In Japan, grilling is a year ‘round method of preparing food. There are endless yakitori shops and stalls that specialize in grilled, skewered foods. People often eat there during lunch or after work to snack on grilled chicken, squid, octopus and eel. Some shops develop such a reputation that there are long lines waiting for a seat in what is most often a very cramped seat in a small alley eatery. Outside of Japan, grilling tends to be a seasonal tradition.
Whether you grill on an indoor or outdoor grill, this miso paste-based marinade/basting sauce is delicious. You can use it on any grilled meat or vegetable, skewered or not. We enjoy it on sliced, grilled eggplant or nasubi.
Miso paste comes in many different varieties. (You can read all about miso paste on BellaOnline.com Japanese food site.) Which type you use for this marinade depends on which type you like best. But because I didn’t want the salmon flavor to be overwhelmed, I opted for white or shiro miso which has a more delicate flavor. You can substitute any firm fleshed fish that can withstand grilling without falling apart or you can broil the fish under a hot flame. Grilled or broiled chicken and vegetables also taste great basted with this sauce.
Sake no Miso Yaki (Grilled Miso Salmon)
3 4 oz. salmon filets
¾ cup shiro miso paste
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice or rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. mirin
1 Tbsp. water
½ tsp. garlic powder
2 green scallions, chopped
Blend all ingredients well and coat the tops of each salmon filet generously with this mixture. Place on a hot grill or broil under a hot flame. Turn, top with more sauce and continue cooking until salmon is cooked. Depending upon the thickness of the filet, this should take only 3-4 minutes on each side. Garnish with chopped green scallions.