Miso Salmon makes a quick and easy dinner that is healthy, delicious, and kid-approved! With a slightly sweet, nutty umami flavor, this is a great way to change things up and enjoy a restaurant-quality meal at home.
Salmon is one of our favorite fish and we eat it at least a few times a month. Some of our other favorite salmon recipes ae Blackened Salmon Tacos, Smoked Salmon Chowder, and Grilled Soy Brown Sugar Salmon in Foil.
This is another one of our favorite Japanese-restaurant menu items that we tend to order, if not getting sushi. But miso salmon is also one that I have made for dinner for my family multiple times over the years.
It's such a nice change of pace with wonderful savory and sweet flavors thanks to just a few ingredients. While they might not all be the most common items in some American kitchens, they really aren't that hard to find at most grocery stores.
The salmon only needs a short marinade time in the miso glaze to take on the salty-sweet flavors. Then it's a sort trip to a very hot oven while you finish up some stir fried veggies and rice for a side and dinner's ready!
Many miso salmon recipes call for broiling the salmon to add more color to the top, but because the marinade has a decent amount of sugar in it there is a risk of burning the salmon on top if you aren't being careful. Instead, I prefer baking it in a very hot oven and only hitting the salmon with the broiler right at the very end to add a little color, if needed.
What is miso paste?
Although I have used miso paste before, I wasn't really familiar with what it actually is until I researched it for this post! Miso paste is a fermented soybean paste that comes in many different colors, from white to red to yellow. Each is a little different and has different strengths. I prefer white miso paste which isn't quite as strong as the red variety, although there are notes in the recipe below for how to use either.
- Salmon: You can be skin-on or skinless salmon fillets. Just be sure to try to get pieces that have a uniform thickness so they cook evenly.
- Miso Paste: This common Japanese ingredient is usually refrigerated and will be in the produce area of the grocery store, near the tofu. Sometimes you will find shelf-stable miso paste in the Asian aisle, but that's less common in my experience. Or you can go to an Asian market and they will definitely have it.
- Mirin and sake: These two Japanese ingredients are similar, although mirin has more sugar and less alcoholic content than sake. They are both types of Japanese rice cooking wines that are also used in Yakitori (Japanese Chicken Skewers) as well. It's easy to find mirin in the Asian aisle of the grocery store near the soy sauce.
- Soy sauce: A common and classic ingredient that most people already have in their pantry or fridge.
- Sesame oil: One of my favorite ingredients and flavors! It adds so much depth, nuttiness, and smokiness to anything!
- Sesame seeds: These are mostly just for garnish because they make the salmon look pretty.
- Green onions: These are a garnish, but I also love the fresh flavor they add to this dish.
How to Make Miso Salmon
- Blend miso marinade ingredients: In a small bowl, combine the miso paste, mirin, sake, soy sauce, and sesame oil with a fork until smooth.
- Marinade the salmon: Pour the miso mixture over the salmon fillets, turning them to coat. Let the salmon marinade for 30-60 minutes in the fridge.
- Bake: Transfer the salmon to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray for easy clean-up. Bake in a 425 degree F oven for 10-12 minutes until the salmon flakes easily with a fork.
- Garnish: Plate the finished salmon and sprinkle with sesame seeds and thinly sliced green onions for a nice presentation. Serve over white rice or with noodles.
- Marinating time: I don't like to marinate the salmon longer than an hour when using miso because the flavors can get quite strong and tend to overpower the flavor of the salmon.
- Other fish: If you wanted to, you could sub in sea bass, swordfish, or halibut for the salmon if you happen to have them on hand.
I always do my best to research recipes from other cultures thoroughly to represent them as best I can. If this recipe is from your country or culture and you have suggestions for how I can improve its authenticity, please let me know in the comments below! It's important to us to share beloved foods of other cultures with as much accuracy as possible, while also considering things like accessibility of ingredients and ease of preparation for most home cooks.
More Salmon and Seafood Recipes
- Hot Smoked Salmon
- Bacon-Wrapped Scallops
- Easy Grilled Shrimp Skewers
- 15 Minute Pan Seared Salmon
- San Francisco Cioppino Seafood Stew
- Crispy Coconut Shrimp (Fried or Baked)
- Baja Fish Tacos Recipe
Did you make this recipe?
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- 4 salmon fillets 6-ounce each
- ¼ cup white miso
- 2 Tablespoons mirin
- 2 Tablespoons sake
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds for garnish black or white
- 2 Tablespoons thinly sliced green onions for garnish
- Combine the miso, mirin, sake, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Pour the miso marinade over the salmon in a bowl or other container, turning the fish to coat each piece. Let it marinade in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with foil sprayed with cooking spray for easy clean-up. Remove the salmon fillets from the miso marinade, shaking off excess, and arrange on the foil skin-side down (if using skin-on fillets).
- Bake the salmon for 10-12 minutes until it flakes easily and is opaque in the center. You can pop them under the broiler for the last minute to give them a little char, if desired, but be careful because miso burns easily because of the sugars in it.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and thinly sliced green onions. Serve with rice or noodles.
- If you can only find red miso, use 2 tablespoons since it is stronger than white miso.
Recipe adapted from Just One Cookbook.