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Encrusted Salmon with Spicy Orange-Miso Sauce

It's salmon season. This will wow the crew with a flavor explosion.

Every summer (the fish willing) we see an influx of fresh, wild salmon from the Pacific Northwest showing up in markets across the West. This Peruvian recipe, both savory and sweet, is a fresh and exciting way to bring it all together! And it also will bring new ingredients into your summer!


  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (see Note)
  • 1/4 cup ají amarillo paste (see Note)
  • 2 tablespoons white miso
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • Four six-ounce center-cut salmon fillets 
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 small cucumber—peeled, seeded and diced


  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 400°. In a small saucepan, bring the mirin and sake to a boil. Whisk in the ají amarillo paste, miso and orange and lime juices and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes.

  • Step 2

    Meanwhile, season the salmon with salt and pepper. Press 2 tablespoons of the cooked quinoa onto the skinned side of each fillet.

  • Step 3

    In a large ovenproof nonstick skillet, heat the canola oil. Add the salmon fillets, quinoa side down, and cook over high heat until the quinoa is browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the salmon until almost opaque throughout, about 4 minutes.

  • Step 4

    Using a spatula, carefully transfer the fillets to plates, quinoa side up. Spoon the diced cucumber alongside and serve with the orange-miso sauce.


Mirin is a sweet and tangy, rice wine. You can substitute regular rice wine. But it's not quite the same.

Ají amarillo paste is a spicy Peruvian yellow chile paste. It’s available in many supermarkets including Trader Joe's.

  • No need for protective gear to enjoy this flavor explosion.