Miso Salmon is one of my favorite dishes to make at home. It’s healthy, takes less time to make than it takes for the rice to cook, and is finger-licking good. I’m getting hungry just thinking about those miso-carmelized onions and the tender fish… Nommmms. Well here is the recipe, please enjoy!
2 salmon fillets (I highly recommend you buy Wild Salmon, it’s much healthier and tastes better)
1 medium onion (I buy the gigantic yellow onions from Costco, so I used half of a large onion)
3 TBSP Miso Paste (I suggest red miso because the flavor is stronger, but you can use any kind depending on your tastes)
1 TBSP Mirin
1 TBSP Cooking Sake (you can buy this at any Asian grocery, but you can also use drinking sake that’s old)
2 TBSP Butter
Such a short ingredient list for a meal that packs a powerful flavor-punch!
Before I go into detail on this recipe, I’d like to make two quick recommendations. First, I highly recommend enjoying this meal with rice (brown or white) because it helps to balance the saltiness of the miso. Second, I highly recommend some kind of leafy green as a side dish, again to balance the saltiness of the miso paste. Often, I like to have either arugula or cabbage to pair with this salmon. At some point, I’ll do a blog post about all the sides you can create with cabbage. On to the instructions…
First, mix together the miso paste, mirin, and cooking sake in a bowl. You will need to mash the miso to get the chunks out.
Next, slather your salmon in the miso on both sides. Make sure to use all of the miso paste (This recipe is enough for 2 salmon fillets. If you have more, increase the recipe as needed.) Marinade the fish for at least 10 minutes (no more than 1 hour or it will be too salty).
Cut your onion thinly. You can dice it or slice it, either is fine so whatever your preference is. I happen to like sliced onion, so these are sliced up and about 1/8 inch thick. Heat a saute pan at medium-high heat (around 7/8 on a scale of 1-10) and add the butter. When the butter has melted and is bubbling, add the onions. Saute the onions until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Next, add the salmon to the pan, skin side down. Cook until the skin has caramelized and the salmon is cooked a little more than halfway through. I usually cook it for 5-7 minutes on the skin side; however, I like my salmon medium-rare, so you may want to cook it a few minutes longer.
Next, flip the salmon over and cook the top-side until the miso begins to brown and caramelize. This takes no more than 3-5 minutes. Do not cook it more than that or your fish will get stuck to the pan and the miso paste will burn. It is better to overcook the miso on the skin side than the topside because you can just peel off the skin.
When the salmon has finished cooking, remove it from the pan and place it on a plate to rest for 5-10 minutes. Don’t remove the onions from the pan yet. While your fish is resting, turn off the stove and stir the onions in the left-over miso. When your fish is ready, put it on a plate and layer the onions on top. Enjoy!
I forgot to mention this recipe originates from a cookbook I bought in Japan called Futari Gohan by an author whose name I can’t read because my Kanji is that bad… Eiko something. It’s been tweaked a bit and translated into English, but I wanted to make sure I was crediting the original recipe.