After years of overcooking salmon, I’ve tried numerous ways to make slow cooked salmon that is flavorful and not dried out. My favorite so far is this miso ginger glazed salmon that is poached in olive oil. This is similar to poaching halibut in parchment paper with olive oil, though it uses a baking dish instead. You get the same result though of a moist, delicate salmon that isn’t overcooked in the middle.
How to Poach Salmon in Olive Oil
Poaching salmon in olive oil is actually really easy. Take an oven-safe glass baking dish, put in your fish, add some olive oil and cook. About 25 minutes later, you have olive oil poached salmon. This will give you a much different final product than searing salmon in a hot pan for 10 minutes. Mainly you’re not going to have that super crispy exterior. You’re also not going to have the risk of drying out a nice piece of fish.
Think of this is the cold weather season variation of another favorite of mine, slow roasted cedar plank salmon. Both of these recipes use a low and slow cooking method that really brings out the best in salmon. It also avoids the undesirable “white foam” problem when salmon is cooked at higher temperatures.
Another advantage to slow cooking salmon in olive oil, versus water, is that the olive oil also brings a lot of flavor to the mix. That lower 1/8″ of your fish is going to be even more succulent with the shallow poached method.
What kind of salmon is best for this recipe? I personally prefer Pacific Coast salmon to any Atlantic Coast salmon. And for one simple reason, all Atlantic salmon is farmed and has likely been treated with antibiotics in the pens. If you’re lucky enough to have fresh Alaskan salmon available, there are basically 5 main Pacific salmon types from which to choose. Here I’ve used a coho salmon.
How to Make Miso Ginger Glazed Salmon
Miso is one of those ingredients that’s on a bit of an upswing right now. I’ve noticed several cooking magazines prominently writing about different ways to use miso. One reason is that it’s packed with umami and brings a lot of unique flavor with it. Miso, because of the high sodium content, can also keep in your refrigerator for several weeks after being opened.
So while in search of a healthy miso salmon recipe, I considered a number of different flavors to pair with it. This time of year, we usually keep plenty of fresh ginger root on hand in the fridge. I drop some in my breakfast smoothie each morning. It’s also a key ingredient in Garlic and Ginger Immunity Tea when a cold, flu or sinus infection starts creeping in.
Combining miso and ginger by themselves and you’ll get a pretty thick, gritty paste. I thinned that out with a little bit of mirin, a Japanese cooking wine that brings some acidity, and a bit of soy sauce. This makes it easier to spread so you wind up with a nice miso ginger glazed salmon at the end.
You’ll find that miso can be a secret ingredient to many of your other dishes. For example, I took deviled eggs to another level by adding miso with this miso-bacon deviled eggs recipe.
Suggestions for Pairing Miso Ginger Glazed Salmon
A delicate fish like this will do well contrasted with a nice hearty green such as chard or kale. In the pictures, I’ve prepared a sautéed red and green chard. This is something you can make as soon as the miso salmon comes out of the oven. It’ll only take about 5-7 minutes to prepare and you’ll want it to be served while still a little warm. This gives the salmon time to rest. Just before the chard is done, toss in a little fresh garlic and ginger for flavor.
For the starch, I’ve made a batch of Tofu Fries from a block of extra firm tofu. I’ll get that recipe written up soon…..
Wine Pairing for Miso Ginger Salmon
The bold flavors of the miso ginger glaze will need a pretty sturdy wine with a little bit of earthy notes. We opted for a California Syrah from Melville. Their 2016 Syrah was a fantastic match for the dish.
This Miso Ginger Glazed Salmon is Poached in Olive Oil and topped with a umami rich Miso Ginger Glaze that stays super moist and super flavorful.
- 4 Salmon Filets about 6 ounces each
- 2 Tablespoons White Miso
- 2 Tablespoons Mirin
- 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Grated Ginger
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
About 30 minutes before preparing this dish, remove the salmon from the refrigerator, gently rinse it with cold water and pat dry. Lightly season the fish with kosher salt and let it rest. (optional). Preheat your oven to 250 degrees
Mix the Miso, Mirin, Soy Sauce and Ginger together in a small bowl
Put the salmon in a baking dish and lightly season with kosher salt if you didn't do this step earlier. Press the miso ginger mixture on top. (You may not need to use all of the miso ginger glaze)
Pour enough olive oil into the baking dish to come about 1/8" up the side of the fish.
Cook in the middle rack of an oven at 250 degrees. 25 minutes will likely be rare, 28 minutes for medium (slightly pink) and about 31 minutes for medium well.
I don’t like my salmon raw in the middle. How do I cook it all the way without getting dry?
Hi Amy – As long as you’re keeping the temperature under 300 degrees for cooking, you can stretch the time out longer to 30 to 33 minutes for a more medium-well. Check the fish about every two minutes and keep in mind it’ll keep cooking for several minutes after it comes out. Hope it works out great for you.