An Engineer Cooks: Miso Salmon

This started as a recipe off Serious Eats, but Kyle has made a few tweaks and put some extra tips in, it’s even tastier than the original!  


  • 2 Tbsp (30g) white or red miso paste
  • 2 Tbsp (30g) sake- if you don’t have an asian grocery store near you, or can’t find it at your local market, try this sake
  • 1 Tbsp (15g) neutral oil (peanut, canola, etc.)
  • 1 Tbsp (15g) white sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp (7g) soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp MSG (optional)
  • 2 skinless salmon filets (see note)


  • If you have time, salt the fish all over and let it rest in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. This “dry brining” step improves the salmon’s texture and keeps it moist during cooking
    • We use skinless salmon here because the filets need to cook meat-side up, and the skin at the bottom would just get soggy. Soggy salmon skin tends to taste and smell fishy. We usually can’t find skinless salmon. To skin, put the filet skin-side down on a cutting board set on the edge of the counter. With your sharpest knife, pressing down on the filet with your other hand, run the knife between the meat and skin. Start on the thicker side of the filet. It’s ok to leave behind some of the gray meat that’s right next to the skin, but you can cut it off if it weirds you out. A good fish counter at a publix or whole foods would be able to do skin the filets for you.
    • Note: skinless salmon is lower calorie and lower fat, but if you’re trying to stick to the Keto diet, take the skin off and and have a fatty side! We like to skin the salmon and fry it up as an amuse bouche. 
    • Mix all ingredients other than the salmon in a jar or bowl. It’ll take some aggressive mixing to get the miso to dissolve. Katy’s note: I have a real problem with just pouring the sauce before it’s fully mixed. Open the jar and check that there aren’t any spare miso chunks in it.
    • Make a cut in the salmon on the thinner side of the salmon to allow the thinnest part to fold under the filet (see pic). Don’t cut all the way through. This will keep the filet’s cross section more even, preventing the thinner part from getting overcooked



Folded over, marinated, salmon filets. Note how the tin portion is under the ticker so the cross section is equalized.
    • Put the filets into a gallon-size bag, and pour half of the miso sauce over it. Mix it around for a few seconds then let marinate for 15 minutes. Marinating for longer wouldn’t hurt but won’t improve things significantly
    • Start your broiler (oven or toaster oven works fine), with the rack set at the highest point. Put a piece of foil onto a small baking tray.
      • *Katy’s note: we always use our Breville Countertop 
    • Take the filets out of the bag, letting the excess marinade drip off. Leaving too much marinade on it in the broiler will prevent the salmon from browning properly. Fold the thin piece under and put on the baking sheet. If you have a leave-in thermometer, put it in the thickest part of the filet.
    • Broil 10-15 minutes until the salmon is as done as you want it. When broiling, always leave the door of your oven cracked by a few inches (this tricks the oven into leaving the heating element on constantly). The only way to get it right is to use a thermometer. The most traditional temp for salmon is around 125-130. At that point it’ll still be moist and tender, but is firmed up and will flake a bit. Higher than that and it’ll start to dry out and get a little chalky, which some people like because it’s what they’ve always experienced with salmon. Many people like temps well below 125, as low as 110-115. Once the fish is done it should be well browned on the top, with some parts starting to blacken.
      • Note: we always use a meat thermometer when cooking any kind of fish or meat- you can either use a leave-in thermometer while it cooks, like this one; or you can use an instant read thermometer like this one!
We absolutely love our Breville Convection Toaster Oven! If you have an air fryer, you can still use this recipe!
    • Serve immediately with rice, cucumber-scallion-cilantro salad, or an asian sesame ginger coleslaw adding the remaining sauce as desired. 
      • Note: a handful of gyoza as an appetizer round this out into a really nice meal (we usually like the Trader Joe’s Pork Gyoza Potstickers – found in the frozen section).
Completed dish. To keep it Keto, I eat just a bit of Sesame Slaw! Kyle serves his with rice.


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