How to make Miso-Smothered Salmon and the recipes of Miso-Smothered Salmon

Miso-Smothered Salmon

This miso salmon recipe, passed down from Gary Kiyonaga’s Uncle Tosh, is a flavorful dish that marries the richness of salmon with the umami of miso paste. Perfect for a family-style meal, it’s easy to prepare and can be baked, broiled, or grilled to your liking.

Time: 30 minutes plus marinating
Makes: 4 to 6 servings as part of a multicourse family-style meal


  • 2 pounds center-cut, skin-on salmon fillets about 1-inch thick
  • Salt
  • ½ cup white miso
  • ¼ cup sake
  • 1 tablespoon Japanese soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 green onion, white and green parts, finely chopped


1 Preparation:

  • Sprinkle the salmon with salt, then rinse with cold running water and pat dry.

2 Making the Miso Paste:

  • In a medium bowl, mix together the miso, sake, soy sauce, sugar, and green onion until a paste forms.
  • Spread the miso paste evenly over both sides of the salmon fillets, ensuring all surfaces are covered.
  • Place the salmon in a container with a tight-fitting lid or in zip-top bags and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 days.

3 Cooking Methods:

  • Baking: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the salmon skin-side down on a baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the flesh is opaque and flakes easily with a fork at its thickest part.
  • Broiling: Position a rack about 4 inches from the heat source and preheat the broiler. Place the salmon skin-side down on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the flesh is opaque and flakes easily with a fork at its thickest part.
  • Grilling: Prepare a medium charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat. Place the salmon skin-side down on a grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill for 3½ to 4 minutes, then carefully turn the pieces over and grill for another 5 to 6 minutes, or until the flesh flakes easily with a fork.

4 Serving:

  • Serve the miso-smothered salmon hot with sides like steamed rice and vegetables.


  • Marinating Tip: Marinate the salmon for at least 3 days to allow the flavors to permeate the fish fully.
  • Storage: After marinating, the salmon can be frozen for up to 1 week, making it convenient for meal planning.
  • Variations: Experiment with different types of fish or adjust the cooking time based on the thickness of the fillets.

Enjoy this delicious Miso-Smothered Salmon, a testament to the simplicity and depth of flavor in Japanese cuisine, perfect for any occasion.

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