Asian Recipes/ Dinner/ Japanese/ Recipes/ Valentine's Day

Miso Glazed Salmon

23/04/2024

Infused with classic Japanese seasonings and lip-smacking umami, miso glazed salmon is the juiciest, meltiest flaky salmon you’ll ever eat! Ready in 30 mins, for a fancy dinner or just “because”.

Salmon steaks on a bed of rice in a large blue dish.

Our fave fish dish (because it doesn’t taste like fish!)

Salmon is one of our favourite fish varieties – it’s super healthy and satisfying, and always feels extra fancy when we cook it at home. Done right it has that deliciously moist yet flaky texture without a super strong “fishy” flavour. Yum!

Today we’ve paired it with a quick and tasty Japanese style miso glaze which has the perfect depth of sweet, savoury umami flavour. Lightly charred it looks incredible and tastes amazing!

Related: Nasu Dengaku (Miso Glazed Eggplant) / Nikumiso (Pork Miso Sauce)

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Two miso salmon steaks with a slight char on the side sit on a bed of white rice with chopsticks in the background.

Star of the show or perfect companion?

Miso glazed salmon is one of those awesome creations you can tone up or down to suit the occasion.

You can make it the star of the show like we’ve done today – if so, try pairing it with sushi rice, brown rice or noodles. Then add your favourite sides, such as a small bowl of miso soup or kenchinjiru, and a portion of seasoned spinach, simmered tofu or takuan pickles. Or go for simple greens like charred broccolini or bok choy, or a light wafu salad on the side.

As an awesome companion you can serve it as the main protein on top of sushi bowls or miso ramen. It even works great as a bento box filling.

Ingredients and substitutes

  • Salmon – We recommend skin on salmon steaks because it helps the salmon cook through evenly and add more flavour. You don’t have to eat it if you don’t want to! Always go for pieces that have a rich colour and are similar in size and shape as this will help you achieve even cooking throughout each piece.
  • Miso Paste – The star of the show! Red miso adds a deep, rich umami flavour to the marinade. Sub with white miso for a sweeter finish (you might like to leave out the additional sugar if you do).
  • Soy Sauce – Any soy sauce works great. Sub with tamari for a gluten-free option and a deeper, more intense soy flavour.
  • Mirin – This is a sweet Japanese rice wine and one of the classic seasonings you find in most Japanese recipes. Look for it at larger supermarket chains, at your nearest Asian grocery store or buy online.
  • Cooking Sake – Another cooking wine and super common Japanese seasoning, but less sweet than mirin. Sub with Chinese cooking wine, sherry or water in a pinch.
  • Sugar – The extra sweetness helps to caramelise the marinade as it cooks, adding to that gorgeous char and enhancing the flavour. Sub with honey or maple syrup if you prefer.
  • Vegetable Oil – Best for cooking this recipe, since its higher smoke-point means less chance of smoking up than olive oil.

Quick Tips

  • Prepping the Salmon – If you can only source large salmon portions, slice it into small even fillets to they cook at the same or very similar rate. Check over each piece to remove any bones if required.
  • Marinating – Marinate the fish for a minimum of 15 minutes for a quick dinner, but for a special event it’s worth marinating longer. Around 2-3 hours will make a big difference in soaking all that flavour through the salmon.
  • Charring – The sugars in the miso marinade will char slightly. This is perfectly normal and adds to the flavour. By cooking on medium heat, it allows the fish to cook through without overcooking or burning the marinade.

Storage

Miso glazed salmon is best enjoyed freshly cooked, but will keep for a day or so in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave for a minute or so on high, or heat it on the stove over low heat until warmed through.

FAQs & Troubleshooting

How do I know if its cooked all the way through?

The best way to tell if your salmon is cooked all the way through is to pay attention to how it changes colour. It will transform from a semi-translucent orange, to a pale pink orange inside and completely opaque once cooked.

Watch closely as it cooks up to around halfway through the salmon steak before you flip it. Then you’ll know the heat has reached the middle!

How to I prevent overcooking the fish or burning the marinade?

For the perfect tender salmon every time – it’s all about two things:

– Uniform Sizes – Make sure your salmon pieces are as close to the same size as possible. Flatter, wider pieces will cook quicker as there is more surface area on the pan, whereas skinny, taller salmon steaks may need a little longer for the heat to reach right up to the middle.

– Pan Heat – We mention it in the method, and we’ll say it again – don’t have your pan too hot! Lower heat gives the meat plenty of time to cook through properly, without over OR undercooking it, and without burning your marinade.

Can I grill / broil instead of pan frying?

You sure can. Transfer the marinated salmon fillets onto a baking tray and place into the middle of the oven (so it doesn’t burn the marinade). Cook both sides for 4-5 minutes using your oven’s grill / broil function on high. To check if it’s done, lightly press on the salmon to see if it flakes easy but remains moist.

Toppings & Variations

  • Garnish Ideas – Top with fresh or toasted sesame seeds for nuttiness, or a light sprinkle of shichimi togarashi for a spicy zing. 
  • Protein – If you have fussy eaters that don’t like salmon, you can use this marinade on tofu steaks to make it vegan, or switch things up and use chicken thighs or pork steaks instead.
Two salmon steaks that show off the miso glaze and charred edges from cooking.

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★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and a star rating below!

Miso glazed salmon on a bed of rice, garnished with spring onion.

Miso Glazed Salmon

Infused with classic Japanese seasonings and lip-smacking umami, miso glazed salmon is the juiciest, meltiest flaky salmon you'll ever eat! Ready in 30 mins, for a fancy dinner or just "because".
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marinating Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 4 salmon steaks
Calories: 220kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $12

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, add the 2 tbsp red miso paste, 1 tbsp mirin, 1 tbsp cooking sake, 1 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tbsp sugar. Mix until combined.
    2 tbsp red miso paste, 1 tbsp mirin, 1 tbsp cooking sake, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp sugar
  • In a large bowl, place in the 4 salmon fillets and the miso marinade. Coat well, cover then pop in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
    4 salmon fillets
  • To cook, heat a medium non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Pour in your 1 tbsp vegetable oil, then coat the pan using a brush or paper towel. Carefully pick up each salmon fillet, and place them skin side down on the pan.
    1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Note: The miso marinade is full of sugar and will char, making it look burnt in areas. This is perfectly normal and adds to the flavour. By cooking on medium heat, it allows the fish to cook through without actually burning the outside.
  • Leave the salmon on the skin side for 2-3 minutes, before laying them on the side to cook for another 2-3 minutes. Repeat this, cooking the top and other side of the salmon for the same amount of time, then remove from the pan.
  • Serve with freshly cooked rice and optional garnishes such as toasted sesame seeds and spring onion / green onion slices.

Recipe Notes

  • Prepping the Salmon – We recommend skin on salmon steaks because it helps the salmon cook through evenly and add more flavour. You don’t have to eat it if you don’t want to! Always go for pieces that have a rich colour and are similar in size and shape as this will help you achieve even cooking throughout each piece. If you can only source large salmon portions, slice it into small even fillets to they cook at the same or very similar rate. Check over each piece to remove any bones if required.
  • Marinating – Marinate the fish for a minimum of 15 minutes for a quick dinner, but for a special event it’s worth marinating longer. Around 2-3 hours will make a big difference in soaking all that flavour through the salmon.
  • Charring – The sugars in the miso marinade will char slightly. This is perfectly normal and adds to the flavour. By cooking on medium heat, it allows the fish to cook through without overcooking or burning the marinade.
  • Storage – Miso glazed salmon is best enjoyed freshly cooked, but will keep for a day or so in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave for a minute or so on high, or heat it on the stove over low heat until warmed through.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Miso Glazed Salmon
Amount per Serving
Calories
220
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
8
g
12
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
3
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
3
g
Cholesterol
 
69
mg
23
%
Sodium
 
656
mg
29
%
Potassium
 
641
mg
18
%
Carbohydrates
 
7
g
2
%
Fiber
 
0.5
g
2
%
Sugar
 
5
g
6
%
Protein
 
26
g
52
%
Vitamin A
 
57
IU
1
%
Calcium
 
21
mg
2
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks

This recipe was originally published in October 2023. It has since been republished with new content.

Miso Glazed Salmon
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