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Miso Butter Salmon (Chan Chan Yaki)

Enjoy the comfort of this easy miso butter salmon recipe, also called chan chan yaki. The tasty one-pan meal combines juicy salmon fillets slathered in a savory miso butter and simmered with a tender combination of mixed vegetables.

Miso butter salmon in a pan.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • The quick and healthy meal features salmon and a ton of vegetables for a filling and delicious weeknight dinner
  • Similar to compound butters that flavor steak and seafood, the miso butter sauce is loaded with flavor. 
  • The salmon cooks with vegetables in one-pan for easy clean up.

What is Miso Butter Salmon?

Chan chan yaki is a hearty salmon and vegetable dish from Northern Japan in Ishikari designed to feed large groups of fishermen. The one-pan meal features fresh salmon coated in a sweet and savory miso-based sauce simmered over fresh vegetables to give the dish its distinctive flavor.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Miso Butter Sauce: Combine yellow miso paste, unsalted butter (since the miso paste is salty), sake, mirin, and sugar to make a tasty coating for the fish. Avoid using red miso paste since the saltiness will change the flavor of the dish. 
  • Vegetables: Shredded green or Napa cabbage, yellow onion, carrot, shimeji mushroom or shiitake mushroom, and minced garlic simmer with the salmon.
  • Salmon: I buy frozen fillets at Costco. However, if you have access to fresh fish, use that instead. I defrost the fillets in the refrigerator the night before for easy preparation the next day. You can use skin-on or skinless salmon.
  • Scallions: Fresh scallions or green onions add a nice peppery finish.

Additions and Substitutions

  • Seafood: Switch out the salmon for another fish like cod or halibut.
  • Vegetables: One of the things I love the most about making miso butter salmon is how versatile it is; this meal is an excellent way to use whatever vegetables you have on hand, such as fresh ginger, thinly sliced potatoes, onions, green beans, bell peppers, bean sprouts, or broccoli.
  • Toppings: I enjoy the bright pop of freshly chopped scallions, but feel free to garnish with other ingredients such as toasted sesame seeds.

How to Make Miso Butter Salmon

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Whisk the miso, butter, sake, mirin, and sugar in a small bowl and set it aside.

Miso butter in a small bowl.

Step 2: Line the salmon fillets onto a paper towel and pat them dry to remove excess moisture.

Drying the salmon fillets.

Step 3: Generously season them with salt and black pepper.

Salt and pepper seasoned salmon.

Step 4: Warm olive oil in a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, place salmon, skin-side-down, into the hot pan and cook for 2 minutes.

Salmon Searing in a pan.

Step 5: Flip, and cook for another minute. Remove the salmon fillets and set them aside.

Salmon Searing in a pan.

Step 6: Add the cabbage, onions, carrots, mushrooms, and garlic to the saute pan. Cook until slightly wilted, and remove the vegetables from heat.

Vegetables cooking in a pan.

Step 7: Set the reserved fillets onto the wilted vegetables, and spoon the miso butter over the salmon and around the vegetables.

Cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 5-8 minutes over medium heat.

Salmon added to the vegetables in a pan.

Expert Tips

  • Use butter softened at room temperature (not melted) so the butter combines with the miso for a smooth and creamy sauce.
  • Saute the vegetables until they wilt, but no more than that. Cooking the vegetables for too long before adding the salmon will cause them to become mushy.
  • Slather miso butter on top of salmon fillets and vegetables for additional flavor, allowing the fat to render and baste the fish and vegetables.
  • Sear the skin-on salmon in the pan to create the perfect texture for the skin once it steams. Feel free to skip this step and steam the salmon for skinless salmon fillets.

Serving Suggestions

  • White Rice, Brown Rice
  • Coleslaw
  • Sesame Noodles
  • Sonomo, Edamame
  • Miso Soup

What to do with the Leftovers

  • Refrigerate: Store leftovers in an airtight container for 2-3 days

Frequently Asked Questions

What does chan chan yaki mean?

The word ‘yaki,’ which means cooked over heat, appears in the name of many famous dishes in Japanese cuisine. Some of the most well-known dishes are teriyaki (meat with glaze) and yakitori (grilled chicken skewers). Chan chan yaki means salmon over vegetables, and that’s exactly what it is.

What is miso salmon made of?

Miso butter salmon is a popular Japanese-inspired dish that features salmon cooked in a miso sauce mixture of miso paste, sake, mirin, and sometimes sugar.

Where can I buy miso paste, mirin, sake? 

Mainstream grocery stores, like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, will carry a few of these main ingredients, but you’re better off visiting local Asian grocery stores to find all that you need in one trip.

More Salmon Recipes:

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Miso butter salmon in a pan.

Miso Butter Salmon

Tressa Jamil
Enjoy comforting miso butter salmon, a tasty one-pan meal that combines vegetables and juicy salmon fillets slathered in a savory miso butter.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 462 kcal
Equipment
Ingredients
  
  • 4 tablespoons yellow miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons sake
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 4 fillets salmon
  • ½ head green cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, matchstick
  • 1 cup shimeji or shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish
Instructions
 
  • Whisk the miso, butter, sake, mirin, and sugar in a small bowl and set it aside.
  • Line the salmon fillets onto a paper towel and pat them dry to remove excess moisture. Generously season them with salt and black pepper.
  • Warm olive oil in a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, place salmon, skin-side-down, into the hot pan and cook for 2 minutes. Flip, and cook for another minute. Remove the salmon fillets and set them aside.
  • Add the cabbage, onions, carrots, mushrooms, and garlic to the saute pan. Cook until slightly wilted, and remove the vegetables from heat.
  • Set the reserved fillets onto the wilted vegetables, and spoon the miso butter over the salmon and around the vegetables. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 5-8 minutes over medium heat.
  • Garnish with thinly sliced green scallions to serve.
Notes
Expert Tips:
  • Use butter softened at room temperature (not melted) so the butter combines with the miso for a smooth and creamy sauce.
  • Saute the vegetables until they wilt, but no more than that. Cooking the vegetables for too long before adding the salmon will cause them to become mushy.
  • Slather miso butter on top of salmon fillets and vegetables for additional flavor, allowing the fat to render and baste the fish and vegetables.
  • Sear the skin-on salmon in the pan to create the perfect texture for the skin once it steams. Feel free to skip this step and steam the salmon for skinless salmon fillets. 
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Nutrition
Serving: 1 Fillet | Calories: 462 kcal | Carbohydrates: 25 g | Protein: 39 g | Fat: 22 g | Saturated Fat: 4 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9 g | Cholesterol: 101 mg | Sodium: 835 mg | Potassium: 1349 mg | Fiber: 6 g | Sugar: 11 g | Vitamin A: 2890 IU | Vitamin C: 46 mg | Calcium: 96 mg | Iron: 3 mg
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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating