If you like salmon, you are going to love these miso butter-topped fillets.
This is an easy one-dish meal, baked on a sheet pan with broccoli. The miso butter is salty and rich, and it complements the sweet, slightly charred broccoli to a tee. If you like, serve them with baked or roasted potatoes.
WHICH SALMON TO BUY
When you are buying salmon, ask for center-cut pieces of the fillet that are 6 to 7 ounces each. The center cut pieces are of a fairly even in thickness, so they will also cook evenly.
Don’t ask to have the skin removed, since it serves as a little extra insulation from the heat of the pan when you are cooking the salmon.
How to Remove the Pin Bones from Salmon
Depending on the fish market, your salmon may have pin bones (some fish purveyors will remove them for you). To facilitate locating them, try this trick:
- Lay the salmon on top of an upside-down bowl so the fish is convex.
- Run your fingers along the fish to feel where the bones are.
- Firmly grasp the bones with tweezers or needle-nose pliers to pull them out.
PREVENTING DRY SALMON
The most common mistake people make when cooking salmon is overcooking it to the point of dryness. If you cook it until the center is opaque, your fish is already overcooked!
The best way to test doneness is to use a thermometer, which when inserted into the center of the fish should register between 130ºF and 135ºF.
If you don’t have a thermometer, insert a paring knife into the thickest part of the fish and peek. The center should look pale pink and translucent while the outside should look opaque. As the fillets rest, they continue to cook.
Once the salmon is out of the oven, let it rest. The interior may be slightly undercooked but the exterior is hotter. After a few minutes, the inside and outside temperatures come into balance and homeostasis occurs, so that the fish is cooked evenly all the way through. The texture will be silky and delicious!
WHAT IS MISO BUTTER
Miso butter is a bare bones combination of unsalted butter and any kind of miso—red, yellow or white, take your pick! The darker the miso, the stronger the flavor—choose whatever you like best, or use whatever you have on hand.
It has a fantastic creamy-umami-salty-savory-amazing flavor. Here, it melts partially into the fish and forms a golden crust on the outside.
I like it so much I try to make extra for spreading over hot vegetables or other fish recipes. It keeps for at least 2 weeks, covered in the refrigerator.
DON’T THROW AWAY YOUR BROCCOLI STEMS!
Lying on the couch when you are under the weather has its advantages. Years ago, during a binge-watch session of Jacques Pepin’s old cooking episodes, I spied Jacques (the man!) peeling broccoli stems.
He pointed out, and I wholeheartedly agree, that the stems are the sweetest part of the vegetable. I described his technique in the recipe below. It’s so fun and satisfying to pull the tough skin away from the sweet underlying stalk (so nerdy, right?).
I decided that broccoli crowns are for sissies, and henceforth only buy whole broccoli. I cannot peel the stems without thinking of my hero.
WANT MORE SHEET PAN RECIPES?
Sheet Pan Salmon and Broccoli with Miso Butter RecipePrint
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons red, white or yellow miso
- 1 1/2 pounds whole broccoli heads or crowns, with stems
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 (6-ounce) center-cut salmon fillets, 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, to garnish
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced, to garnish
- Baked or roasted potatoes, to serve (optional)
- Rimmed baking sheet
1 Preheat the oven: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 450ºF.
2 Make the miso butter: In a small bowl, stir the miso and butter until smooth.
3 Prepare the broccoli: With a paring knife, cut a sliver off the tough end of the broccoli stalk. Separate the stalk from the head—where the stalk starts to branch. Peel the stalk with a vegetable peeler and slice it into 3- to 4-inch sticks. Cut the crown lengthwise into 3 to 4 pieces.
4 Roast the broccoli: Mound the broccoli in the center of the baking sheet. Sprinkle with the oil, salt, and pepper and use your hands to massage the oil over the broccoli.
Spread the oiled broccoli on the baking sheet in one layer. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, stirring and flipping the veggies halfway through. Remove the broccoli from the oven and turn the temperature down to 425ºF.
5 Roast the salmon: Make space on the baking sheet for the salmon, and place the salmon on the sheet with the skin side down. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Use a butter knife to spread the miso butter over the fillets.
Roast the salmon and broccoli together for 10 minutes longer, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the salmon registers 135ºF. Remove from the oven.
6 Finish under the broiler. Move an oven rack close (3- to 4-inches) to the broiler and turn on the broiler. If necessary, spread the now-softened miso butter evenly over the fillets, and broil for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the fillets are charred at the edges.
Remove and let the salmon rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and chopped scallions and serve with baked potatoes, if you like.
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