Weeknights with Jenny

Miso and Agave Glazed Salmon

By • May 23, 2011 • 29 Comments

Miso and Agave Glazed Salmon

- Jenny

When I go looking for weeknight recipes, my goal is to find something easy and tasty, period. Culinary ambition usually takes a backseat to the working parent’s steering wheel, one often turned toward a freeway of who-drank-the-last-bit-of-milk-before-I-had-my-coffee disasters and you-forgot-to-sign-my-French-quiz imbroglios. I believe strongly in the proper weeknight dinner, but I view it as an antidote, not an addition, to life’s daily dramas. 

But once in a while, I stumble across a dish that is so elegant, and so transformative I can easily picture it on the table at a dinner party, with not a bit of the ease infringed upon. Miso and Agave Glazed Salmon by Sonali is one such dish, and the fact that the incipient picked it out made it all the more pleasurable.

As I documented here last week, I threw in the towel for a few weeks on menu planning, and let the family dictate what would be served. As such, there were meatballs. But the incipient agreed to pick two fish dishes, and found herself intrigued by Sonali’s lovely photos of this enticing bit of salmon. 

After procuring the best salmon I could find -– easy in DC with great fishmongers in the farmer’s markets and MrsWheelbarrow’s generous willingness to pick it up for me when I am on the soccer field -– and buying white miso (how did I live through the last decade without this in my fridge?) I whipped up this glaze in the morning, and dropped the fish as instructed for the better part of the day in the mix. That’s it!

The only way I deviated from the recipe was the cooking method -– my broiler doesn’t work the way she instructs here, so I just set the oven to 400 degrees and watched my fish very carefully. This mild sweet flavor of the miso and the agave are the supporting arches under the distinct structure and taste that salmon always offers, topped with a lovely, crackling glaze. 

Every single person in my house, including a house guest (you know the one, she plays volleyball) loved the complexity of the flavors here, matched with a fish most familiar. It will appear on my table again soon.  


SERVES 4
  1. Whisk the miso, sake, mirin, ginger, agave nectar, and oil together in a large, non-reactive dish or bowl. Add the salmon and coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate at least a few hours, ideally overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Turn on the broiler. Place one oven rack under the broiler and another rack in the center of the oven.
  3. Wipe any excess marinade off the salmon fillets and place them in a baking dish. Place the dish on the top rack under the broiler and cook until the top of the fish is nicely browned, 3-4 minutes. Then move the dish to the center rack and bake until the salmon is cooked to desired doneness, about 8-12 minutes. Serve warm.
  4. By day, Jennifer Steinhauer, aka Jenny, covers Congress for The New York Times. By night, she is an obsessive cook.

    Jennifer Steinhauer

Jump to Comments (29)

Tags: everyday cooking

Comments (29)

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Tsukiji_tour

over 3 years ago YukariSakamoto

We do a similar version as a staple in our home (without the agave). Two tips, use cheesecloth around the salmon - the marinade still flavors the fish and less chance of burning the fish when cooking. Also, the marinade can be reused a few times. Maybe try it first with cod and then with salmon.

Mcs

over 3 years ago mcs3000

love miso + salmon. can't wait to make this. merci mille fois to the incipient.

_mg_0362

over 3 years ago Jestei

let us know if you like it!

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over 3 years ago msitter

Wowee!

_mg_0362

over 3 years ago Jestei

i hope you like it

Dsc_0675-x2a

over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Salmon with elegance. Gotta love sake,mirin,ginger and white miso together with cousin agave! And what impeccable taste your incipient has! Thanks, Jenny and incipient.

_mg_0362

over 3 years ago Jestei

thank you. the incipient, like all of us, goes all ways: salmon with miso today, in-n-out burger tomorrow!

Dsc_0281

over 3 years ago rayva

i make this w/o the agave, and topped with chive, cilantro and sesame seeds, recipe from eating well way back when. this looks simply delicious.

_mg_0362

over 3 years ago Jestei

that sounds great, too

Img_1965

over 3 years ago LucyS

Would you mind sharing your good, fresh fish secrets in DC? The last farmer's market I went to only had crab, and while I've had some good luck at Whole Foods ('green' rated swordfish for my new recipe this week!) I'd love to find a better source in the area! This recipe looks great and so beautifully written. Thank you!

_mg_0362

over 3 years ago Jestei

of course: mrswheelbarrow introduced me to the fish mongers at both the kensington farmers market (sat) and bethesda central market (sunday) who are both excellent. i think in a pinch wagshal's better than whole foods but it is $ and not as good as either of the fish guys in the market. mrswheelbarrow and other DC food52 denizens probably have more to say on this

Cathybarrow_allrecipes_%c2%a9_2014

over 3 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

Also, in NW DC, there is a very nice small fish market on Connecticut Ave. south of the circle at Western Avenue. The Fishery. Always fresh, and less expensive than WF or Wagshals. The fishmongers at the marina/wharf in SE are better in the summer than the winter, and - naturally - the only place to go for fresh crabs in the summer. Al fresco lunch of fresh steamed crabs or fish fry & she crab soup? Bring it on.

_mg_0362

over 3 years ago Jestei

Oh one more addition: black salt restaurant also sells fish retail, if that is more convenient; my recollection is they have nice selection but also probably more expensive than FMs

Img_1965

over 3 years ago LucyS

Thank you so much! I'm going to experiment for the month of June making as much as I can from scratch and as local as possible - I'm so exited to try these new places!

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over 3 years ago CookOnTheFly

Thank you for sharing this! I'm tired of making huli-huli salmon and was looking for a new idea. I use my left-over salmon to make onigiri (Japanese rice balls) for lunch, so this should be perfect! I'll try it this week!

_mg_0362

over 3 years ago Jestei

i hope you enjoy it

Newliztoqueicon-2

over 3 years ago Lizthechef

Miso, huh? Good idea...

_mg_0362

over 3 years ago Jestei

yes!

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

If I couldn't use my kids as either lab rats or props, well, I can't even imagine how to finish this thought.

_mg_0362

over 3 years ago Jestei

true. true.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

And they're technically adults. Until, technically speaking, they need a visit from the magic checkbook.

Cakes

over 3 years ago Bevi

When my daughter was younger I was only able to sell her on salmon, calling it "Pink Fish" - that was during the prolonged period of her life when everything had to be either pink or "purrrpool".

_mg_0362

over 3 years ago Jestei

i love that. a lot of watermelon and pink peppercorns from that period?

Cathybarrow_allrecipes_%c2%a9_2014

over 3 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

Elegant indeed! I'm making this as soon as possible. See you soon!

_mg_0362

over 3 years ago Jestei

You will love it.

Wg_header-1

over 3 years ago WeeklyGreens

Are the meatballs of which you speak the ones I'm thinking? Do tell us how they turned out! And of course if the incipient ate them (again).

_mg_0362

over 3 years ago Jestei

i am shoveling them into my mouth now. but also made turkey meatballs.

Burnt_offering

over 3 years ago Burnt Offerings

I gotta say, I think the teaming up of the incipient picking out the dishes, and you bringing them to light with your engaging and witty prose is a winning combo...

_mg_0362

over 3 years ago Jestei

well, i keep promising my kids to stop using them as props in my, whatever this is........