Sunday, August 7, 2011

Miso Salmon

A few weeks ago, we were eating at my Mom's house, and she busted this out.  I ran outside trying to find the catering business that dropped off this tasty salmon.  After ten steps, I gave up.  I came inside to see that my mom made a copy-cat recipe of The Cheesecake Factory's Miso Salmon.  I've never had it there, but if it is anywhere near as delicious as this stuff, I'd be impressed.  This is such an amazing recipe.  I asked her for the recipe, and she passed it on down.  I couldn't wait to try it.  Finding the ingredients presented a challenge for me, though.  It asks for Red Miso, which I've never even heard of.  I went to Smith's, Albertsons, and an Asian market, for crying out loud, and I had no luck.  I finally called up my brother and begged for some of his leftover Miso.  The next ingredient that I definitely don't have on hand is Sake.  For Pete's sake, what is Sake?!  I had to call my brother, and he let me know that it was a wine.  Well, when I was on my way into the store to get it, there were a couple kids from my church out front selling some cards for a fundraiser.  Since it was a blazing hot day, I told them that I would bring them out some ice cream bars, which I did.  However, I wasn't about to prance out of the store carrying a bottle of liquor!  Luckily, my brother hooked me up with that, too.  I very, very rarely cook with liquor, but I had to try it in this recipe.  The alcohol cooks out, so you don't have to worry about that.  If you're concerned about that, you can use some white cooking wine, which is sold by the vinegar in the grocery store. Don't be intimidated by the presentation!  It's really not that hard, and I promise that it is worth the effort!
 Miso Salmon
source: My mom, but I think she got it out of a Top Secret Recipes cookbook

Miso marinade:
1/2 c red miso
3/4 c sake
3/4 c brown sugar
1 T rice vinegar
1 T soy sauce
1 t minced garlic
1/4 t minced ginger (or 1 t dried ginger)

four 8 oz salmon filets
2 c uncooked white rice

Sake Butter Sauce
1 c Sake
1 T minced shallot (or onion)
1 t minced ginger
1/2 c unslated butter
2 T flour
1 c heavy cream
1/4 t kosher salt (if you only have salted butter, omit this)

20 lightly steamed snow peas
4 green onions, julienned

Whisk the marinade ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat.    If you don't know where to find Red Miso, my brother found it by the egg roll wrappers in the produce section.  It will be refrigerated. Once the mixture starts to bubble, reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until it is thick. 
 While it is still hot, pour the mixture through a strainer to remove the chunks of garlic and ginger.  Reserve 1/4 c of the marinade and put in the fridge.  Pour the remaining marinade over the salmon in a large ziplock bag or other container.  Let it marinade in the fridge for 4-6 hours. 

Preheat the oven to 425.  Place the salmon filets on a cooking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes.  I placed mine on aluminum foil for easy clean-up. 
Cook the rice according to package directions and set aside.

While it is baking, prepare the Sake Butter sauce.  Pour the Sake, minced shallot, and minced ginger in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until the sauce is reduced by half.  Pour this through a strainer and save the flavored Sake.  Discard the chunks of shallot and ginger. 
 In another saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Once it is melted, add the flour.  When it starts to bubble, cook for an additional minute.  Whisk in the cream.  The sauce will start to thicken.  Add the reserved Sake and the salt.  Cook it for another minute or so.
 When the salmon comes out, it will look golden and a little bubbly from the marindae.  As you can see around the edges, the marinade does burn in that hot oven, so clean-up is much easier with the aluminum foil. 
 If you want to just serve a salmon filet on a plate with sauce spooned over the top with rice and sugar snap peas on the side, that's quite alright!  However, if you want to be a little on the fancy-pants side, it's really fun to put this together.

Put some butter on a paper towel and brush in on the inside of a ramekin or other small bowl. 
 Pack the rice into the dish.  And, I mean pack!  If it's in there loosely, you're going to have a rice disater all over the plates.
 Put a plate on the top of the dish, hold them, and flip it over.  I had to tap the ramekin a couple times, but when it came out, it came out like butta'.
 Pour the Sake butter sauce around the rice.
 Arrange the snow peas like spokes of a tire or like a big, rice/pea sun. 
 Using a spoon, put small drops of the reserved marinade inbetween the snow peas.
 Gently place the salmon filets on the rice.  Obviously, you have to cut the filets to make this work.  I placed one on top, and one off to the side.  Top with the julienned green onions.
Now, I'm sure if anyone at the Cheesecake Factory is reading this because mine doesn't look as good, and maybe the recipe is way off.  Laugh it up, folks!  I could eat this every week and love every second of it.  It always makes my day when my five year old says, "Dang, mom!  This looks fancy and delicious!"  I love that girl.  I hope someone out there reading this tries it and comes back to tell me how they liked it.  I think it's phenomonal.


  1. This sounds great, can't wait to try it. Thanks for adding it to your blog. This is sort of diet food, so you're okay. Thanks, Kathy Burton

  2. Miso sad I didn't drag my prego butt over to your house for a taste!

  3. Turned out great and wasn't overly difficult to make. I think it ended up tasting very close to the actual Cheesecake Factory recipe

    1. I'm so glad you tried it and liked it! Thank you for letting me know. :)