different levels of saltiness, so adjust the amount accordingly.
  • Soy Sauce: I use organic Kikkoman soy sauce. Chinese and Korean soy sauces have slightly different tastes, so if you plan to cook more Japanese food, consider getting Japanese soy sauce.
  • Sake: I use a $5-8 drinking sake and avoid cooking sake that contains other ingredients like salt. Sake is important in Japanese cooking. If you don’t have it, you can use Chinese rice wine or dry sherry.
  • Mirin: Like sake, mirin is another essential condiment in Japanese cooking.
  • Roasted Sesame Oil adds aroma with just a tiny amount.
  • Garnish: Use toasted black and white sesame seeds and chopped green onion.

The Cooking Steps for miso glazed salmon

  • Prepare the miso marinade and let the salmon marinate for 1-2 hours.
  • Remove the marinade from the salmon
  • then broil it. Serve and enjoy!
Broiled Miso Salmon with a crispy exterior and tender interior.Pin

How to Prep the Miso Salmon

This recipe is very easy, but be sure to read the following tips to successfully make Miso Salmon on your first try!

  • Use skin-on salmon. Don’t remove the skin, as it prevents the flesh from overcooking and drying out. You don’t have to eat the skin, but keep it on!
  • Remove small bones and scales from the skin before marinating. This makes your meal more enjoyable, especially when serving young children or dinner guests.
  • Cut the salmon into individual fillets. Smaller fillets marinate and cook quickly!
  • Marinate for 1-2 hours. For fillets less than 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick, marinate up to 2 hours. For thicker salmon, marinate up to 3 hours. Avoid overnight marinating, as miso is quite salty.
  • Remove the miso marinade completely before cooking. Since miso burns easily, make sure to remove all marinade before cooking. The salmon will have absorbed plenty of flavor. For a nice glaze, cook the remaining marinade with water and drizzle over the cooked salmon.

Broiling Tips for Miso Salmon

If you’ve been baking salmon until now, I strongly suggest giving the broiling method a try.

When broiling fish, the infrared energy from the heating element quickly cooks the fish. Broiling is a faster method that results in beautifully browned fish that remains juicy without drying out!

However, it’s crucial to be cautious as miso, fresh herbs, and other garnishes can easily burn. Keep a close watch to prevent burning.

  • Use a sturdy baking sheet lined with aluminum foil; avoid parchment paper as it may burn under the broiler. I recommend brushing or spraying oil on the foil to prevent the skin from sticking after cooking. A metal spatula can help separate the skin from the foil once the salmon is done cooking.
  • Position the oven rack in the center, about 9 inches (23 cm) from the top heating element.
  • Set the broiler to high (550ºF/288ºC). Adjust the rack distance or use a medium setting depending on your oven’s capabilities. For beginners, start with a medium setting or keep more distance from the heating element, adjusting as needed.
  • Unlike baking, broiling doesn’t involve controlling oven temperature. Think of it like using hotter and cooler zones on a grill.
  • To determine if the salmon is cooked, gently flake the flesh. If it flakes easily, it is done.
Succulent fish fillets on a serving platterPin

How Long Do You Broil miso glazed salmon?

Please keep in mind that the broiling time can vary based on your broiler’s settings, the distance of the rack from the heating element, and the thickness of your salmon fillets.

I typically choose skin-on, center-cut salmon fillets that are less than 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick and weigh around 6 ounces (170 g) each. After marinating the salmon in the refrigerator, it usually takes about 10-13 minutes to broil until cooked through.

How Do You Know When Miso Salmon is Done?

You can determine if salmon is cooked when its flesh turns from translucent to opaque and it flakes easily when you probe it with a fork, chopsticks, or gently press on the fish.

If the salmon looks dry, it’s likely been cooked a bit too long. Overcooked salmon may release white protein (albumin) from the fish. While you can’t reverse this, the salmon is still edible, though it may be slightly dry.

Freshly cooked Miso Salmon fillets on a serving platter.Pin

Useful Kitchen Tools

The best approach is to use a meat probe thermometer (included with your oven) or an instant-read thermometer, especially for thick salmon fillets. With the right tool, you can ensure the salmon is perfectly cooked every time without any guesswork.

  • A probe thermometer lets you monitor the internal temperature of your chicken, turkey, salmon, and more as they cook, so you don’t have to keep opening the oven door to check.
  • An instant-read thermometer is incredibly versatile. You can use it to check the temperature of deep-frying oil, as well as for pan-fried fish or steak.

Bake vs. Broil Methods

If you’re interested, I’ve outlined the differences between broiling and baking fish, and I’ve also provided recommendations on which types of fish are best suited for each cooking method. This information can be helpful for your future cooking endeavors.

Japanese-inspired grilled fish dishPin

Broiling Method

When you broil fish, the infrared energy from the heating element directly cooks the fish. Unlike baking, where you control oven temperature, broiling is controlled by adjusting the distance between the broiler and the food’s surface.

Fish suitable for broiling:

  • Fatty fish such as salmon (thin-cut; under 1 inch or 2.5 cm), mackerel, and swordfish.
  • Moderately lean fish like cod and haddock (which should be brushed with oil before broiling).
  • Thin fish fillets, such as those commonly found in Japanese supermarkets.

Baking Method

When you bake fish, hot air inside the oven cooks it. This method uses slow-moving currents of hot air, resulting in a longer cooking time and sometimes a drier surface texture (refer to the image above). However, baking is more hands-off compared to broiling, requiring less constant attention.

Fish suitable for baking:

  • Fatty fish like thick and fatty cuts of salmon, mackerel, and swordfish.
  • Whole fish.
  • Thick and large fish fillets.
  • Lean and fragile fish such as sole.

What to Serve with Miso Salmon

For a satisfying and nutritious family dinner, I love pairing Miso Salmon with Ginger Rice. The bold flavors of miso-marinated salmon complement the aromatic essence of ginger-infused rice perfectly.

Homemade Miso Salmon showcasing rich miso marinade.Pin

Frequently Asked Questions

Hold on, you mentioned cooking the salmon to an internal temperature of 125-130°F (52-54ºC). I thought we were supposed to cook it to 145°F (63ºC).

The USDA suggests cooking fish to an internal temperature of 145°F (63ºC), but keep in mind that residual heat will continue cooking the salmon, potentially leading to overcooked fish. There is ongoing discussion online about this topic, and several credible cooking websites recommend cooking salmon to a lower temperature range of 120-130ºF (49-54ºC).

Can I marinate the salmon overnight?

Since miso is quite salty, I advise against marinating the salmon overnight, especially if the fillet is thin. For even marination, I suggest cutting a one-pound salmon fillet into two to four pieces. I typically recommend marinating for one to two hours. Adjust the timing according to your taste preferences if you find it needs more flavor.

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Homemade Miso Salmon showcasing rich miso marinade.Pin

Miso Salmon

This Miso Salmon features a delightful marinade of sweet and savory miso sauce, achieving a beautifully crisp exterior and moist interior through broiling. Pair it with Japanese ginger rice for an irresistible meal that will quickly become a favorite.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 308kcal

Ingredients

For the Marinade

  • 2 tablespoons of miso any type, such as Hikari Miso Organic White Miso
  • 1 tablespoon sake
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

For the Garnish (optional)

  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted white and black sesame seeds
  • 1 green onion or scallion chopped

Instructions

  • Before You Begin: Please be aware that this recipe requires marinating the salmon for 1–2 hours.
  • Gather all your ingredients. Check your 2 skin-on salmon fillets for any scales or tiny bones. Use fish boning tweezers to carefully remove any bones by running your fingers along the flesh surface and sides to locate the hard tips. To remove scales, run your fingers across the skin and use the flat edge of a knife to scrape off any scales you find.

To Lightly Marinate

  • In a large bowl or flat tray, combine the marinade ingredients: 2 tablespoons miso, 1 tablespoon sake, 1 tablespoon mirin, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil.
  • If your salmon isn’t already portioned into fillets, cut it into individual servings to ensure even cooking. A typical serving size is 6 ounces (170 grams). Place the salmon in the bowl with the marinade, skin side up.
  • Spoon the marinade over the salmon, ensuring it coats the sides and skin thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for 1–2 hours for fillets up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick. For thicker cuts, marinate for 3 hours. Note: Unlike Black Cod with Miso, this salmon marinates briefly, so avoid marinating overnight to prevent excessive saltiness.

To Broil (for thin fillets less than 1 inch or 2.5 cm thick)

  • Preheat the broiler to High (550ºF/288ºC) and position the rack in the center of the oven, about 9 inches (23 cm) from the top heating element. Allow it to preheat for 5 minutes. Note: When broiling, the oven temperature remains constant; instead, adjust the distance between the heating element and the food surface, much like managing hotter and cooler zones on a grill.
    While the broiler preheats, thinly slice the green onions diagonally. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (as parchment paper can burn) and lightly spray or brush oil on the foil to prevent the salmon skin from sticking.
  • Remove the salmon from the refrigerator and ensure to wipe off any excess marinade completely to prevent the miso from burning during broiling. Optionally, use an offset spatula or butter knife to scrape off the marinade.
  • Place the salmon pieces skin side down on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Broil the salmon until the thickest part of the fillet reaches an internal temperature of 125–130°F (52–54ºC), which typically takes about 10–13 minutes. There's no need to flip the salmon while broiling. For medium-rare doneness, you can stop cooking at 120°F (49ºC).
    Please note that while the USDA recommends cooking fish to an internal temperature of 145°F (63ºC), the residual heat will continue cooking the salmon, potentially resulting in overcooked fish.

To Bake (for thick fillets)

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F (218ºC) and position the rack in the center. If using a convection oven, reduce the temperature by 25ºF (15ºC).
    Remove the marinated salmon from the refrigerator and thoroughly wipe off any excess marinade to prevent the miso from burning during baking. You can use an offset spatula or butter knife to scrape off the marinade if desired.
  • Arrange the salmon pieces skin side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. If you have an oven probe, insert it into the thickest part of the flesh. Tip: If you don’t own a probe, consider investing in a Thermapen instant-read thermometer.
  • Place the baking sheet with the salmon in the oven and connect the probe (if using) to the oven. Bake the salmon until the thickest part of the fillet reaches an internal temperature of 125–130°F (52–54ºC), approximately 18–20 minutes. There's no need to flip the salmon while baking. For medium-rare doneness, you can stop cooking at 120°F (49ºC). Tip: I recommend baking for about 5 minutes per ½-inch (1.3-cm) thickness of salmon at the thickest point.
    Please note that while the USDA suggests cooking fish to an internal temperature of 145°F (63ºC), the residual heat will continue to cook the salmon, potentially resulting in overcooked fish.
  • Remove the salmon from the oven and check if it's cooked by flaking the flesh. If it flakes easily, it's ready.
    For an optional char: When the salmon is close to reaching the desired internal temperature, remove the probe and set the oven to Broil on High (550ºF/288ºC). Keep the oven rack in the center position, 9 inches (23 cm) away from the top heating element. Broil the salmon for about 3 minutes, or until the surface is blistered and slightly browned. Remember, the salmon will continue to cook under the broiler, so don’t delay in switching to broil.

To Serve

  • Serve the Miso Salmon topped with ½ tsp of toasted white and black sesame seeds and thinly sliced green onion/scallion (optional). I recommend pairing this dish with Ginger Rice for a delightful meal!
  • Optional tip: If you prefer not to discard the marinade, you can dilute it with water and simmer for a few minutes. Serve it alongside the salmon or use it in other recipes. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Sodium: 423mg | Calcium: 36mg | Vitamin C: 1mg | Vitamin A: 144IU | Sugar: 1g | Fiber: 1g | Potassium: 1003mg | Cholesterol: 109mg | Calories: 308kcal | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Fat: 13g | Protein: 40g | Carbohydrates: 3g | Iron: 2mg

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