Miso soaked salmon

Still going strong on Asian food, although last night’s dinner was something of a mish-mash of regional influences. It was ostensibly Japanese miso soaked salmon, but ended up with a fair bit of Chinese in there too. Not that that had any negative effect on the flavour. Quite the opposite in fact.

The influence and foundation of the dish is definitely Japanese with its balance of sweet, savoury and salty flavours. I wasn’t sure how it would all work out, but the first bite  was something of a revelation. The fattiness of the salmon was well balanced by the clean, salty-sweet sauce, and all the flavours were clear but still combined well. And because it was served with salad and tender-stem broccoli (apparently a choi-sum/broccoli hybrid), it was pretty damn healthy too. A perfect January antidote to December’s heavy eating. Of course, I spoiled the effect by indulging in baklava for dessert – all oily, syrupy, nutty finger-licking goodness.

Miso soaked salmon

You could probably use any other oily (or indeed white – although the flavour may be lost) fish here. I would love to give it a go with monkfish, mackerel or trout.  I reckon you could also use a medium-dry sherry or vermouth instead of the rice wine.

For two people:

1 medium to large salmon fillet
100ml mirin
100ml Shao Xing (or any other) rice wine
60ml light soy sauce
60ml water
1 heaped dessert spoon miso paste
4 tblsp caster sugar
1 thumb sized lump of ginger peeled and thinly sliced

Mix together the mirin, rice wine, soy sauce, water and sugar in saucepan big enough for your salmon to fit into one layer. Put over a medium-high heat and mix in the miso and bring to the boil. While it is heating up cut the salmon in to 2cm/1-inch pieces. When the miso mix is bubbling, add the ginger slices and salmon pieces and turn heat down to low, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes. Remove the lid and let sauce bubble down for a minute or two. Serve over rice, noodles, salad, potatoes, steamed vegetables, whatever you like so long as it’s simple.

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