17 In Appetizer/ Main Dish/ Seafood/ Video

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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  • CK
    October 24, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Would it be possible to use awase miso instead of white miso?

    • Yuko
      October 25, 2012 at 11:52 am

      Yes, you can use awase miso. Thanks!

  • Amadea
    November 20, 2013 at 5:33 am

    Will the taste be very different without sake

    • Noriko
      December 1, 2013 at 10:38 pm

      it tastes different without, but you could omit if you don’t have it.

      • Kimmy
        December 21, 2013 at 3:45 am

        Don’t worry, after it cook..you won’t able to taste the sake and mirin! In fact, they are the reason to make this dish yummy!

        • Noriko
          January 7, 2014 at 11:46 pm

          glad you liked the recipe!

  • James
    February 8, 2014 at 9:21 am

    I had tuna steaks on hand so I substituted tuna steaks for salmon. I cut it into pieces to allow a better marinade. While the taste itself was pretty good, I feel the tuna is a bit too dry for this to be as enjoyable. I’m going to incorporate what I have left over into a soup/stew. I’m thinking about taking your Nikujaga recipe, taking out the meat, changing the cook time, then adding the tuna after the fact during some point during the cooling period. I’ve done similar things before and it’s turned out well in the past. So here’s to experimentation haha.

    • Noriko
      February 10, 2014 at 9:24 am

      I love your experimentation!

  • Bob Thomas
    March 17, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    I like to use Kasu mixed with the Miso in place of liquid sake, will this work will on both the salmon and chicken?

    • Noriko
      March 18, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      that sounds good. Let us know how it tasted.

  • Simon
    April 10, 2014 at 1:32 am

    Delicious!!! Amazing!!! おいしい!!!

    • Noriko
      April 14, 2014 at 11:16 pm


  • sandra
    June 17, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    very good!

    • Noriko
      September 13, 2014 at 11:21 pm

      thanks! Try our Miso Grilled Chicken too!

  • monica
    October 11, 2014 at 10:47 am

    You left out soy sauce in the instruction. I am going to make this for dinner tonight. Thank you for the recipe.

    • Noriko
      October 24, 2014 at 5:30 pm

      thanks for pointing that out!

  • Donna
    January 28, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    I have made this recipe many times now. It is perfect – delicious and easy to make. Usually I don’t add the tablespoon of sugar (better for my diet). Sometimes I use butterfish, also very tasty. I also may let it marinate 2 or 3 days for extra goodness. Since I make it so often, it has taught me how to cook my fish to perfection. I use a pan on the stove with a bit of oil (& a splatter screen) only several minutes on each side. Thank you so much for this recipe :>)