Miso Grilled Salmon Recipe

You might not have had Miso marinaded Salmon before.  Yes, we use Miso paste for something other than Miso soup.  Ordinary Japanese restaurants in the US don’t often seem to have this kind of dish on the menu.   But it is quite popular dish in Japan because it’s tasty and very simple to make.

When fish or meat is marinaded in Miso paste, Miso gives it flavor, and also makes it tender.  A famous kind of grilled fish marinaded in Miso is Saikyoyaki.  Saikyoyaki uses Saikyo Miso, a kind of white Miso made in Kyoto.  Saikyo Miso has a very nice, sophisticated sweetness that is perfect for a marinade.  However, it is hard to get Saikyo Miso in the US, so we substituted with white Miso which is easily found at many American supermarkets.

White Miso has a much milder flavor than the red kind.  It is still salty, but by marinading in it, fish absorbs only just enough saltiness to the center of the meat.  Mirin, sweet rice wine, and Sake also gives a nice aroma to fish.  We used salmon here, but other kinds of fish such as cod are very good, too.  You can also use any kinds of meat.  I love chicken thighs in this marinade…yum!

In Japan, when we grill fish, we use a fish grill which is like a toaster oven.   But you might not have one (we don’t have it either:).  So you can use a conventional oven instead, and that works well too.  Because of the sugar in the marinade, it burns easily.  Be sure to pat off excess marinade before and watch as it bakes in the oven.

This can be a main dish for a meal, or a great appetizer with your happy hour drink.  Cheers!

Grilled Miso Salmon

Prep Time: 8 hours

Cook Time: 15 hours

Total Time: 8 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Grilled Miso Salmon


  • 1/4cups white Miso paste
  • 3 Tbsp Mirin
  • 2 Tbsp Sake
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 pieces salmon fillets


  1. Mix Miso, Mirin, Sake, sugar, and soy sauce in a bowl. Marinade salmon fillets in Miso mixture for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
  2. Preheat oven at 425F. Wipe marinade liquid well from salmon fillets and place them on oiled aluminum foil spread over a sheet pan.
  3. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cooked through.

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