Miso Glazed Salmon


t's FRI-YAY!!
I don't know about y'all but I'm beat after this week. The heat wave in california is draining (never thought i would complain about it being too hot.. but this week has been hell) Mind you, this is the first week after the time change, maybe that's whats got me out of whack.

If you know me, i'm craving anything Asian, all the time!  Tonight's super fast dinner was created around these delicious quick pickled Asian cucumbers. Oh. My. GOD #Addicted.
Back last week I was in New York and ate at the famous "Katz Deli". I was told about these half pickled cucumbers that were to die for. Sure enough after eating my 4th pickle spear all i could think about was how to re-make them. This version has simple asian flavors, but pack a punch and totally complete the dish!

Let's talk about the Miso.
Miso comes in different colors and many different brands. Don't let this intimidate you from exploring around. Asian grocery stores are my favorite, I often find myself perusing the isles, reading label after label (Mind you, half the stuff in there isn't written in english…) #Ohwell. I used a mixed red & white Miso called "AWASE MISO". It's a good balance between the 2 and great on salmon.

MISO cheat sheet:

The result is a thick paste used for sauces and spreads, pickling vegetables or meats, and mixing with dashi soup stock to serve as miso soup called misoshiru
Miso has a mild, earthy flavor.  It's a thick paste used for sauces and spreads, it's perfect for soups, marinades and glazes. Its especially good for pickling vegetables or meats.  The depth of color with miso can tell you about it's flavor. Generally, the darker the color, the longer is been fermenting, and will be stronger in taste and saltiness.

Red Miso is typically made from soybeans fermented with barley or grinds. It has a longer fermentation process and can range from red to dark brown in color. Red Miso is perfect for hearty soups, stocks, braises and glazes. It is the boldest in flavor and salinity. 
White Miso is made from soybeans fermented with rice. It can range from white to light  beige in color, and has a sweeter taste and not as bold. Best used in condiments like mayo, salad dressings or light sauces. Mixed with dashi soup stock to make Miso soup!

Dashi: A broth or fish stock made from simmering Kombu (edible kelp) and Kezurikatsuo (shavings of katsuobushi - a preserved, fermented skipjack tuna).

I mean.. you could make this stuff yourself. But you could also buy granulated or liquid instant Dashi from any Asian market. #Winning! 

Miso Glazed Salmon: 
serves 4
2 tbl Awase miso paste
1 tbl honey
2 tsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp hot chili sauce, such as Sriracha
4 salmon fillets (about 6 oz each)

*I personally like to cook Salmon with the skin on. It's a perfect barrier from the heat and keeps the salmon moist without overcooking it. It peels off easily once fish is cooked.
*Miso and Soy both are pretty salty, so i avoid adding any extra salt to the salmon

Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Spread generous layer on Salmon fillets and refrigerate at least 30 mins, and up to overnight.
Preheat oven broiler on high. Scrape off excess Miso, the sugars will burn easily under the hot heat, leaving your fish burnt on the outside and raw in the center. Position your oven rack so its 5-6 inches from the broiler. Place the pan of salmon on rack and broil for 6-10 minutes, until nicely browned but still pink inside. One minute before removing Salmon from oven, smear a little more Miso glaze on fish and let it caramelize under the heat! You'll get some nice crispy salty edges this way.

Don't forget- your salmon will continue to cook "carry over cook", after it comes out of the oven. So don't be too concerned about it being well done!

Half Pickled Cucumbers
Pickling is a personal thing. Some like them sweet, some more sour. Some like garlicky pickles and some spicy with dill! You can manipulate this recipe to satisfy your taste buds, but this one crushed it for me-
1 english cucumbers, sliced thin on mandolin
1 cups water
1 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup Mirin
1/4 cup thai chili paste (Sambal olek)
1/4 cup Sesame oil
1/4 cup Sugar
2 Tbl salt
Bring contents to a boil. Let liquid cool, add sliced cucumbers. These can be eaten within the hour if you like them more crisp, truly "Half-pickled" But they are better as they sit! I like to leave mine overnight at least before chowing down in pickle heaven.

*All thats left is some sushi rice. I use Cal Rose sushi grade rice, cooked it as directed on package. Towards the end, I mix 2 Tbl rice vinegar with 2 Tbl Mirin and pour over rice. I also mix in sliced green onions for flavor and some color.

This has been a new favorite. Super easy and full of flavor. I pull apart my salmon instead of leaving the fillet whole, but thats just me..

Until we eat again,