Miso Yaki Salmon

A little bit of salmon, some green onion and some soft rice. Yum.

My boyfriend was my taste tester again but he said, “the fish was flaky but not too flaky,” “the skin was my favorite,” and “I like the crunch. It’s good to have crunch or else it’s just mush. And it tastes good. Like the flavors are overpowering and it all compliments each other.” Basically, the fish had a sweet note, balanced with the rice and the vinegary cucumbers, which Eric swears by as the best and quickest pickle, while the green onions added a fresh crunch.

Top tips from me:
1) Eric says you’ll need a fatty and robust fish, so in order of preference, filet of Spanish mackerel, salmon steak or salmon filet (skin attached for best results). I used salmon filet only because it’s all I could find.
2) You can find most of the Japanese ingredients at Hana Market on Florida Ave., which is where i bought everything except for the cucumber, since I already had some, and the fresh fish (a fish market or a grocery store work well). As Eric says, “I would die for Hana Market.”
3) Eric says no Jasmine, Arborio or Basmati rice for this dish since they all have flavor profiles that don’t match. He says: “Basmati has almost an herbal and earthy quality to its flavor profile, which is best served with something that has powerful, mouth-coating flavors like Indian curries, lamb or dishes high in acid. I’ve tried using basmati for Japanese and Taiwanese dishes and I find that flavors clash most of the time.”
4) Use a bit less soy sauce if you’re using Chinese, according to Eric.
5) The fish needs to be marinated for at least 4 hours, but I left it overnight. The cucumbers need to pickle for at least 2 hours as well, and Eric says they can be kept for about 2 weeks.
6) Definitely ensure your pan is well-oiled. I didn’t and my skin stuck to it unfortunately. Also make sure to brush off any excess marinade before setting the fish on the pan. I didn’t properly do this and the sugars in the excess marinade cemented the skin to the pan. 
7) Don’t worry too much about the precision of the ingredient measurements but pay attention to temperature and how you’re cooking it, according to Eric. Because it is fish, the margin between undercooked and overcooked is small. He recommends letting the fish sit in room temperature for at least 15 minutes before going in the oven. If you have the time and energy, you could get three or four pieces of fish and cook them at different times and tweak your own method every time. 
8) I used cooking sake instead of regular sake and the flavor was still wonderful!

This dish require some prep and overnight soaking, so total it took me about 18 hours total with the overnight marinade and pickles, however, the cooking time is only about 30 minutes, and it’s only that long because of the rice since the fish cooks quickly. This serves about one person, with the 8 oz. of fish.

8 – 16 oz of fish — 1/4 cup miso, white preferred, but red is fine too — 3 tbsp sake — 2 + 1/2 tbsp mirin — 4 tbsp granulated sugar — 1 tbsp of Japanese soy sauce — 1 tbsp of kosher salt — 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar — a cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch ribbons — green onion, chopped — approx. 1 cup (uncooked) Japanese rice

– For the marinade, mix these together the following: miso, sake, 2 tbsp of the mirin, 2 tbsp of the granulated sugar and Japanese soy sauce.
– Place the fish in a zip bag and pour the marinade in, making sure it coats all of the fish. Seal the bag and marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
– Cut your cucumber to approximately 1/4-inch thickness, or use the second or third thinnest setting on a mandoline.
– In a sealable container, add the following: salt, 2 tbsp of the sugar, 1/2 tbsp of the mirin and vinegar. Mix in the cucumber and massage the pickling liquid into the cucumber. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
– Grease a sheet pan and preheat the oven to 435 degrees F.
– Remove the fish from the marinade and brush off any excess. Place the fish on the pan, skin-side down if using a filet.
– Bake the fish — 10 minutes for either filet, or 13 minutes for the salmon steak.
– For skin-on filet, take the fish out and turn the broiler on high. Flip the fish so that skin is facing up, and place it under the broiler just to crisp the skin, about 90 seconds.
– Serve the fish with rice and a side of the quick pickles, then garnish with the green onions. Enjoy!

Did you make this recipe and have suggestions? Leave a comment!

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