A few simple ingredients – one delicious dish! Introducing our Easy Miso Butter Salmon recipe! Pan-frying salmon is the best way to cook it quickly, whilst glazing ensures it stays moist and flaky. Butter seasoned with miso and soy sauce does a perfect job of making this healthy meal flavoursome and effortlessly sophisticated!
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What Is Miso + Different Types of Miso
Ever since we first discovered miso in one of the local Asian grocery stores in 2017, we have not been without it in the cupboard! Besides making the obvious miso soup, we use it as a base for Mushroom Ramen and in various sauces, like delicious Miso Sauce for Pasta. We also love it as a glaze for meat, fish and vegetables, for example, Miso-Glazed Cod, or Miso Aubergine.
Furthermore, miso has become a popular ingredient to use in desserts. It gives a hint of saltiness and goes extremely well with caramel and chocolate. Try Peanut Butter Miso Cookies – they are gorgeous!
But what is miso? Miso is a fermented soybean paste made with some type of grain (like rice or barley) and koji (a special kind of mould). Its use is deeply rooted in Japanese cuisine. It adds sweet and salty, umami-rich flavour to a variety of dishes and as a result, its global popularity has surged in the last decade.
Diverse miso varieties abound, yet a general rule prevails: lighter misos have a milder sweeter flavour profile. White or yellow miso paste, therefore, is best used in dressings and desserts, as well as glazes for fish and vegetables. For heartier stews and stronger-tasting dishes, turn to the darker miso options, such as brown and red miso.
Note on Ingredients
Here are the main ingredients that you will need for the salmon with miso butter (you can find the quantities and full instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of the post):
- olive oil: or any other oil, like vegetable, sunflower or avocado oil.
- unsalted butter: softened: do not use salted butter, as miso and soy sauce add enough seasoning.
- white miso paste: we used a homemade miso paste gifted to us by my brother- and sister-in-law. If you are shopping for miso, we highly recommend Hikari miso.
- sugar: you may use caster, white granulated or light brown sugar. You may replace it with honey as well.
- rice vinegar: can be replaced with white wine vinegar.
- soy sauce: ideally, low-sodium soy sauce.
- salmon fillets: we used skin-on salmon.
We also used some green onions, sesame seeds and chilli flakes to garnish the salmon.
- Mix in a tablespoon sriracha sauce into the miso butter for a spicy kick.
- Add some lemon juice and lemon zest to miso butter for a zesty zingy flavour variation.
- Garnish the salmon with fresh dill instead of traditional Asian garnishes – you’ll be surprised how well dill and miso go together!
- Add a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper on top!
Tips for Pan-Frying Salmon
Salmon with miso butter is extremely easy to make, but if it is your first time cooking salmon in a frying pan, read through the tips below to ensure you have moist and flaky salmon.
- Always dab the surface of the salmon with a paper towel to remove extra moisture – this ensures the added flavours aren’t diluted, as well as less splash in the frying pan.
- Do not overcrowd the pan. To pan-fry the fish properly, you need a large skillet where the moisture can easily escape. If your salmon pieces are touching, they will be stewing in their own steam, rather than pan-frying.
- Do not overcook the salmon. Depending on the thickness of your salmon, it may only need a couple of minutes on each side. If you have one, use your instant-read thermometer. Whilst the FDA suggests that the minimum internal temperature should be 63°C (145°F), we much prefer our salmon cooked to 52-58°C (125-136°F), as advised by BBC Food and Country Living.
Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the oil and ⅓ of the butter. Add the salmon filets skin side up into a hot pan, and pan fry for about 4-5 minutes.
In the meantime, in a small bowl, mix room temperature butter, miso, soy sauce, sugar and vinegar.
Turn the hob down to low heat (otherwise you will burn the butter). Using a fish spatula, carefully flip the salmon skin side down.
Spoon miso butter all over the top of the salmon fillets. Continue cooking for another 4-5 minutes (or until the salmon is cooked through). It is recommended to cook salmon to 63°C (145°F), however, most restaurant chefs prefer it cooked at 52-58°C.
While the salmon cooks, the compound butter will melt and thicken slightly, creating a delicious miso butter sauce.
Serve the fish with plenty of sauce spooned over the top of the salmon and with garnishes of your choice!
What To Serve With Miso Butter Salmon?
We like serving miso salmon with white or brown rice, as well as one or two vegetable side dishes. This Miso Butter Salmon goes equally well with Asian- and European-style sides, including:
- Asian Broccoli Salad
- Tenderstem Broccoli with Garlic and Lemon
- Charred Pak Choi With Soy Glaze
- Raw Courgette Ribbon Salad with Earl Grey Tea Salad Dressing
- Lemon and Thyme Spring Greens
Leftovers and Storage
Whilst we do not recommend reheating it, you can store leftover miso butter salmon in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Use it cold to add to leafy or pasta salads, or in sandwiches or pita pockets.
Yes, place the salmon on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread the miso butter over the salmon fillets, and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 55-63°C (130-145°F).
Cooked salmon skin is generally considered safe to eat, however, cooking salmon fillets in miso butter will produce soggy fish skin, so we do not recommend eating it in this particular recipe.
Protein-rich salmon is a good source of Omega-6 fatty acids, as well as B vitamins. However, healthy food is a concept that has various meanings. For approximate nutritional information, refer to the recipe card.
Yes, but you may need to reduce the cooking time by about a minute.
Other Salmon Recipes
We don’t have a lot of salmon here, at Somebody Feed Seb (it is somewhat reserved for special occasions and entertaining), but when we do – we go all out! Here are some delicious ways to cook salmon:
- Lemon Butter Baked Salmon (In 20 Minutes)
- Sticky Soy Salmon (In 20 Minutes)
- Dukkah Salmon with Mint Yoghurt Sauce
Miso Butter Salmon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 30 g unsalted butter softened
- 20 g white miso paste
- 1 teaspoon caster or light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon rice or white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 2 salmon fillets we used skin-on salmon.
To Garnish (Optional):
- 1 spring onion finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon sesame seeds
- ¼ teaspoon chilli flakes
- Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the oil and ⅓ of the butter. Add the salmon filets skin side up into a hot pan, and pan fry for about 4-5 minutes.
- In the meantime, in a small bowl, mix the remaining ⅔ of room temperature butter, miso, soy sauce, sugar and vinegar.
- Reduce the heat to low. Carefully flip the salmon fillets so that they are skin-side down and spoon miso butter all over the top. Continue cooking for another 4-5 minutes (or until the salmon is cooked through). It is recommended to cook salmon to 63°C (145° F), however, most restaurant chefs prefer it cooked to 52-58°C.
- Serve the fish with plenty of sauce spooned over the top of the salmon and with garnishes of your choice!