Looking for a new way to serve up the versatile, Omega-rich salmon? Try this tender and succulent Miso Butter Salmon pan-fried in a delicious savory sauce. Cooking time from start to finish is less than 30 minutes!
Now that your children are back in school and you as a parent is finally finding your way into the regular school-year routine, I assume you need a quick and easy dinner inspiration? My kids love Miso Salmon, which is frequent in our family dinner rotation and today I’m going to share a slightly different variation which has become such a staple – Miso Butter Salmon (味噌バターサーモン).
The Golden Combination of Miso and Butter
Have you had a chance to combine miso and butter in your cooking? Does it sound strange or unusual to you? If that was the case, you’re gonna give this new flavor a try. I promise they are so, so good together.
Miso and butter – miso is definitely Japanese, but butter? Well, for those who have visited Hokkaido, you’ve probably tried the legendary Hokkaido’s Miso Ramen that is adorned with a golden piece of butter on top. Yep, there is such a thing! Known for its delicious dairy and agricultural products, it is no surprise that the locals in Hokkaido utilize their best commodity in every way.
I’m not sure if that’s how the miso and butter combination was introduced to the Japanese, but you can certainly find many dishes that incorporate the two ingredients as a power duo. Miso is earthy and packed with umami, while butter is rich and creamy. Together they make the most versatile flavoring to dress up a dish.
How to Pan-Fried Salmon Perfectly
Now if you don’t usually pan-fry salmon, here are just a few quick techniques you may want to know before you start.
1. Make sure your salmon is closer or at room temperature
Before you’re ready to start cooking, remove the fish from the refrigerator about 15-20 minutes in advance. When the fish is at room temperature, not only it cooks more quickly, it also ensures even doneness throughout the salmon fillet.
2. Pat dry your fish before seasoning
If the fillets are wet, they are more likely to stick to the pan, and the skin won’t crisp as nicely. Before seasoning it with salt and pepper, use a paper towel to gently pat dry the fillets.
3. Use a spatula to press down the fish
Once you flip the salmon to the skin side, press down the fillet using your spatula to give some firm pressure so the ends of the fish won’t curl up.
4. Do not overcook salmon
This is always the key to juicy and tender salmon. Pay attention to the fish as it is cooking, watching for the change in color. You can see how far you’ve cooked the fish from the sides. Once it’s already more than 75% cooked, be sure to control your heat by turning it to low. It is completely okay when there is a bit of translucent pink in the middle. The remaining heat will continue to cook the rest of the fish. Using the spatula to give the sides a gentle squeeze. The flakes should begin to separate when it’s done.
Different Types of Miso
For this salmon recipe, I used Hikari Miso® Organic Miso – Mild Sodium Miso (shown in left top). It is made of 100% USDA Certified Organic rice and soybeans and is additive-free. It has a light yellow color original to Shinshu-style miso. A high volume of rice koji produces its mild taste and smooth texture.
If you’re interested to try it out, you can purchase Hikari Miso from a majority of Japanese/Asian grocery stores or on Amazon. It is my favorite brand of miso paste. There is also a variety of miso, each with a different flavor you can use for various purposes.
Accompanied by flavorful mushrooms, this Miso Butter Salmon is the ultimate weeknight dish for the entire family. It’s healthy and delicious, and I know your family will enjoy it often.
Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.
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Miso Butter Salmon
- 2 fillets salmon (4-6 oz, 110-170g)
- kosher salt (Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
- freshly ground black pepper
- ½ Tbsp all-purpose flour (plain flour)
- shimeji mushrooms
- shiitake mushrooms
- 1 Tbsp neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, rice bran, canola, etc.)
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- Gather all the ingredients.
- Combine the ingredients for the seasonings (1 Tbsp miso, 1 Tbsp sugar, 2 Tbsp sake, 1 Tbsp mirin, 1 ½ Tbsp soy sauce).
- Finely chop chives and cut off the stem of shimeji mushrooms. Separate shimeji into smaller pieces with hands.
- Cut off the stem of shiitake mushrooms and thinly slice them.
- Check to see if your salmon has any bone, and remove if there is any (it’s good to have a pair of fish bone tweezers). Pat dry the salmon with paper towel and season the salmon with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Sprinkle flour on the salmon and thinly coat it all over the salmon. The flour will prevent the delicious juice leaking from the salmon and it also acts as a thickening agent for the sauce.
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Place the salmon from flesh side. You can see how far you’ve cooked from the side of the fillet. Don’t burn your salmon using high heat. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Flip so the skin side is on the bottom and add the shimeji and shiitake mushrooms. Cook the skin side for 5 minutes.
- Then cook the sides of the salmon for 1 minute each. It is completely okay when there is a bit of translucent pink in the middle. The remaining heat will continue to cook the rest of the fish.
- Add the butter and saute the mushrooms. Put the mushrooms on the salmon so salmon gets some of the delicious sauce.
- Add the seasonings and coat the salmon using a spoon.
- Transfer the salmon and garnish with the chives.