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Miso, maple make match with salmon

  • NEW YORK TIMES

    Maple and miso sheet-pan salmon with green beans. This meal is salty, sweet and earthy.

I cook a lot of chicken, beans and fish on weeknights, for the same reasons a lot of busy people do: They’re fast and rich in protein. The challenge is transforming these humble yet mighty ingredients into something not at all boring, week after week. That’s when my pantry comes into play. A few boldly flavored staples, combined in the right way, have the power to change everything.

Most people don’t think of miso paste and maple syrup as a flavor combination that works well, but they should. It’s salty, sweet and earthy, with umami that makes everything bold. In this recipe, I whisk the two together with tangy rice wine vinegar, garlic and soy sauce to make a brightly flavored marinade for rich and fatty salmon, a dish that’s elegant enough for entertaining but fast enough to make anytime.

The fish marinates as the oven heats up, which makes it a brilliant weeknight move. Ten minutes is plenty of time for the salmon to absorb the flavors, but if you would prefer to let yours hang out a bit longer, you can — just be sure to pull it at an hour. Any longer and the acidity in the vinegar will start to break down the delicate texture of the fish, and you don’t want that.

Vibrant green beans, tossed with a bit of sesame oil and chili flakes, are cooked in the same pan, providing a pop of color and a built-in side dish. (It also means you spend less time cleaning up.) A showering of chopped cilantro and a good squeeze of lime brings all the flavors together while also making it easy on the eyes.

Start some rice when you walk in the door, and you’ll have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes without even breaking a sweat. Sit down, put your feet up and open that wine. Elegance is effortless, see?

MAPLE AND MISO SHEET-PAN SALMON WITH GREEN BEANS

By Colu Henry

  • 4 (6-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets, about 1-inch thick
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Pinch red-pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro, both leaves and tender stems
  • 4 lime wedges, for serving
  • Flaky sea salt, for serving (optional)

>> Marinade:

  • 4 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon white or brown miso
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, grated

Heat oven to 400 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment or foil. Season salmon well with salt and pepper; and place on plate or shallow dish.

In a small bowl, whisk together marinade ingredients; pour over salmon and gently massage all over fish. Marinate while oven heats.

In a medium bowl, toss beans with olive oil, red-pepper flakes and sesame oil (if using); season generously with salt and pepper. Lay salmon on sheet pan skin side down and spread beans out around fillets. Bake until salmon is opaque and beans are cooked through, about 12 minutes.

Right before serving, scatter fish and beans with cilantro and a good squeeze of lime. Season with flaky sea salt. Serves 4.

Nutritional information unavailable.

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