Japanese Miso Salmon Side on a wooden board garnished with steps of shallots / scallions, ready to be served.
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4.96 from 21 votes

Japanese Miso Salmon Side (BBQ or bake)

Recipe video below. 
My mother's recipe for Miso Marinated Salmon. The flavour infused in the salmon is incredible. An authentic Japanese recipe, make this on the barbecue or even in the oven! You can get all the ingredients for this at Woolworths supermarket in Australia, including the side of salmon.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Dinner, Holiday, Special Occassion
Cuisine: Japanese, Modern Asian
Servings: 5 - 6
Author: Nagi | RecipeTin


  • 1.6 - 2.4 lb / 0.8 - 1.2kg side of salmon , skin on (Note 1)
  • Oil , for barbecue


  • 5 tbsp miso paste (Note 2)
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 2/3 tbsp sake (Japanese rice wine)
  • 1 2/3 tbsp mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)


  • Sesame seeds
  • Scallions/shallots , finely sliced


  • Mix together the marinade ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.
  • Place the salmon skin side up on a work surface and slather with just under half the marinade.
  • Turn the salmon so it is skin side down onto a large piece of cling wrap. Slather the remaining marinade on the flesh side.
  • Wrap the salmon in cling wrap. Marinade for 24 to 48 hours.
  • Scrape the marinade off (do not rinse with water) and leave the salmon to come to room temperature <- KEY for perfectly cooked salmon.
  • Preheat barbecue plate side on MEDIUM LOW. Leave it to heat up for a good 10 to 15 minutes - another tip for cooking salmon perfectly.
  • Add oil just before cooking. Place the salmon on the BBQ skin side down. Cook for 3 minutes, then use two spatulas to turn it. Cook the flesh side for 2 - 3 minutes or until caramelised, then flip it again so the skin side is down then transfer to a tray.
  • Cover loosely with foil to rest for 5 minutes before serving. It will continue cooking while resting.
  • Garnish with sesame seeds and finely sliced shallots.


1. I used a side of fresh Atlantic Salmon I got from WOOLWORTHS, an Australian supermarket. A side of salmon is the whole fillet from one side of a salmon.
My salmon side was 2lb/1kg and the thickest part was 2.5cm / 1" thick and I brought it to room temperature before cooking. This cooks PERFECTLY on the barbecue on low with 3 minutes on the skin side and 2 minutes on the flesh side. Remember: the salmon keeps cooking while resting so you should take it off when it is still slightly raw inside!
It must be cooked on a low heat otherwise the sugar in the marinade will burn before the inside is cooked.
It is better to undercook rather than overcook the salmon. If you accidentally undercook it too much for your taste or it burns before cooked inside, just pop it in the oven at 180C/350F to finish cooking - it cooks very quickly, in minutes.
2. I use Hikari White Miso Paste which you can purchase from Woolworths supermarket - click hereto see a photo. However, this will work with any miso paste EXCEPT the type called Saikyo Miso (written as such on the label) because it is much sweeter than the other miso pastes so this will end up being too sweet.
3. To make this in the oven, preheat the oven to 180C/350F and place it in the oven skin side down. Bake for around 15 minutes - no flipping. Pull the flesh in the middle apart to take a peek - remember, it will keep cooking! To get a nice finish on the surface, grill/broil it for a minute or two.
4. This is delicious served warm or even at room temperature.
5. A 2lb/1kg side of salmon will serve 5 - 6 people as a main or up to 12 as part of a larger feast.
Miso Marinated Salmon Side - Incredible flavour, and the marinade only requires 4 ingredients!
6. This Miso Marinated Side of Salmon is a great centrepiece for a feast. Here is a list of the dishes you see in the feast.
a) Oysters with lemon wedges
b) Barbecued Onigiri - recipe below
c) Asian Grilled Shrimp / Prawns
d) This Miso Marinated Side of Salmon
e) Asian style coleslaw (I used my Asian Vermicelli Noodle Salad recipe but left out the noodles)
f) Japanese pickled cucumbers (recipe below)
7. To make Onigiri, the rice balls you see in the feast: Place 2 cups of medium grain rice in a saucepan with 3 cups of water over medium high heat. Cover, bring to boil then turn down to medium low. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes until the liquid is just absorbed, then set aside to rest for 10 minutes.
While the rice is still warm, measure out 1/2 cup of rice and use your hands to shape it into triangles (or other shape), pressing very firmly. Brush with soy sauce and cook on the barbecue until crispy, or you can even cook it on the stove.
8. To make the quick pickled cucumbers: Cut 3 cucumbers into triangle pieces and mix together with 2 tsp grated ginger, 1 tbsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp white vinegar and 1 tsp soy sauce. Chill for 1 hour so the cucumber absorbs the flavour.