I recently for the first time bought miso paste (shiro miso or white miso paste) in a Japanese supermarket and have since been experimenting with miso-based recipes. I am amazed what wonderful things you can make with miso paste! My first try of Miso Aubergines was just delicious (recipe to follow) and this Miso-Glazed Salmon would be the star of any dinner party. Miso is a staple ingredient of Japanese cooking and is basically a seasoning paste made of fermented soy beans and rice. It has a very unique, sweet, salty and nutty flavour and is very tasty indeed.
I found this recipe for Miso Salmon with Pickled Cucumber on the BBC Food website and the original recipe (which I have only slightly adapted) is by Paul Rankin. I have never cooked any of his recipes and the Miso Salmon one, even though the result is very good, is incredibly badly written – I hope my re-written version it slightly it will be easier to follow. Serve with sushi rice.
MISO SALMON AND PICKLED CUCUMBER
Amount: for 4 people
- 6 hours to marinate (or less if in a hurry)
- 30 min to cook
- For the salmon
- 50 ml Mirin (Japanese rice wine)
- 50 ml sake (I have substituted with white wine as could not get sake, it worked fine)
- 75 g caster sugar
- 150 g white miso paste
- 4 x 125 g salmon fillets, boneless
- For the pickled cucumber salad
- 1 cucumber, peeled in stripes, halved length-wise, seeds removed and cut into 3mm slices
- 1 large red chilli, halved, de-seeded, finely sliced
- ½ tsp fine salt
- 90 ml rice wine vinegar
- 45g caster sugar
- 1½ tbsp Japanese pickled ginger, roughly chopped
- To garnish
- black and white sesame seeds, toasted (I only had white sesame)
- First prepare the marinade for the Salmon: combine the mirin, sake and sugar in a small pan. Bring to the boil over a medium heat until the sugar is resolved.
- Add the miso paste and simmer for three minutes.
- Leave to cool.
- Once cooled, coat the salmon fillets with the miso marinade, and lay on a tray to marinade, ideally for at least six hours, or less if in a hurry. Reserve about a third of the miso marinade to coat the salmon before cooking!
- While the salmon is marinating, prepare the Pickled Cucumber
- Mix the cucumber and chilli and sprinkle with the salt
- Allow to stand for 30 minutes, then rinse in cold water and pat dry with kitchen paper.
- In a small pan, bring the vinegar with caster sugar to the boil, then pour it over the cucumber mixture. Allow to stand for an hour, then add the chopped pickled ginger.
- Drain the pickling liquor off the vegetables when ready to serve.
- Now back to the marinating salmon - preheat the oven to its highest setting.
- Wipe any excess marinade off the salmon fillets and heat a dry pan until very hot.
- Sear the salmon fillets briefly in the very hot pan (about 1-2 minutes each side, depending how rare you want them), then place them onto a baking tray.
- Rub the top presentation side of the salmon with a the remaining miso marinade and allow to dry for at least 10 minutes.
- Finish the cooking the salmon in the oven, for about five minutes, be careful not to overcook and keep the salmon still pink inside.
- To serve, sprinkle the miso salmon fillet with black and white sesame seeds. Serve the pickled cucumber salad alongside with the sushi rice, sprinkled with a few sesame seeds. Garnish with coriander.
Here a video where Paul Rankin is cooking this recipe on Saturday Kitchen