Every cook has her bag of tricks, and this Miso Salmon is mine!
Miso is a common ingredient in Asian cooking.
Like other umami-rich ingredients like soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, anchovy, and Parmesan, miso is known for imparting an intense, hard-to-put-your-finger-on-it, savoriness and saltiness to recipes.
It makes them taste, well, better.
I’m no stranger to the importance of umami (it’s why I reach for soy sauce and Parmesan often when cooking salmon—see this Soy Ginger Salmon, Teriyaki Salmon, and Salmon Pasta for a few); however, miso isn’t an ingredient I kept on hand until recently.
WOW, WOW, WOW.
Now that I’ve started cooking with miso more often, we can’t get enough!
Miso tastes intensely savory, toasty, a little funky (in a good way), and has a salty-sweet richness.
It adds a little magic to everything you cook with it.
What is Miso?
Miso is a fermented paste made from soybeans and koji, which is a type of mold. Its texture is thick and similar to that of peanut butter.
I hope this salmon inspires you to add miso to your grocery cart.
- Miso can be found in the refrigerated section of most major grocery stores (our local Kroger carries it). Asian markets are also great to seek out and support.
- Miso lasts 3 or more months in the refrigerator after opening, so you don’t need to worry about it going bad before you have a chance to use it all.
- Miso gives you big bang for your buck. Just 1 tablespoon can transform a recipe from drab to FAB.
Still skeptical? The miso salmon from the Cheesecake Factory is one of their most popular entrées.
It’s official. Miso has gone mainstream.
How to Make Miso Salmon
This healthy miso salmon recipe starts with a simple miso glaze that’s spread over salmon fillets before they are baked.
- The glaze is made with honey, miso, and ginger.
- Miso glaze tastes sweet, salty, zingy, and savory.
You’re going to love it!
Is Miso Salmon Healthy?
Yes, miso salmon is healthy. Salmon is packed with protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins. Miso, a fermented food, has gut-friendly probiotic bacteria.
- Salmon. Take one look at my robust salmon recipes category, and you’ll know just how much I adore this delicious and nutritious fish. It pairs wonderfully with the miso.
- Miso. This umami-tastic ingredient adds such deep, complex flavor that you’ll feel like a gourmet chef.
- Honey. A touch of sweetness complements the umami flavors in this dish. The honey also caramelizes during baking, giving the marinade a glaze-like finish (like in this Honey Glazed Salmon).
- Rice Vinegar. Adds a sweet acidity.
- Soy Sauce. Another umami bomb. Soy sauce and miso are a perfect match.
- Ginger. Ginger gives the dish warmth and adds mild zip.
- Red Pepper Flakes. An optional addition. We love that it adds a little kick!
- Dry the salmon fillets, then place them skin-side down in a casserole dish lined with parchment paper.
- Whisk the miso marinade ingredients together.
- Brush half of the marinade over the tops of the salmon fillets. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes or refrigerate for up to 12 hours.
- Bake miso salmon at 400 degrees F for 7 minutes. Add the remaining miso glaze, then bake for 6 to 8 minutes more. DIG IN!
- To Store. Refrigerate salmon in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.
- To Reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Freeze salmon in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Meal Prep Tip
Up to 12 hours in advance, prepare the recipe through Step 2. Cover and refrigerate the marinated salmon until you’re ready to finish the recipe.
Use leftover salmon to make a healthy and hearty bowl. Try swapping the teriyaki salmon in this Teriyaki Salmon Bowl for your leftover miso salmon.
What to Serve with Miso Salmon
- Rice. A bed of rice is the perfect pairing for miso salmon. We love to use brown rice, but you can use any kind you have on hand. For an extra special twist, try Homemade Fried Rice.
- Noodles. Vegetable Lo Mein or Asian Noodle Salad would be delicious with this dish.
- Salad. For a fresh side dish, pair miso salmon with Ramen Salad or Asian Cucumber Salad.
- Veggies. This miso salmon would pair well with any of your favorite veggies. Try Roasted Cauliflower, Sautéed Mushrooms, Grilled Eggplant, or Air Fryer Broccoli.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Baking Dish. Perfect for making this miso salmon.
- Instant Read Thermometer. The best way to know when your salmon is cooked through.
- Basting Brush. What I use to brush the marinade onto the salmon.
Make some miso magic with this easy, nutritious miso glazed salmon!
Frequently Asked Questions
There are well over 1,000 kinds of miso throughout the world, though the kinds you will find in the U.S. fall into two main categories: white/light miso or dark/red miso. White miso is mild and lightly sweet. Red miso has the strongest flavor and pungency. Yellow or brown miso is the middle ground between the white and red varieties. I lean towards the gentler flavor of white miso.
Miso is wonderful for stirring into soups (miso soup for me, please!), mashed potatoes, salad dressings, stir fries, and adding to roasted veggies. Have fun playing around, just remember that a little goes a long way.
While I haven’t tried this myself, I think you could reduce the miso glaze a little on the stove, then spread it over this Pan Fried Salmon.
Follow my recipe for Grilled Salmon, spreading the miso glaze over a large, single piece of salmon prior to wrapping it and grilling; I also recommend marinating the salmon in the miso sauce first, as directed in the recipe below.
- 4 (6-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets about 1-inch thick
- 1 tablespoon honey or pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon white or brown miso
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- Chopped green onion or cilantro for serving
- Toasted sesame seeds optional, for serving
- Cooked brown rice optional, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch casserole dish with parchment paper or foil. Pat the salmon fillets dry, then place in the dish skin-side down.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, miso, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, and red pepper flakes.
- Spoon or carefully pour half of the mixture on top of the salmon, brushing to evenly coat the tops. Let sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes, or marinate for up to 12 hours (if refrigerating, let the salmon stand at room temperature for 15 minutes prior to cooking).
- Bake the miso salmon for 7 minutes. Remove from the oven, and brush with the remaining marinade. Return the pan to the oven and continue cooking for 6 to 8 minutes more, or until the salmon is opaque and cooked through, and the fish registers 140 degrees F on an instant read thermometer (fish is considered cooked at 145 degrees F, but its temperature will rise as it rests; do not overcook or the fish will be dry). Let the salmon rest for 5 minutes, then serve warm with a sprinkle of chopped green onion or cilantro, sesame seeds, and rice as desired.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate salmon in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.
- TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze salmon in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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