Sunday, January 17, 2010

miso salmon

This dish has long been a secret weapon – served as easily at one of my first dinner parties, the meeting of my dad and now father-in-law, and on a spring Sunday night dinner for two. The dirty secret is just how simple it is. Coated in white miso overnight, roasted at high heat, and then smothered in a mix of citrus juices, cilantro, and chives – it is wonderful straight out of the oven, at room temperature, or for leftovers. The original recipe is from Gourmet and recommends a more formal garnish of shitakes with citrus zest, but I don’t think the salmon needs it.

While I tend to eschew recommended marinating times – heed this one. For best flavor, marinate the night before, and, if you are serving for dinner, the latest I would push it is early that morning.

Miso Salmon with Citrus Juice and Fresh Herbs
Adapted from Gourmet

This recipe is for 16 – I have only ever made one whole fillet. The recipe scales easily.

2 whole salmon fillets with skin, 3 pounds each
2 cups white miso
2 tablespoons mirin (optional)
1 cup chopped cilantro leaves
½ cup snipped chives
½ cup fresh orange juice, mixed with juice of 1 whole lemon

To marinate the salmon: Combine miso and mirin. Spread mixture over the flesh and skin sides of the salmon. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Using a rubber spatula, scrape the miso from all sides of the salmon and discard. Don’t worry if some miso remains.

Grease baking pan that will fit salmon fillet. Place fillet skin-side down, and roast for about 15 to 20 minutes, until edges brown.

Transfer the salmon to a serving platter, leaving the skin on the baking sheet. If the fillets break, not to worry – just reassemble on the plate. Any breaks will be covered when you pour juices over the top.


  1. Thank you for the post! -- and, more importantly, for bringing this dish into my life so many years ago. It's amazing. Have you ever tried the full 48-hour marinade?

  2. No, never. I have only done 24 hours. I am sure 48 would be delicious -- practically preserved.

  3. Looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing. Now, can you recommend another fish so I can adapt this for the salmon-hating man in my life?

  4. I think halibut or cod would make very tasty substitutes. If you try it, let us know how it goes!