Pan-Seared Salmon with a Miso, Ginger, and Lemongrass Marinade

Halloween has long been one of my favorite holidays because it’s such a fun, lighthearted fall celebration. This year was the best Halloween thus far for me because it was the first Halloween that I’ve been a homeowner and also our first holiday as an old married couple! We commemorated the evening with holiday decor: 

And of course we dressed the dogs up in their Halloween costumes and watched Hocus Pocus on the couch as the neighborhood kids came by in costume. I wanted to make something delicious and a bit more festive than usual to celebrate, but I believe Husband might be nearing pumpkin-flavored-everything-overload, so I went a different route with dinner. 

The miso, ginger, and lemongrass marinade was fantastic. The salty miso and acidic lemongrass and orange both paired beautifully with the rich salmon. You can buy miso paste in most grocery stores. I use it for soups and as a marinade. Fresh lemongrass is available from many Asian grocery stores and lemongrass paste comes in a tube in the refrigerated produce section at my local grocery. Lemongrass is a unique flavor that I use to add a bit of zing to curries and other Asian recipes. 

The key to good seared salmon is temperature. Make sure that your pan is hot before you add the salmon. Also, use an oil with a high smoke point (I use coconut oil for frying). 

I served our dinner with a quick salad of steamed, shelled edamame, a fresh avocado, very finely chopped Thai bird chili, and a diced orange. I also roasted asparagus and placed the salmon and vegetables on couscous. 

Dinner was so good that my only concern is that I’m setting the home-cooking bar too high for future holidays when I want a night off! Nothing wrong with ordering a pizza every so often! 

Pan-Seared  Salmon with a Miso, Ginger, and Lemongrass Marinade
Serves Four

You will need:
  • 4 x 1 inch thick salmon steaks (appx. 1 1/2 pounds of salmon)
  • 2 tbsp. dark miso paste
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. minced lemongrass 
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • Whisk together miso paste, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, lemongrass, garlic, orange zest, and lemon juice until smooth in consistency. 
  • Pour the marinade into a container with the salmon. Refrigerate for three to six hours. 
  • When you’re ready to cook the salmon, heat a large skillet to medium-high heat and add the coconut oil. Leave the skillet alone until the oil is very hot, about two or three minutes in my kitchen. 
  • Add the salmon steaks one at a time, placing them in the skillet away from you to protect yourself from grease splatters. 
  • Leave the salmon for about five minutes, undisturbed, then turn them over and let them cook for another minute or so before removing them from heat.

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