Pan-Seared Salmon With Garlicky Miso-Tahini Sauce & Salted Cucumber Salad

November 28, 2019
6 Ratings
Photo by Lucia Lee
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

Golden pan-seared salmon—together with the tangy, addictive miso-tahini sauce and refreshing cucumber salad—makes for a fast and healthy dinner, any night of the week. —Lucia

What You'll Need
  • 4 Persian cucumbers
  • Kosher salt
  • water, warm or at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon white (shiro) miso
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 pound salmon fillet, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 to 3 pinches shichimi togarashi
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • Splash Fish sauce, optional
  1. Cucumber Salad: Using a mandoline or a sharp knife, thinly slice the cucumbers, place in a colander and toss with about 1/4-1/2 tsp kosher salt per cucumber. Let sit and drain over the sink or a bowl for about 15 minutes. Cucumbers should give out some liquid and soften a bit. Meanwhile, make the sauce and cook the salmon.
  2. Miso-Tahini Sauce: In a small bowl, mash together the miso and tahini with a fork. Stir in the sesame oil until smooth. Add a bit more if needed. Splash in about a tsp of room temp / warm water (or more) to thin out the mixture.
  3. Add in the rice vinegar and continue to stir/whisk. If desired, drizzle in more water by the teaspoon to thin out the tahini mixture. Keep adding small amounts of water and stir until the sauce is smooth, well-combined, and at your desired consistency. Taste and add in more rice vinegar if you'd like the sauce to be more tangy.
  4. Combine the crushed garlic with the tahini mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add a bit of fish sauce (or just plain salt) if you need the sauce to be a bit saltier. Set aside as you cook the salmon.
  5. Pan-Seared Salmon: Cut the salmon into 1/2 inch slices--you should have about 4-6 pieces. In a cast iron, carbon steel, or nonstick pan, heat the neutral oil until it's almost smoking.
  6. When the oil is ready, sear the salmon for about 2-3 minutes on one side until golden, pressing the fish down occasionally. Then carefully flip and cook the other side for another 30 seconds-1 min. The salmon cooks quickly because the slices are relatively thin. Work in batches, if necessary, because you don't want to crowd the pan and cause the fish to steam instead. When each piece of salmon is done cooking, remove from heat and transfer onto serving plates.
  7. Divide the cucumber amongst the plates. Spoon the miso-tahini sauce all over the fish and salad. Top everything with scallions, toasted sesame seeds, and a couple pinches of shichimi togarashi.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lucia
  • VaMom
  • Jean Buchband
    Jean Buchband

3 Reviews

VaMom March 25, 2021
LOVE this recipe and have made it several times, as written. Because it's so quick to prepare, and has such a beautiful presentation, it's a great meal to serve for a dinner party. Everyone I've made it for has loved it. Perfect for springtime, I've served this with a side of simple salad/Japanese ginger salad dressing and snap peas, preceded by a fun sake-tasting. 10 out of 10
Jean B. July 18, 2020
My daughter made this for the family tonight. So delicious! It's not any one single ingredient but all of them together that is such a perfect blend: the creamy richness of the garlic-miso-tahini sauce, the crunchiness of the cucumber salad, the warmth of the shichimi togarashi spinkled on top. It's a beautful presentation as well. It was surprisingly filling despite it all fitting elegantly on a small plate. Definitely a repeat in our household!
Lucia July 19, 2020
Glad you like it! Thanks for letting me know :)