Tonight's menu: Japanese salmon with miso garlic sauce

This native recipe from Hokkaido, Japan’s most northern island, consists of pan-frying (yaki) salmon and some assorted vegetables, then steaming the lot in sake and serving it in miso sauce. It’s uncertain where the “chan chan” part of the name comes from, but one story says it is simply the sound of the ingredients frying! I like to add a little garlic to the miso sauce for an extra burst of flavour.

Chan Chan Yaki Fried & Steamed Salmon in Miso Garlic Sauce

Serves 2

1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 skin-on salmon fillets
¼ Savoy cabbage, diced into bite-sized pieces
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
½ carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
60g fresh shimeji mushrooms, bottoms trimmed and separated
2 tbsp sake
1 tbsp butter, to serve

For the Miso Garlic Sauce
2 garlic cloves, grated
3 tbsp red miso
2 tbsp mirin


large frying pan with a lid

For the miso garlic sauce, in a small bowl, combine the grated garlic with the red miso and mirin, then stir until combined. Set aside.

Heat the vegetable oil in the large frying pan over a high heat. Fry both the salmon fillets, skin-side down for 2-3 minutes, or until the skin has browned.

Flip over and fry for 2 more minutes, then remove the salmon from the pan and set aside.

Add all the vegetables and mushrooms to the hot pan and stir-fry for 2 minutes.

Put the salmon fillets back into the pan, nestled among the vegetables, and pour in the sake around the salmon. Place a lid over the frying pan and let the fish steam over a medium heat for 1 minute to cook off the alcohol.

Add the miso garlic sauce to the pan and stir gently to evenly coat the ingredients. Put the lid back on and simmer for 4-5 minutes over a medium-high heat until the salmon is perfectly cooked all the way through.


When ready to serve, top each salmon fillet with a sliver of butter and allow it to melt a little. Serve hot.


Extracted from Atsuko’s Japanese Kitchen by Atsuko Ikeda (Ryland Peters & Small, approx €19). Photography by Yugi Sugiura.



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