Miso-Glazed Whole Fillet of Salmon

Miso-Glazed Whole Fillet of Salmon
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The tangy, savory, fermented flavor of miso makes an excellent counterpart to the mild richness of salmon. Whether you broil it or grill it, the miso glaze caramelizes and brings intense flavors to the finished dish. Salmon's versatility comes from its happy combination of flavor and texture. Its rich taste is both mild and insistent, so it provides a useful canvas for delicate flavors but can stand up just as easily to bold-tasting ingredients. Its moist flesh, dense and full of healthy fatty acids, is equally able to withstand high-heat cooking methods such as grilling and broiling. This recipe brings all those elements together, creating a dramatic entree suitable for any company.


  • ⅓ cup red miso paste
  • 2 Tbsp. mirin (sweetened sake) or sherry
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar or honey
  • 1 Tbsp. dark toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. orange juice concentrate
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 1 whole fillet sustainably sourced salmon, scaled and skin-on (about 3-4 lbs.)
  • 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 green onions, greens only, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbsp. orange zest, in long curls


  1. Whisk together the first seven ingredients to create the glaze. Heat the mixture for 30 seconds in your microwave at full power, to accelerate the blending of flavors, then set it aside to cool.
  2. Set the salmon on a clean work surface and wipe away any stray scales with a clean paper towel. Check the fillet with your fingertips for any stray pin bones that might have been left behind by the deboning process. You'll find them in a row, slightly above the line where the salmon's backbone was. Pull them out with a pair of tweezers, or a clean pair of needlenose pliers.
  3. Mark the salmon into portions by slicing into the flesh, about ¼” deep, with a very sharp knife. Do not slice all the way through. You should get at least eight generous portions. This step is optional, but has the dual advantage of exposing more salmon to the marinade's flavors and giving prettier portions when you cut the fillet after it's cooked.
  4. Place the fillet into a large plastic freezer bag and pour in the marinade. Massage the bag so the marinade spreads evenly over the salmon. Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes (or more, up to 6 hours is even better).
  5. Arrange a rack near the top of your oven, so that the top of your broiler pan will be approximately 6” from the element. Preheat the broiler for a minimum of 10 minutes.
  6. Lift the fillet from its marinade, letting any excess drain off. Arrange the fillet on your broiler pan with the skin side down. Fold the tail end of the fillet underneath so it's as thick as the rest of the fillet (this helps it cook evenly). If your broiler pan is too small to hold the full fillet, line a heavy sheet pan with aluminum foil and use that instead. Drizzle the remaining glaze from the bag over top of the salmon, brushing it evenly over the surface and down into the cuts.
  7. Broil for 10-12 minutes, until the salmon is translucent at the thickest point and the glaze is nicely caramelized (internal temperature reaches 145° F). Carefully move the fillet to a serving platter or cutting board and sprinkle it with the sesame seeds and green onion. Slice it along your precut lines with a sharp knife and garnish each individual portion with a few long strands of orange zest. Serve with a salad or with cooked greens, and your choice of noodles or rice. Refrigerate any leftovers.


You can grill the salmon over medium-high heat, if you prefer. You'll need a fish grilling basket large enough to hold the fillet, so it doesn't stick to the grate and break up. Start it skin side down for a few minutes to crisp the skin, and then turn it and cook for another 8-12 minutes until the salmon is just cooked and the glaze is caramelized.

Red miso has a stronger flavor than white or yellow miso, but feel free to make the substitution if that's what you have. You can compensate for the milder flavor by replacing the orange juice with rice vinegar or white wine vinegar, and by increasing the soy sauce to 2 tablespoons.

This recipe specifies skin-on salmon because the skin helps hold the fillet together, and also makes it easier to remove pin bones without tearing the fillet. Ask for the fillet to be scaled before it's cut, so you won't have to do it at home. You can prepare skinless fillet portions using the same method and marinade, if you prefer, but it won't present the same element of tableside drama as a whole fillet.

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