Recipes

Sheet Pan Salmon and Broccoli with Miso Butter

This one-pan dinner is ready in a flash! Broccoli takes on a sweetness in the oven, and the salmon, topped with miso butter, becomes flavorful and moist. This one is sure to become a favorite!

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:

  1. Lay the salmon on top of an upside-down bowl so the fish is convex.
  2. Run your fingers along the fish to feel where the bones are.
  3. 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.

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