Miso and Ginger Glazed Salmon

Miso Ginger Salmon

While I’ve dabbled in multivitamins, I’ve never really embraced supplements. I’ll pop calcium carbonate when I haven’t had enough dairy, or power vitamin C into my kids if a cold is coming on, but beyond that, the nutrients in our house tend to come from food, not pills.

The one exception is Omega-3s: those essential fatty acids that I’ve read can do everything from guarantee I never get a stroke, to ensure my kids’ brains develop so fully they’ll be studying literature at Oxford by 16. I’m forever seeking that fish oil potion I can actually convince my trio of children to choke down. We’ve tried it straight up, noses pinched, with an OJ chaser, and experimented with the lemon-flavored (though cod liver scented) variety, to no avail. Most recently, I resorted to a sugar-coated fish oil gummy that seems unlikely to house any Omega-3s at all. My teenager deemed it “unbearable.”

One thing the kids do like is salmon, so I find myself back in my comfort zone: getting nutrients from my food. Wild salmon is one of the richest sources of Omega-3s around, so why am I struggling over expensive supplements? All kidding aside, there is some pretty remarkable evidence linking omega-3s to health. Research shows a potential for offsetting cardiovascular disease, and promising findings in reducing depression, PMS, bi-polar disorder, and ADD. And there’s some pretty compelling studies linking Omega-3 intake among pregnant women with improved brain development in their offspring.

Miso Ginger Salmon

Problem is, wild salmon isn’t available at the moment, and when it is, the prices can top 20 bucks a pound. That’s pretty spendy when feeding a family of five. So where does that leave me, trying to do right by my kids, who need those darn omega-3s so they can get into college?

Here’s where, I’m going to whisper it since it’s a bit of a departure for me and how I usually cook: I’ve been buying frozen, wild, sockeye, salmon from Trader Joe’s.


No, it’s not as good as fresh, gorgeous, local wild salmon. But, I don’t have to wait until salmon season in June to buy it, and it won’t break the bank.

While fresh fish tastes heavenly practically bare naked, the key with frozen is to infuse it with flavor and cook it just right. A tasty marinade is all you need to doll things up.

This Miso Ginger Salmon work beautifully no matter what the source of your fish. The salty taste of miso paste pairs well with mirin, a sweet, rice wine available in many supermarkets, Asian groceries, and specialty food stores. Plenty of fresh ginger rounds out the flavors.

We’ve eaten this twice over the past couple of weeks: once accompanied by baby bok choy and soba noodles, the second time, with a shredded cabbage and carrot salad doused with a rice wine vinegar dressing. Both meals were a hit with the kids, delighted not to be force-fed cod liver oil. Plus I’ve noticed a marked increase in IQ points since upping our fish quotient.

Ivy Leagues, here we come!

Miso Ginger Salmon
4.5 from 6 votes


A delicious way to do salmon using just a handful of sweet and savory ingredients. Serve with brown rice and plenty of vegetables on the side. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 281 kcal
Author katiemorford


  • 2 tablespoons miso paste
  • ¼ cup mirin
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce (or gluten-free Tamari, if desired)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon peeled, minced fresh ginger
  • 4 salmon fillets, about 6 ounces each
  • 1 tablespoon grape seed or canola oil


  1. In a baking dish large enough to fit the salmon in one layer, whisk together the miso, mirin, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, honey, and ginger.
  2. Put the salmon fillets in the dish and coat them in the marinade. Leave on the counter for 30 minutes, turning them a few times.
  3. When you are ready to cook, heat the grapeseed or canola oil in a large, heavy sauté pan over medium-high heat.

  4. Set the fillets skin-side down in the pan. Brush the salmon liberally with the marinade.

  5. Cook until the flesh of the fish turn opaque about 1/3 of the way up the side (3 to 4 minutes). Use a spatula to turn the fish. Cook on the second side for another 3 to 4 minutes until the salmon is just cooked through, keeping in mind it will continue to cook even after it’s off the heat.
  6. Transfer to a serving plate and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

If you are going to buy frozen salmon, allow it to defrost in the refrigerator the day before and cut it into individual fillets. Salmon can be also be cooked under a broiler.

miso glazed salmon


03.14.2012 at9:14 AM #


This is a helpful post….both the encouragement to make sure we have the Omega 3’s and also the delicious miso salmon! Yum! I like the idea of trying the frozen Wild Salmon at Trader Joe’s and the tip about defrosting it in the refrigerator! Thank you!

03.14.2012 at10:00 AM #


Made the Aush soup Monday night, it was fabulous..the broth seemed bland when tasting just the broth however when the whole soup was put together in the dish the flavor was delicious..thank you

03.14.2012 at10:00 AM #


Leslie…so glad you liked it. Yes, that dish hinges entirely on that super flavorful ground lamb along with the tangy yogurt.

03.14.2012 at11:18 AM #


We do a similar version with dijon mustard, honey, soy sauce and ginger. It’s become a weekly standard and I’d like to think we’re all benefiting from the brain food. It would be nice to have a couple different salmon recipes in my back pocket: so thanks for the inspiration to try something new! I’ve never cooked with miso paste before, so that’s on my list for groceries this week. Thanks, Katie.

03.14.2012 at12:07 PM #

Pam Hochman

Any suggestions for recipes for non-ginger eaters? It’s one of the few flavors I can’t stand and my kids seem to have inherited, or rather more likely, adopted, my aversion. Is there a substitute for it or do you have other suggestions?
Thanks Katie!

03.14.2012 at12:07 PM #


Hi Pam
I would probably add a couple of cloves of minced garlic or a few teaspoons of orange zest, or both. I think it will be tasty this way. Let me know if you give it try.

10.12.2015 at6:34 AM #

Elizabeth Shaw

I am the worst dietitian ever, I really have an issue with salmon! LOL. However, this sounds very enticing! I think before I take the leap and cook it myself, I need to have this delivered to me. Is that a possibility lol?

PS_ I watched your popcorn video the other day, I loved it!! So cute!

10.12.2015 at6:34 AM #


This is a pretty good way to ease into salmon, Elizabeth, but I do think for some folks, it’s the smell from cooking it that can be offputting if you aren’t used to it. Wish I did deliveries 🙂

03.28.2017 at10:41 AM #


working my way through these recipes!! Made the roast veg last night. Added yogurt to the dressing and served with quinoa..so good.

11.29.2017 at2:40 PM #


Made this recipe with Salmon and it was very good; then last night made it with red snapper fillets with the skin on and it was divine! restaurant quality or better! Make sure the marinade is not dripping when you grill it, and leave 4 minutes on the skin side and 2 min once you flip it. I guess more if your fish is very big? Mine where tiny. Once cooked, heated the marinade in the same skillet and poured over the fish. Didn’t change anything from the original recipe. Thanks for sharing.

11.29.2017 at2:40 PM #


Oh, that’s great to hear. I will have to try that myself.

04.30.2020 at6:49 PM #

Gabe R

Horrible recipe with good flavors. Followed to a T, and the outside of the fish was burnt, and the inside completely under-cooked. Why do recipes not account for internal temps?

04.30.2020 at6:49 PM #


Sorry you didn’t care for the recipe. I’m guessing your stove runs hotter than mine, since the outside cooked before the inside of the fish could catch up. As for internal temperature, I find watching the flesh of the salmon turn opaque is one of the best clues to know that the salmon is cooked. You could also use an instant read thermometer. That might help.

01.05.2021 at11:26 AM #

Shveta Berry

Made this last night and it was fabulous! Adding this in the salmon recipe rotation.

01.05.2021 at11:26 AM #


Yay! Glad you like it 🙂

01.06.2022 at3:31 PM #

Debra Levinson

Made it last night, very delicious. Served with a sweet potato and green beans! Thanks!

01.06.2022 at3:31 PM #


Sounds like a fabulous meal with those beans and sweet potatoes. Thanks for sharing.

01.08.2022 at12:19 PM #

Caitlin Elizabeth Soukup

hi – for this one do i use white miso paste or red miso paste?

01.08.2022 at12:19 PM #


You can use either. Red has a stronger flavor, but both will be tasty.

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