This simple weeknight meal makes great use of pantry staples to create complex flavors with minimal work. Miso is often used to flavor soups or sauces, and here, it is added to raw rice before cooking, which results in a delightfully sticky, savory steamed rice. Fragrant and nutty basmati is called for, but any long-grain rice, such as jasmine (which we used), will work.
Shredded cabbage brings freshness and crunch to the finished dish, but use whatever crispy vegetable you have on hand such as shredded Brussels sprouts, carrots, snap peas, and/or radishes. We had leftover red cabbage, so we used that along with shredded carrots and radishes providing wonderful pops of color!
If possible, use a hand mandoline to get paper thin carrot and radish slices. And if you desire a heftier meal, add some canned chickpeas, white beans or black beans, although neither of us thought it would be necessary.
To finish, the vibrant tang of the bright ginger-scallion vinaigrette balances the richness of the roasted salmon, which we cooked only a pound for the two of us. But if you make the full 1 1/2 pounds, you may want to consider doubling that scallion vinaigrette.
Probably the biggest change we made to the recipe was how we cooked the fish. Instead of in the oven on a rimmed baking sheet, we used a non-stick skillet, and cooked skin-side down for the first 6 minutes, then carefully turned it over to finish, about another 2 minutes.
Quick, easy, colorful and healthy. What more can you ask for as a weeknight meal?
Pan-Seared Salmon With Miso Rice and Ginger-Scallion Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup white or sweet miso
- 1 1/2 cups basmati or other long-grain rice
- 4 skin-on salmon fillets, (6-ounces each)
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions, plus more for garnish
- 1 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar or unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
- 4 cups finely shredded cabbage, such as green, Napa or savoy; OR a mix of thinly sliced cruciferous veggies (about 8 ounces)
- Toasted sesame oil, for serving
- Heat oven to 425 degrees.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk miso with 2 1/4 cups water until dissolved. Stir in rice and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until all of the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork (it will be a little sticky).
- On a rimmed baking sheet, rub salmon all over with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and arrange skin-side up. Roast until fish is just opaque and cooked to medium, 8 to 10 minutes. OR, in a non-stick skillet over medium-high, sear the salmon skin side down for 6 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Carefully flip over and sear another 2 minutes or so. For medium to medium-rare, aim for 125˚F to 135˚F.
- In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, scallions, vinegar and ginger, and season with salt and pepper.
- Divide miso rice and cabbage, and other vegetables if using, among bowls. Top with salmon, ginger-scallion vinaigrette and sesame oil.
Loosely adapted from a recipe by Kay Chun for NY Times Cooking