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January 25th, 2013



Miso-glazed Salmon

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.



Amount: for 4 people

Cooking/Preparation Time:

  • 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)

Cooking instructions

  • 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


  • Rahul

    Thx for this recipe. It inspired me to make this w/ wild Pacific salmon (a bit leaner than the farmed salmon) and it came out superbly. Pumped up the sushi rice with rice vinegar, light soy sauce and some togaroshi. And substituted some carrot salad for the cucumber (the amount of sweetness in the dish was bothering me though not sure how carrot salad helps that cause). Sake is available in Waitrose and was a nice drink w/ the dish.

    Please publish the eggplant recipe when you get a chance though I’m guessing it can be found online too.

  • Ute

    @Rahul – wow, I’m glad you liked the recipe and thanks so much for your input. I’ll make the sushi rice next time the way you suggested, sounds very appetising! The aubergine recipe will follow soon, it’s fortunately much less work than the salmon one and so good!

  • Rahul

    Do you have a view on whether the miso-marinade can be stored. I have some in the fridge now. Its been there for 2x days and so far so good. Thx.

  • Ute

    @Rahul – it’s very high in sugar so I assumed it would keep for quite a while in the fridge…? I guess we will see… :)

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